What is the Best Post Workout Meal?
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Establishing a regular workout routine is definitely a great way to keep your body healthy and in a good shape. The final outcome and results will certainly depend on your level of commitment to exercise in a proper way, but don’t underestimate the importance of both your pre workout and post workout eating habits. Before you start working out, you need to make sure that your body gets enough energy to keep you going during the entire exercise session without experiencing difficulties or injuries, while once you finish your practice you’ll need a quality post workout meal that will manage to replace the lost nutrients, replenish your stores and build muscle tissue without overloading your body with empty calories that can make you gain back that fat tissue you wanted to get rid of in the first place. So what are the best foods you should get yourself right now for a splendid post workout meal? Read on to learn everything about them!
What Is a Post Workout Meal?
This seems like an easy question, right? It certainly is the meal that you have after a workout and it should enhance the beneficial effects of exercising, but it doesn’t have to be eaten immediately after the practice session. It is believed that your body experiences a spike in HGH (human growth hormone) levels after working out, which helps it burn the excess fat. This process goes on up until you start eating again: once your body gets a new supply of calories, HGH level will quickly decrease and stop the fat burning process. This means that if your goal is to lose some extra weight, the best thing would be to wait for a couple of hours before having your first post workout meal. If on the other hand you want to gain some muscle tissue, then the situation is practically reversed – you’ll need a good protein supply if possible within the first hour following your working out. However, even if you don’t manage to incorporate the right combination of proteins and carbohydrates into your very first post workout meal, you don’t need to worry too much – some researches suggest that even if you ingest proteins up to 24 hours after the exercise, they will still trigger the anabolic reaction you need in order to build the muscles of your dreams.
What to eat After a Workout
As the post workout phase is pretty much about building or rebuilding muscles and providing the substitute for the consumed nutrients, you’ll need a good supply of proteins and carbohydrates to achieve these results. As carbs and proteins do wonders when it comes to helping your muscles get back in shape, reducing muscle soreness and speeding up the recovery from strenuous physical efforts, let’s see what are the best choices for your first post workout meal.
1. Eggs and sweet potatoes
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Eggs are said to be the complete source of proteins and other important nutrients – some dietitians consider them gold standard when it comes to satisfying your nutritional needs. At what happens to be only 70 calories a piece, eggs provide you with all 9 essential amino acids, as well as branch-chained amino acids responsible for repairing muscle damage in our bodies. The egg yolk contains vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids as well, which is why it is very important to eat the whole egg – if you don’t overdo with daily egg consumption, egg yolks won’t interfere with your cholesterol levels as much as it was once believed.
If you combine them with delicious sweet potatoes, you’ll prepare an excellent post workout meal. Sweet potatoes will restore your muscle glycogen supply that was broken down during the intense workout, provide you with more than adequate supply of vitamin A and make sure that you get a healthy dose of fiber that will keep you full and prevent hunger attacks. Adding some quinoa to the mix will not only boost the desired amino acid intake, but it will also make sure that you don’t get short on minerals such as zinc, magnesium, potassium and calcium.
2. Whey protein shake on its own or in combination with cherry juice or avocado
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If you are looking for a fast solution that doesn’t involve too much cooking, frying or baking, whey might be the right kind of fix you were looking for. Mix some whey protein powder and dextrose and bring it to the gym in a shaker bottle. When you finish your practice, pour the mix into a bottle of water and shake well before indulging in this healthy drink on your way back home. Whey not only restores energy in quick and efficient way: it also contains as much protein as a whole chicken breast, as well as precious lactoferrin which is a great immune system booster.
Whey is wonderful on its own and there is no question about it, but there is more – it can be easily mixed with other shakes or delicious juices for even better effect. If combined with cherry juice, your post workout liquid meal will be packed with antioxidants, flavonoids and anthocyanins and you’ll be much less likely to experience muscle soreness due to its anti-inflammatory and pain-reliving properties.
While it is definitely recommended to stick to carbs and proteins when it comes to what can be called the best post workout meal, don’t be afraid to incorporate some healthy fats into your diet as well. Monounsaturated fats found in avocado are both extremely beneficial for keeping your muscles and joints in good shape after all the hard work they were exposed to, and absolutely essential for absorbing vitamins A and E. Avocado is also rich in vitamin B, important for metabolizing all those proteins and carbs you’re about to ingest.
3. Chocolate milk
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This is a great option for a post workout recovery – if you mix some chocolate or cocoa powder with milk, you’ll prepare yourself a well balanced combination of fluid, milk proteins and carbohydrates. You’ll both rehydrate your body and renew those depleted glycogen stores in what seems no time, which was exactly what we had on mind in the first place. With added bonus in the form of calcium and healthy fats, it’s the choice you can’t go wrong with.
How Much Protein and Carbs do You Need for a Good Post Workout Meal
For both liquid and solid meals the general recommendation would be to take 0.25 grams of protein per pound of your desired body weight, as well as somewhere around 0.25 – 0.5 grams of carbs again per pound of your target body weight. You want to restore the lost energy, repair tissues and recover fast, but you surely don’t want to go overboard with excessive amounts of calories your body doesn’t need. Eat wisely but moderately, and you’ll be satisfied with the results.
What is your favorite post workout meal? If you have any good suggestions what to eat after workout, we would love to hear them!