While you’re working out, you are making muscles work really hard. You are stretching them to make sure you are reaching your fitness goals. Whether you’re up for strength and endurance training or cardio exercises,your body does use up all its energy during a workout. So, it’s important to nourish it with the right nutrition after a good workout.
Most people are concerned only about Pre-Workout meals. They’re constantly asking me if bananas or oats are enough to give them the required fuel to get through a workout session.But if you want optimum results for all the effort you put for fitness, you should also focus on what you eat post-workouts.
Why Is A Post Workout Meal Important?
To understand which foods are good for you after a workout, you need to first understand how exercising affects your body. During any kind of physical activity, your muscles use glycogen stores as a source of fuel for it. So, after a workout, the glycogen levels in the muscles drop. Proteins inside the muscles also get broken down.
After a workout, your body will try to rebuild itself by getting its glycogen levels up and re-building muscle proteins. It is your job after a workout to make sure you are helping your body get its job done faster by consuming the right kinds of food.
What Kind Of Foods Should You Consume After A Workout?
To help your body recover faster, you need to consume carbohydrates and proteins. Carbohydrates will help in replenish glycogen levels while proteins will provide amino acids that are needed for rebuilding muscle proteins and building new muscle tissues.
It is recommended that you consume proteins and carbohydrates within 45 minutes after a workout. For the best results, club proteins and carbohydrates together. A ratio of 3:1 carbohydrates versus proteins works the best to aid your body for quick recovery after a workout.
You can actually calculate the exact amount of protein and carbohydrate that your body needs with the help of a simple formula. Here it is:
Amount of protein needed = 0.25 grams / pound of your target body weight
Amount of carbs needed = 0.25-0.5 grams/pound of your target body weight
Check what your results are then go on to plan a post-workout meal for yourself. Here are some foods that make for great post-workout snacks and meals:
For Carbs: Sweet potatoes, quinoa, oatmeal, bananas, pineapple, kiwi
For Proteins: Eggs, paneer, Greek Yogurt, Chicken, Tuna
Combinations of the foods listed above can yield the best results. You can also use some good fats to the mix. Avocado and dry fruits are recommended. If you are struggling with post-workout meal recipes, here are some combinations that can you can try out for yourself:
- Omelet With Avocado Spread On Toast
- Oatmeal With Almonds, Whey Protein And Banana
- Hummus And Pita
- Cottage Cheese With Berries
- Greek Yogurt And Berries
- Quinoa With Avocado, Dried Fruits And Nuts
- Scrambled Eggs
- Soybean And Chickpea Salad
Foods to Avoid After a Workout:
You’ve sweated it out in the gym and are really hungry post a workout. On the way back home, you see dessert parlors and street vendors selling your favorite delicacies. It can be really tempting to just stop by and hog some pizzas, ice-creams or burgers. But DO NOT give in to the temptations.
If you consume fried, oily, and fatty food after exercising, it can be counter-productive for you. All the effort that you just put into exercising just goes wasted away if you load up on calories. Here is a list of foods that you should stay away from after a workout session:
- Spicy Food
- Fried Food
- Carbonated Drinks
- Sugary Juices
- Fast Food
- Raw Veggies
Still have a few questions regarding post-workout meals? Please mention them in the comments section. I’ll be happy to help you with them!