So, you’ve spent the last two hours in the gym with your buddies. You’re looking good and feeling great, but you cannot wait to eat. You tell yourself that you’ll just stop at the burger joint up the road, but why would you want to do that? The food you eat after hitting the gym just may be the most important food you eat all day. After working out, there is a 45-minute window where your body is the most responsive to absorbing carbohydrates and protein. Here are 7 Foods You Should Consume Post Work Out:
1. Fruit Salad
Fruits are full of carbohydrates. In addition, they also contain enzymes to help your body break down nutrients, allowing them to be delivered to your muscles. Some fruits, such as pineapples, are known for their anti-inflammatory properties to help your muscles recover. Other fruits, like kiwi, helps the digestion process, and breaks down amino acids.
Yogurt is an excellent source of leucine, an amino acid. Yogurts are also a great source of protein and carbs. Don’t be afraid to jazz it up a little by adding in fruits, or mixing with your cereal.
Sometimes it’s not possible for you to get to a meal 30 minutes after a workout. Granola would be a great way to go. Oats, honey, and flax provide protein, carbs, and some healthy fat. Granola is also great mixed with yogurt!
Salmon is an excellent source of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fats. The anti-inflammatory omega-3’s found in salmon will help rebuild your muscles and increase performance.
5. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter has been the go to post-workout food for many over the years. Because of its fat content, you want to be sure that you use measured portions. One tablespoon of peanut butter contains about 100 calories and 7 grams of healthy unsaturated fat.
Protein is a main ingredient to any good post-workout meal. At 70 calories each, eggs contain 6.3 grams of protein and are one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D. Don’t feel pressured into eating raw eggs. Cooking eggs actually allows your body to absorb almost twice the amount of protein.
Bananas are high in the “good” kinds of carbs you need after a workout. These fast-acting carbs will help restore your body’s level of glycogen, which helps rebuild damaged muscles. They also provide you with fiber, some vitamins and minerals (including potassium), and other nutrients.