Tradition tells us that breakfast is the most important meal we eat all day. But, for those of us who work out every day, it actually takes second fiddle to your post-workout meal. Yes, it’s true; what you eat after you exercise greatly impacts the actual results of the exercise. So, if you’ve been downing burgers and fries after every workout because you “earned” it, think again.
Here are the six best foods to eat after you work out and why they earn that distinction.
Eggs are practically a perfect food. They are jam-packed with protein and nutrients, just what you need to help your body recover after a strenuous workout. And, eggs are one of our most versatile foods. You can enjoy them scrambled, over easy on a slice of whole-grain toast, hard-boiled, poached, and more so you can incorporate them in your post-workout meal in a variety of different ways.
#2: Protein Shake
Protein shakes are one of the quickest and easiest ways to get protein into your body after a workout. And, your options are practically unlimited. Add in peanut butter from some extra protein and sweetness, throw in some fruit, or even some yogurt. There are even vegan protein powders available today, so everybody can enjoy the benefits a protein shake provides after working out. Here are some great tips on how to add protein shakes to your diet.
#3: Greek Yogurt
If you have limited time to eat after working out, just grab a Greek yogurt and toss it in your bag. But, make sure it’s Greek yogurt and not the sugar-filled regular variety. Greek yogurt not only has double the protein of regular yogurt, it also provides you with essential carbohydrates your body needs. Stir in some fresh berries and you’ll enjoy everything that Greek yogurt has to offer and the micronutrients provided by the berries, which aid in relieving muscle soreness.
#4: Fresh Fruit
Fruit is always a good treat to have after working out because it contains a wealth of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, healthy carbohydrates and enzymes that your body uses to break down nutrients so they can be delivered to the muscles that need them most. Any type of fruit is acceptable, but some offer more bang for the buck. For instance, eat pineapple after exercising and its anti-inflammatory properties will help your aching muscles recover faster.
#5: Sandwich Wraps
If you want something with more substance or something you can eat on your way back to work, go with a sandwich wrap. But, be smart about what you put in it. Use a wholegrain wrap so you can take advantage of the good carbohydrates it contains. Use fresh turkey or chicken and fill it up with veggies. Avoid using cheeses and calorie-laden dressings.
#6: Breakfast Cereal (Wholegrain)
Whole grains contain good carbs, a lot of fiber, and they’re an excellent source of protein. So, wholegrain breakfast cereal is an excellent thing to eat after working out. Make sure the cereal you choose is low in sugar and high in carbs, protein, and fiber. You can enjoy the cereal with ice-cold unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk or mixed in with your favorite Greek yogurt. Wholegrain cereal is so good for you, it shouldn’t be restricted to just breakfast!
Whether you’re trying to build muscle or shed a few pounds, exercise is important to your body’s overall health. And, what you eat after your workout makes all the difference. So, stop eating high calorie snacks after your workout and start implementing the above foods into your routine and just wait until you see and feel the difference proper eating makes.