One of the most common questions we're asked is what to eat after a workout. The key to refueling after a workout is a balance of protein and complex carbohydrates. Protein helps your muscles recover from wear-and-tear and carbohydrates replenish your energy stores. We recommend having a snack or light meal depending on the time of day, 30-60 minutes after exercising. During this window muscles are most efficient at building protein. Instead of buying protein powders, which are highly processed and isolate just one nutrient, we suggest you get your protein from natural sources that provide multiple benefits to your body. Great protein sources include lean meat, Greek yogurt, nuts, eggs, or other low fat diary. Nuts and dairy are post workout all stars because they provide both protein and carbohydrates. Your carbs should contain fiber to slow digestion. In other words, avoid anything white (white bread, pastas, etc). Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are where its at in the carb department.
Another Tovita tip: ditch the high electrolyte sports drinks. Unless you are performing a high intensity workout for over an hour, there is no reason for sugary sports drinks, so stick to water for hydration. To give you some context, one bottle of Gatorade has 56 grams of sugar! If that number doesn't mean much to you, a can of Coke has 44 grams. Scary, huh? To replace electrolytes, bananas are a great source of potassium and magnesium, which aid in muscle function and help to prevent cramping and soreness.
- Banana with 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
- A protein packed smoothie with ½ cup almond milk (chocolate almond milk is also great for this recipe!), ½ cup Greek yogurt, ½ frozen banana, 1 tsp peanut butter
- Greek yogurt with 1 tbsp almonds or 1/2 cup berries
- Turkey and cheese roll ups (4 slices of turkey, 2 slices part skim cheese)
- Salad with grilled chicken or fish
- ½ cup low fat cottage cheese with ½ cup berries and 1 tbsp hemp seeds
- Can of light tuna mixed with 2 tbsp hummus and 1 serving of whole grain crackers
- Whole grain toast with 1 tbsp natural almond butter and a dash of cinnamon for added antioxidants
- 1 egg, 2 egg white Veggie omelet
- Grilled chicken and 1/2 sweet potato (with the skin for fiber!)
- Brown rice sushi (keep it simple, avoid the "spicy" and "crunchy" options)
These snack and meal ideas also work as pre-workout fuel, but try keep it on the lighter side and leave 30-60 minutes after eating to avoid any discomfort mid treadmill action.