Should One Eat After Workout?
More and more people are getting involved in recreational workouts in order to achieve a better health status or physique, and you are probably one of them. Either you visit the gym or you exercise at home, you are bound to get your desired results if you are determined and disciplined. Sometimes, you are exhausted and feel so worn out after workout sessions. To quickly rejuvenate and replenish lost nutrients, you need to eat after your workout sessions. Eating good food is your priority here because you don’t just eat anything after such rigorous exercises. We understand that you may be worried about how eating after working out affects the results of your workout, but you need not worry. If you eat right, the food you eat after workouts plays a supportive role in building your body.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of eating well after each workout.
Benefits of Eating After Workout
Physical exercise burns energy in the form of glycogen from your muscles and leaves your muscles worn out. Your body informs you that you need to refuel through the exhaustion you feel after all this exercise. So, generally, you need to replace the glycogen you’ve lost, to support your muscles in recovering, and building them up. The most required foods after working out should be based on proteins, carbs, and fats. Carbohydrates break down and replace lost glycogen, especially after endurance or cardio exercises. Eat about 0.7 grams of carbohydrates per pound of your overall body weight as you recover from exhaustion. Proteins are also known as bodybuilding foods, as they are useful in muscle repair. Eat about 0.23 grams of protein per pound of your weight or an average of 20 grams of protein after muscle-tasking exercises. This will fix the tears your muscles suffer from workout sessions like heavy weight lifting. Then, a little addition of fat to your diet is necessary. Try to eat healthy fats in minute amounts. Although fats may affect the digestion of food eaten after workouts, responsible consumption of healthy fats will do you good.
So, how do you combine these foods? You need to balance carbs, protein, and fats. After most of your workout sessions, consume a 3:1 ratio of carbs and protein. Healthy fats come into the mix as complementary parts of your diet. So, let’s highlight 18 foods you can eat immediately after your workout sessions.
17 Healthy Post-Workout Foods
These are a great source of protein for your body. For some reason, eggs have suffered a bad reputation on issues of body nutrition and the state of your heart because of high cholesterol levels. Many people are also choosy about the part of the egg they eat — while some prefer the egg yolk, others eat only the white texture of the egg. However, it is a healthy habit to consume eggs whole. Besides the great protein content, they contain numerous amino acids, water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins and minerals. You will be making a wise decision to include whole eggs in your post-workout meals. Boiled or scrambled eggs made from two eggs after physical exercises provide the amino acids to nourish your muscles and the vitamins to protect your body from infections while recovering.
Rice is a basic carbohydrate food that you can stock up on after workout sessions. Try to add rice in the mix of your post-workout diet to replenish the energy you lost recently. If you can, choose red or brown rice and consume them within the first two hours after each workout session. Yes, it is a general opinion that rice and other starchy carbs do you more harm than good if you are trying to get a well-trimmed body. This is true if you eat carbs such as rice without restraint. You can replace lost energy and glycogen by eating a serving of cooked rice just after your exhaustive exercises.
Dark Leafy Greens
There are many vegetables and edible leafy plants that are of great benefit to your body. Bursting with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, greens such as broccoli, collard greens, spinach, arugula, mustard greens, lettuce, kale, and radish greens are irreplaceable in your post-workout diet. These dark leafy greens strengthen and rebuild your muscles with phytonutrients, dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, and E. You also get an immune booster from these vegetables; endeavor to eat them at all times.
Yogurt does so much good because of its protein content. Greek yogurt specifically has more protein than regular yogurts. You can consume Greek yogurt as a snack to alleviate hunger and enhance your satiety levels. Within an hour after working out, eat Greek yogurt alone or with some fruits.
Oats contain antioxidants, phytonutrients, and vitamin E. They have just the amount of dietary fiber your body will need after physical exercise. These are some of the reasons a serving of cooked oatmeal after workout sessions is a great choice too. Over time, oats can help you to shed that extra body weight and reduce harmful levels of cholesterol.
Avocados are another healthy addition to your post-workout diet. They contain adequate amounts of healthy fats and high calories. Eating avocados often can help you prevent cardiovascular diseases and circulatory complications, which means that it eases your heart, veins, and arteries. Eating avocados after workouts will nourish you with most of the essential vitamins and dietary fiber your body needs to develop and repair itself.
How can you talk about wonderful foods for your body without mentioning the plumy, juicy and citric wonders represented in fruits? Just like vegetables, fruits are more like bombs of vital nutrients, and you will need them more after that demanding exercise. Some of the fruits you can rely on for your post-workout diet include passion fruit, orange, apple, watermelon, pear, banana, peach, grape, pineapple, plums, and many others. It is ideal to eat about four types of fruits daily — you may mix them with veggies or blend them into juices and smoothies. Fruits rejuvenate your body in ways most foods can’t. With the right combination of fruits, you will benefit from the goodness of every essential vitamin and mineral.
Sweet potatoes are low in calories and are a rich source of carbohydrates. Consuming boiled sweet potatoes after your workouts will lead to an almost instantaneous replenishment of the energy you just expended by refilling your body’s storage of glycogen. Your stomach is also kept full for a longer period. To get the best out of your meal, don’t bake or fry your potatoes — boiled or cooked potatoes are the best for your diet.
You may also add quinoa to your post-workout diet; it is a blend of various nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. This food can provide the energy you’ve lost, rebuild worn-out muscles, improve body metabolism and manage your body weight all at once. You can enjoy your quinoa with some vegetables and poultry immediately after your workout.
This dairy food is crammed with protein just like chicken and Greek yogurt. Cottage cheese also has some vitamins and calcium which will strengthen your bones and muscles. You can enjoy cottage cheese after your workouts; add it to your sandwiches, salads, and pizzas. It deals well with your energy levels and helps you recover from exhaustion or fatigue.
This is an essential meat source of protein and energy. Snacking on about three ounces of chicken breast can add 30 grams of protein to your body. However, it takes quite a while for protein to digest, so it would be best if you consume your chicken with veggies and fruits.
The protein powder is more like a supplement to support your body with essential amino acids and protein. It is a ready-to-use powder that you can mix in with food, fruits, nuts, and vegetables as soon as you are done with your exercise.
Nuts and Seed Butter
Small edible nuts are great sources of healthy fats, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein. They can serve as health boosters and support your muscles like other bodybuilding foods. Some peanuts, pistachios, and almonds are great additions to your post-workout diet. Nuts and seed butter are great with smoothies, cereal, or oatmeal to boost your energy level and soothe your muscles.
After eggs, you should be looking to fish when looking for a significant protein contribution to your body. Tuna is one type of fish that is super rich in protein. It also promotes muscle building and protects hemoglobin from oxidation. Use tuna to garnish your meals or vegetables after each workout session.
Vegans rely a lot on Tofu as a source of protein. Consume tofu in sandwiches, salads, and wraps. You may also combine tofu and quinoa in a bowl. However, if you are allergic to soy, avoid eating tofu.
Mushrooms make a fantastic meal after your workout sessions. They contain proteins and are low in calories. A cup of mushrooms will give you about 2.3 grams of protein. So, after exercising, you can quickly have some soup garnished with mushrooms or vegetables.
This is another helpful inclusion into your post-workout diet. Ghee, also known as clarified butter, is a kind of healthy fat with antioxidants that can cleanse your body of toxins. Just add ghee to your beverages to drink just after your workouts.
Now that you Know…
These are the foods to make up your workout diet which can do your body good. In addition to eating these foods in the right proportion, make sure you drink enough water to stay hydrated after every exercise.