5 Healthy foods to eat after workout
When your done training, you usually feel hungry. But what can you eat to feed your muscles and avoid causing a negative impact on your fitness?
“The only concept I’m trying to get athletes to understand is that the benefits of exercise only come after a workout and your body recovers and tries to get stronger or faster,” says John M. Martinez, MD, a sports medicine doctor. who has worked with the US Triathlon Team.
Martinez recommends that people — especially those who train at a high level — eat a high-protein, high-carbohydrate diet within an hour of stopping their workout.
Ideally, these carbohydrates and proteins should come from whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and lean meats, but protein supplements or shakes can work as a last resort. Proteins are important because they help repair and build muscle. Carbohydrates on the other hand will stabilize the sugar levels in your blood..
Here is a list of our top 5 after-workout meals
Poultry and Fish
Fish and chicken provide lean protein that should be the cornerstone of any meal or post-workout snack.
Lean protein — which includes boneless and skinless fish, nuts, and poultry — allows you to reap all the health and muscle-building benefits of protein with fewer calories and less saturated fat than protein like beef or pork.
Dark Leafy Green Veggies
There are plenty of dark green vegetables that will keep your calcium and iron intake in check after a workout. Some of them are kale, spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens, arugula etc. Calcium will help with muscle repair, while iron in your blood will fine tune metabolism and energy consumption.
If you have to eat whole grain, Quinoa is probably your best option. It is a gluten-free grain that contains carbohydrates and proteins. For example, quinoa can be a good substitute for rice and you can easily replace it in a burrito for example.
One avocado can contain over 13 grams of monounsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat and 3 grams of saturated fat. This is a great choice for everyone on a low-carb or ketogenic diet. However avocados are low on protein so you can mix it up with something that will balance your meal.
When everything else fails, or you just don’t have time to prepare your meals, protein supplements are perfectly valid alternative. Just make sure you actually use a reputable brand and avoid powders filled with sugar.
Some useful stuff to know
A study conducted in 2013 suggests that you should wait no more than 4 hours after a workout to take your food or you might miss the window and not replenish the energy necessary to exercise and repair your muscles.
However, you should wait for your hearth-rate to come down at least. Take a shower, spend 10-20 minutes relaxing, drink a glass of water then go ahead and eat.