Best After Workout Foods

by May 15, 2013

Exercise is incredibly important when it comes to your well being, and it doesn’t just stop there. In order to get the most out of your workout routine, it is crucial that you replenish your body with the right foods post workout.

Timing is Everything!

It is very important to replenish your body as quickly as possible after a workout. Eating the right foods within at least 30 minuets is ideal. These foods are often referred to as “Recovery foods” with good reason. You must refuel your body with foods that contain the right vitamins and nutrients post workout.

Ideal Foods to Consume

Proteins and Simple Carbohydrates are largely beneficial as after workout foods.

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Proteins help to restore enzymes that allow your body to adapt to high impact activities, such as running and biking. Protein also helps to repair muscles after a hard workout by introducing a fresh infusion of amino acids. Amino acids are vital for your muscles to recuperate.

After a workout, your body is greatly deprived of glucose and glycogen. Glucose is the stored energy in your body while glycogen is the usable energy. Consuming carbohydrates raises your insulin levels which will help drive the nutrients into the muscle cells, helping to replenish your energy and repair your muscles. Simple carbohydrates are fast acting, easy to digest and important to energy restoration.

Tip: After workouts you can let loose a bit and consume higher sugar content foods such as beats or pineapple. These foods will spike your insulin levels back up and give you a burst of energy.  Bromelain in pineapple is also known to reduce muscle soreness and fatigue

Great Sources of Protein

Lean Protein Sources For After WorkoutFish – Many different types of fish contain the same or close to the same amounts of proteins as meats. Fish can also be rich in Iron and Vitamin B-12 which are both important for energy levels. Fish is also lower in saturated fats than most meats, making it a healthier choice than a steak.

Eggs – Eggs are low in calories and incredibly high in protein. Eggs are a fantastic choice when it comes to protein consumption.

Lean Meats – Choosing the leanest cuts of meat is crucial when choosing your protein sources. Red meats can be ok, but it is incredibly important that you choose the leanest cut possible.

Nuts and Legumes – Nuts are high in protein and a source of “good” fats like poly and monounsaturated fats. Nuts are also considered a slow burning food, which means they allow you to feel fuller longer.

Whey Protein – For the best results, t is recommended to drink a whey protein shake as this is implied to be the fastest way to absorb proteins. Whey Protein is made up from proteins that are derived from whey, which is a by product used in the production of cheese.

Poultry – Chicken and turkey are fantastic sources of protein, Vitamin B and Zinc. Poultry is also low in saturated fats.

Great Sources of Simple Carbohydrates

Simple Carbohydrates Potatoes, Pastas and White Rice – Sweet Potatoes are a fantastic choice post workout and offer more than just fast acting carbs. In fact, sweet potatoes also contain Vitamins A, B and C. White potatoes are also a great choice; they contain vitamins B and C, as well as a large amount of fast burning carbohydrates. Pastas are also a fantastic choice when it comes to selecting a post workout carbohydrate. Pasta is easy and quick to prepare, as well as packed with fast acting carbohydrates. White Rice is easily digested and a great source of carbohydrates.

Fruits – Not only do fruits offer ample amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but some are also considered great and ample sources of carbohydrates necessary post workout. Fruits like bananas, grapes, blueberries, pears, raisins and watermelon contain carbohydrates, and can be quite satisfying post workout if consumed in the right amount. Fruits can also be great to help quench your thirst.

It is very important to consume both proteins and simple carbohydrates after your workout. Ensuring you eat as soon as possibly after your exercise routine is in your best interests and will help with muscle and energy restoration. Keep in mind the importance of consuming these post workout staples, and you will be well on your way to a healthier you in no time.

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