Contrary to popular belief, your fitness routine doesn’t end when you’re done with your workout. Neither does it end after that cool shower. It only ends when your body receives the nutrients it needs after the intensity you just put it through, and really, this is the most crucial aspect of them all.
And you’ll have to do better than simply scarfing down a Snickers bar. What you put back into your body affects everything from the way you progress in your fitness journey, to how likely you’ll be back at the gym again the following day without feeling like death.
The main goal here is to repair muscle tissue and replenish glycogen stores — which get depleted after a workout — carbohydrates and protein are your BFFs when it comes to post-workout snacks. Making the intelligent choices can also help rev your metabolism, which will put you on a fast track to those abs of your dreams.
Here, we bring you 5 choices that would make great post-workout snacks. From the humble egg to the lesser-known kefir, these will ramp up your results and have you back at the gym the next day feeling as good as new. Just remember, for best results, aim to eat these within an hour of finishing your workout — that’s when your muscles are most hungry for the nutrients.
At only 70 calories each, eggs contain 7.3 grams of protein and are highly recommended if binge-eating is your thing after a workout. Highly satiating, eggs will keep you from overeating for the rest of the day — people who ate eggs for breakfast consumed 22 percent fewer calories at lunch. So go ahead and have a couple after your morning routine.
Packed full of some mean omega-3s, salmon is one of the many fish that should be on your post-workout meal plate. Besides a protein boost, the potent fatty acids within not only help lessen muscle inflammation that causes soreness, but also increases metabolism when consumed regularly. We won’t say no to that.
Carbs and protein are the two most important components your body could use after a workout. Made from puréed chickpeas, hummus is a tasty treat that provides both. Have yours with carrots and celery sticks for a low-calorie snack, or with whole wheat pita for a fulfilling snack that will keep you fuelled for hours after.
A fermented dairy product that is the result of milk and probiotics, kefir differs from yogurt in the type of bacteria and yeast used to make it. Each cup contains 11 to 14 grams of complete protein, including the essential amino acids that your body can’t produce on its own. Whey and casein are the two main types of protein from kefir, so you’ll enjoy benefits such as building lean muscle mass and accelerated weight loss simultaneously. Casein also digests slower than other proteins, helping your muscle synthesise even hours after your workout.
Even if weight loss is your ultimate goal, you shouldn’t be afraid of the f-word. An ideal post-workout meal that continues to torch that muffin-top should include good fat, which is essential for healing muscles and joints. In addition to healthy fat, the vitamin B in avocado help metabolise the healthy carbs and proteins you’ve been storing, so go forth and enjoy that guacamole, we say.