Post workout nutrition is one of the most important parts of a successful workout routine.
What you choose to put in your body after a grueling workout is just as important as what you put it before you workout.
The foods you eat can literally make or break your results.
Whenever you workout the muscle protein structures and glycogen in your body gets broken down.
On top of that you also tend to sweat a lot.
Therefore, the key to an effective post workout meal is to ensure it replenishes your body by providing it with the nutrition it needs to properly recover.
You should avoid any foods that are high in fat and have empty calories.
This would include things such as chips, cookies, soda, and even Gatorade bars.
They may taste delicious but they will also set you back a few days.
To help you get started here are 5 post workout foods that will help you replenish, re-hydrate, and properly recover after a tough workout.
Grilled Chicken and Veggies
When it comes to post workout foods grilled chicken and veggies are without a doubt one of the more common meals.
Especially for those who consider themselves serious bodybuilders.
After you finish a workout your body immediately goes into recovery mode. It is during that time that you need to feed it a good source of protein and carbohydrates.
Grilled chicken and veggies is the perfect combination of post workout foods.
The grilled chicken is a low fat source of lean protein that will immediately go to work repairing your muscles.
The veggies on the other hand are a complex carbohydrate that will help replenish the glycogen lost during your workout.
Fruit Smoothie With Protein Base
Fruit smoothies are great because they provide you with a quick and easy way to hydrate your body after a workout.
A big advantage to having a fruit smoothie post workout is the fact they digest and absorb quickly.
For best results your smoothie should have a protein base.
Blend your favorite frozen fruit with whey protein, Greek yogurt, and almond milk.
If you need to kick up the flavor a notch you can also add in a pinch of natural sweetener.
Please note when we talk about fruit smoothies we are not talking about the ones you can buy at your local smoothie store.
Generally speaking those types of smoothies are loaded with added sugars and other unhealthy ingredients.
It is best to make your own smoothie at home so you know exactly what’s being put in it.
Tofu Veggie Scramble
This one is for all the vegans out there.
Just because you are a vegan doesn’t mean you can’t get a healthy protein and carbohydrate meal after a tough workout.
The great thing about tofu is how versatile it is.
You can pretty much throw in any veggie you want with your scramble and it will taste great.
We prefer a little spinach, red peppers, mushrooms, and green onions.
You can however be as creative as you want with your ingredients.
This is the perfect meal after a long gym session.
For even more flavor you can add in a dash of garlic.
Dried Fruits and Nuts
There will always be days when you don’t have time, or simply don’t feel like, cooking a meal after you finish working out.
On those days you should grab for some dried fruits and nuts.
These two post workout foods are convenient and full of nutrients.
Just throw them in a sandwich bag and go.
Chocolate milk just may be our favorite post workout food of all time.
Its convenient, delicious, and contains everything you need to promote recovery after a workout.
It has carbs and protein to promote muscle recovery, water to replace fluids, and electrolytes such as potassium and calcium.
The great thing about chocolate milk is you can literally make your own.
These days there are plenty of whey protein powders that have the chocolate milk flavor.
All you have to do is mix one scoop with milk and you will have a delicious glass of chocolate milk you can enjoy at anytime.
You can even take your chocolate milk to the gym and sip on it throughout your workout.
When To Eat Your Post Workout Meal
Post workout foods are a little different than post workout drinks.
For example, a chocolate protein shake can be consumed during your workout or immediately after.
Drinking it during your workout will help you stay hydrated throughout the entire workout.
As far as foods go, for example a bowl of chicken and veggies, experts recommend you consume this type of meal within a 30 minute window.
If you plan on eating a full sit down meal, have it within 2 hours of your workout as doing so will ensure fast recovery.