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Wondering what to eat after a workout session while aiming to lose weight and gain muscle mass, then you must know that it’s essential that you get right nutrition after each workout to restore your energy level and rebuild muscles.
We all are living busy lives where it’s already quite challenging to find time to go to a gym for workout let alone prepare a meal suitable for a training routine. But it’s essential to get the right nourishing food after a workout that helps restore your energy levels and reduces fatigue, and helps you build strength for future workouts.
Best Post-workout snacks for Women
To understand how proper food can help you after exercise, it’s crucial to know and understand your body and physique and how physical activity affects your body. As we exercise, our muscle tissues use up their glycogen stores for fuel and this result in muscle tissues being relatively depleted of glycogen. Some of the proteins in your muscle tissues also get damaged.
Our body tries to restore glycogen reserves right after our workout to help rebuild and regrow these muscle proteins. So eating the right food after workout is essential to stimulate muscle growth and enhance recovery.
Proteins, carbs, and healthy fats are all vital for your body’s post-workout recovery.
Proteins – help rebuild and repair
Provide amino acids required to rebuild and repair muscle proteins. Besides it provide building blocks to form new muscles.
Carbohydrates – help recover
Carbohydrates are macronutrients that recharge and restore the body’s fuel supply. If you work out more than seven times a week then you should consume a sufficient amount of carbs to replenish glycogen levels.
People often believe that consuming fat after exercising or a workout slows down the digestion process and the absorption of nutrients in the body. For some fats, this may be true but low fat intake after exercise is unlikely to inhibit the body’s recovery.
When to Eat After a Workout?
It’s recommended to consume a combination of carbs and protein as soon as possible after the workout because the timing of your post-workout meal matters a lot as the delay might reduce the level of glycogen synthesis.
For this reason, experts recommend having your post-workout meal within 45 minutes. But, you can prolong this period, depending on the timing of your pre-workout meal.
Now comes the yummy part. Here are a few post-workout snack and meal ideas to help refuel your bodies without losing a ton of resources and time.
What to eat after work out?
Banana with Almond or Peanut Butter
If you are into sweet and salty then this might work for you. Bananas are low in calories (depending on how ripe they are) but still provide a lot of potassium and enough carbs to restore your energy level. Whereas, the almond butter offers about 10 grams of protein to aid muscle recovery and this snack is also the best post-workout snack on the go.
Greek Yogurt and Berries
It’s a nutrient-dense post-workout snack that has the exact quantity of digestible protein to help restore and repair your muscles. Nonfat or low-fat yogurts provide nearly 15 grams of protein and you can add a few berries in it for few carbohydrates and sweet freshness.
Frozen Grapes and Mint Smoothie
Green grapes make a great post-workout snack as they are a good source of electrolytes that helps preserve fluid balance and muscle function. Take a handful of frozen grapes and put them in your blender, add a few leaves of mint, a cup of water, some ice and a tablespoon of honey for some extra sweetness. Blend well and drink it after a workout as a quick, refreshing treat.
Eggs and Toast
Eggs and toast usually come within the breakfast category but this combo is a great post-workout snack; a great combination of carbohydrate and protein.
While you may hesitate to choose bread but carbohydrates are the main source of energy providers for the body and as for the protein, eggs are a simple, wonderful and a complete protein source, that offers all the essential post-workout amino acids. So if you enjoy breakfast more than any other meal then here is your chance to load up on it even during odd hours.
Watermelon offers a quick, cool and effective way to rehydrate, replenish lost electrolytes and depleted glucose levels. Snacking on about four cups of melon is recommended as it provides nearly 50 grams of carbohydrates. You can also make a refreshing watermelon smoothie by adding a little lime and honey just make sure that the watermelon cubes are seedless.
Chocolate, Strawberry Protein shake
Protein shakes are a great way to get all kinds of proteins and they easily quench your thirst and appetite while taking less than 5 mins in prepping. If you are a person who loves protein shakes after a workout then this is a great combo. Just mix two scoops of protein and chocolate milk with strawberry slices and enjoy a fresh, fulfilling drink. It’s best after an intense workout that requires extra calories and protein milkshake can easily provide that.
Rice cake with Strawberry and Peanut butter
A strawberry is a highly nutritious fruit packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. so having one after a workout is ideal. Spread a half tablespoon of peanut butter two brown rice cakes topped each with sliced strawberries. It’s a perfect combination snack for post-workout to sooth your sweet craving and satisfies your sweets tooth.
Everyone has specific needs and preferences when it comes to taste and nutritional values and that the great thing about food that accommodates everyone’s needs. Choose a snack that soothes your taste buds but doesn’t exceed your daily calorie intake. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after exercise.
Enjoy your workout!
Results may vary. Information and statements made are for general purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Her Own Health does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Her Own Health are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.