Eating After Exercise: Our Favourite Post-Workout Foods
You’re probably already aware that eating the right food before you workout is hugely important, and perhaps you often spend time preparing your pre-workout meals. However, making sure that you’re eating right before you exercise, is just as important as what you put into your body afterwards!
There’s no point putting all that effort into your workout routine if you don’t fuel your body with the right nutrients when you’re done. So, with this in mind we wanted to go through our favourite post-workout foods, to help you achieve your health and fitness goals.
First, why is it important to eat after exercise?
Everytime you workout, your muscles burn up the glycogen in your body and use it as fuel for energy. Some of the proteins in the body also get broken down and depleted during a workout, meaning you need to help your body repair and rebuild.
This is why it’s recommended that you consume a the right amount of protein and carbs as soon as possible after any workout. Preferably within 45 minutes of exercising, as this will give your body the best chance of recovering fully.
By consistently consuming the right nutrients after exercise, you’ll not only enhance recovery, and promote faster nutrient absorption, you’ll actually help your body to maximize the benefits of your workout.
What foods should I focus on?
Protein is pivotal
Protein always needs to be a fundamental part of your diet when working out. It gives your body the amino acids needed to repair and rebuild muscle, and supplies you with the building blocks necessary to build new muscle tissue.
There’s plenty of food options out there we recommend, all of which are packed with protein; such as salmon, chicken, cottage cheese and greek yogurt. It’s a good idea to consume between 10 to 30 grams of protein after working out, but this needs to be relevant to your height, weight, and training goals.
Carbs are crucial
When working out more for endurance purposes, such as running or swimming, you will need to focus on consuming the right carbs. But even when you’ve finished your exercises, taking in some carbs can help with glycogen resynthesis.
It’s essential that you consume both carbs and protein after exercise, but carbs in particular can help your body rebuild it’s glycogen stores, which are very important if you happen to workout more than twice a day. Plenty of foods can give you the carbs you need for recovery, including; quinoa, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, potatoes, rice, pasta, fruits, vegetables and of course chocolate milk!
Fat can be fine
It’s a common misconception that eating fat after exercise can end up slowing down your body’s digestion, and disrupt the absorption of nutrients. Although it is true that eating fat can slow down the absorption of nutrients, it would never reduce the benefit of consuming these nutrients after a workout.
For example, eating a high-fat meal after a workout, would never slow down your muscle glycogen synthesis. Plus, studies have shown that whole fat milk can actually be more effective than skimmed milk, when it comes to promoting muscle growth.
So, you know why it’s important to nourish your body after a workout, and you know what to focus on; so let’s have a look at our favourite foods.
Of course chicken is a perfect choice for those wanted to pump their body with plenty of protein before or after a workout. It’s a great source of lean, low fat protein, which contributes to muscle growth, development and recovery. Check out our Tandoori Chicken dish, which is included with our Maintenance Meal Plan.
Salmon is also exceptional in terms of nutrients, being loaded with omega-3s, which are ideal for post-workout muscle recovery. Check out our Tikka Tandoori Salmon dish with basmati rice, as part of our Muscle Gain Meal Plan.
Red meat can be great post-workout, because good quality, lean red meat not only contains plenty of protein for long-lasting energy, it’s also a rich in iron. More specifically it contains haem iron, which is more easily absorbed than the non-haem iron found in plant sources. Check out our Chinese Rump Steak dish, which comes with our Weight Loss Meal Plan.
There’s plenty more great food choices where these came from, so if you’re struggling to find great post-workout dishes then have a look at our menu today.
Or contact us to find out more.