You’ve been running to the gym for months now, every day lifting those weights, and sweating on the treadmill – but why are you still not getting good results?
Have you considered that maybe… just maybe… you’re not eating right?
Fitness experts, nutritionists and diet coaches know that an active lifestyle requires balanced nutrition. One shouldn’t eat with a goal to stay slim or to gain weight, it is important to consider nutrition.
Post-workout meals are unlike any other meal. The goal of this meal is more than just nutrition; it is recovery, refuel, and repair for your body. After exercising, you will lose a lot of energy, water and might even damage a few muscle tissues here and there. Post-workout meals work as a recovery meal that will help your body compensate for this loss.
Check out these post-workout foods that will help you get the best results for your gym performance.
1. Protein Packed Sandwiches
The ideal post-work out meal is a combination of carbohydrates and protein. Which is why the best option after a heavy workout is a protein-packed sandwich. Protein helps muscles grow, and is used to make essential body chemicals like hormones and enzymes. Protein rich foods also help replace lost energy during your workout session.
2. Fruit Yogurts
Say goodbye to your bloated tummy, try a yummy yogurt meal! Yogurt is the perfect low-calorie food rich in protein and carbohydrates. It contains amino acids that help build muscles and regain lost energy along with nutrients like zinc, potassium, and Vitamin B.
3. Egg Whites
Don’t forget the best source of protein in the market – eggs! Every bodybuilder knows the benefits of having an egg meal once a day. Egg whites help increase muscle mass and the best part – it contains zero fat! Make an omelet by combining leafy green with egg whites and enjoy the scrumptious meal.
Every time you sweat, you decrease potassium and sodium levels in your body. Low levels of potassium are the leading cause muscle spasms. This is the reason why athletes who frequently get leg cramps are recommended to take potassium supplements. Banana is a good source of potassium. Considered as nature’s energy bar, banana is a great post-workout snack.
The best thing about bananas is it can be served with almost anything. If you’re thirsty, you can whip up a banana smoothie added with sweetened milk and chocolate syrup. Yum!
One of my favorite post-workout foods is pineapple. Aside from vitamin C, pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain that helps digest protein. It is also used as a digestive aid to treat many kinds of muscle injuries and inflammation. Snack on grilled pineapple after a day of working out and have yourself feeling refreshed and energized.
6. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is the health-conscious’ source of protein and carbohydrates. It’s filled with saturated fat (good fats) that is nutrient-rich and good for the muscles. Cottage cheese is low in fat which makes it a great diet for people with high cholesterol and heart disease. Complete your post-workout meal with cottage cheese. You can spread it on your sandwich, add to your pizza or salsa!
Switch steak for salmon. Salmon contains nutrient rich fish oils which can cure joint pains and muscle stiffness. It is also high in omega 3 that is essentially good for your heart. It’s the perfect meal that will fit into you low-fat diet. What’s more, it tastes great when smoked or made into burger patties!
8. Energy Drinks
The number one rule for every training session is to stay hydrated! Don’t ever forget to fuel yourself. We need fluids to recover and replenish the proteins and electrolytes we lost during exercise. There are many kinds of energy drinks available in your local convenient stores that are naturally good for the muscles and have fast recovery benefits.
9. Fruit Shakes
Reduce your post-workout inflammation with a delicious glass of fresh fruit shake! It’s a cool and delicious way of nourishing your body with its much-needed nutrients. Fresh fruits are rich in Vitamin C, which helps improve digestion and neutralize cell damage.
10. Protein Powders
It may be the last thing you would want to eat, but protein powders are actually good for building muscles. Try some good whey protein powders and see your body transform into shape. Or better yet blend it and create a tasty protein shake.
Indulge yourself with some chocolate protein shake by simply mixing water and chocolate whey powder. Serve cold and enjoy after a heavy workout. Know what ingredients are best for your fruit smoothies.
What are your favorite healthy post-workout foods?
Author Bio: Armela Escalona is a content editor at scoopfed.com. She writes about health, lifestyle and the newest fitness trends. She enjoys cooking, reading and watching history documentaries during her spare time. Stay connected with her through her Twitter @ArmelaE.