Many people who are conscious about their weight believe that eating after working out is a fat loss sin. The amount and nutritional value you should eat will depend on what you ate before and how intense the training was. Those who exercise for over an hour, performing weights or HIIT should think about fuelling up after a workout. The amount of time between your workout and a meal doesn’t matter. I do not believe in eating for the sake of it or because the muscle you just trained will disintegrate if you don’t eat. You should genuinely feel hungry and want to fuel yourself. This would differ completely if your workout were conducted while fasting. More than likely, you will probably be starting and need to eat straight away. Listen to your body and let it guide you towards the hunger signals. Generally, I suspect you will be hungry within an hour or two, and that’s fine. Please wait until the time it takes your body to feel hungry. Let’s look into some great fuel sources post-workout that will help you replenish lost glycogen. Remember that your serving size will depend on your body type and goals.
The best five nutrient value post-workout meals.
Any protein. Protein is the ultimate post-workout food. It can be in either animal or plant-based sources. I would recommend going for light and low caloric protein sources. Think about choosing sources like Chicken, fish and even tofu. Add to your meal some vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and any green veggie you can find. It’s a complete meal that will replenish your body and keep you lean. If you require a source of carbs, use sweet potato for this one.
Oatmeal. I do love a good bowl of warm oats when it’s wintertime. I even love a cold jar of overnight oats during the summertime. Oats are nutritious a great source of essential vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. If you are undertaking extremely intensive exercise, you will probably be better off with faster-acting carbs like rice cakes and sports drinks. The average person can get away with oatmeal. Add your favourite berries, or perhaps some banana for flavour and added nutrient value. I would recommend you put your favourite protein powder in oats and soak them overnight to allow for easier digestion. Go one step further for those who suffer from gut challenges, blend your oats into a meal-like consistency. They will be a lot easier to digest.
Protein smoothies. These are great if you are heading straight to work after your training session or have a large gap from when you finished training to when you get home. I always used to pack my protein powder in a shaker container and then added cold water to save me from extreme hunger on my way home. My trip was usually about 45 minutes, and during that time, I would get hungry. This shake took the edge off my hunger and stopped me from overeating when I got home for a sit-down meal. I also like to take protein shakes with me if I’m travelling long distances, and I know there will be plenty of junk food options – which are all a definite NO for me. There is no harm in taking a protein shake container and a spare sachet of protein powder. It will come in handy one day.
Scrambled eggs. This is my ultimate favourite breakfast or post-workout meal. You can scramble your eggs beforehand and eat them cold. Eggs are low calorie, filled with a multitude of vitamins and minerals. If you want to get creative, why not create an egg muffin or frittata. Check out this recipe pack with tones of meal ideas using only five ingredients per recipe.
- Frozen Smoothies. This one has been quite a new occurrence for me, but one that I love and will continue to create every day. What you do is add berries, spinach, ginger, spinach, celery, frozen bananas. Then we have all the different powder mixes from pro-biotics, protein powder and some flaxseeds. Mix it all up, adding water, and you have a smoothie bowl. This is filled with so many beautiful phytonutrients and is so easy to digest. I have my smoothies every day, helping me to feel lighter, allow for a simple digestive system, and it’s the perfect way to break your fast. I follow up my smoothie with an oat muffin after an hour or so. It’s the best post-workout smoothie I could ever ask for.
I do hope this has been helpful to you. Post-workout nutrition doesn’t need to be complex or complicated. Sometimes using what you have in your cupboard or fridge is all that you need. Stock up on a good protein powder blend, and anything is possible. Here is my favourite
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