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WHAT TO EAT AFTER YOUR WORKOUT

MAGGIE O'MEARA

 

So you’re exercising. You’re getting yourself motivated to go hit the gym, take that workout class, or do some outdoor recreation. You know it’s good for your body, great for your mental health, improves your muscle tone, controls your weight, and has long-lasting benefits to your health. And when you finish that workout, you’re endorphins are rising and you probably feel on top of the world. That’s great! But what if all that hard work you just put in goes to waste due to improper nutrition? Post-workout replenishment through food is just as important as the workout itself.

The general recommendation for exercise is to get at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular activity per week. This can be anything that gets your heart rate up, such as jogging, dancing, hiking, or biking. It is also recommended to get at least 2 days of some sort of strength-training such as lifting weights, using resistance bands, rock climbing, or body weight exercises. However you prefer to exercise, it is important to think about properly nourishing yourself afterwards. Eating a healthful post-workout meal or snack will reduce fatigue, repair muscles that have been broken down, and build strength for future workouts. Usually people think that protein is the most important component of a post-workout meal. However, you need carbohydrates along with protein in order replenish energy levels while also increasing immunity. Achieve your exercise goals more effectively by eating the right food.

 

Below are 3 balanced meals to fuel up with after a workout:

1) Yogurt Berry Crunch Parfait

Whatever (low-sugar) yogurt that you prefer is a great post-workout due to dairy protein being able to stimulate protein synthesis in the muscles1, which aids in recovery after exercise. Top your yogurt with fresh, organic berries for some antioxidants. Also throw on some low-sugar granola, nuts, and chia seeds for some crunch along with omega-3 fatty acids. This is a quick, easy, and tasty meal that you can take on the go!

2) Avocado Toast with Fried Eggs

Choose a hearty piece of bread to toast for some fiber and carbohydrates that’ll give you back your energy after exercising. Spread some avocado on it for some healthy fat that’ll also allow for better absorption of nutrients. The secret ingredient for this meal is the whole, poached eggs. A recent study suggests that nutrients in the yolk of eggs help stimulate muscles more effectively.2 So stop just eating those bland egg whites and start eating the whole egg after your workout!

3) Hummus Plate

This is a great vegan option to have more as a snack for in-between meals when it is not quite mealtime after your workout. Hummus is an Arabic word meaning “chickpea”. It is a common Levantine Arab dip as well as a delicious protein option that you can buy in stores, or even make from scratch. Below is a simple hummus recipe that you can make at home. Eat hummus with whole-grain crackers, carrots, and other vegetables to get a good source of carbohydrates as well as nutrients.

Garlic Parsley Hummus Recipe Adapted from Gimme Some Oven (https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/classic-hummus/)

Puree all ingredients a food processor or high-powered blender:

- 1 (15 oz) can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained.

- 1/3 cup tahini 4 tablespoons olive oil 4 medium cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

- Juice of 1 lemon 2-3 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley Sprinkle of cumin Sprinkle of salt Water as needed for blending

 

EXPLORE OPTIMIST

 

References
  1. Mitchell, C. J., Zeng, N., D’Souza, R. F., Mitchell, S. M., Aasen, K., Fanning, A. C., . . . Cameron-Smith, D. (2017). Minimal dose of milk protein concentrate to enhance the anabolic signalling response to a single bout of resistance exercise; a randomised controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14(1). doi:10.1186/s12970-017-0175-x
  2. Vliet, S. V., Shy, E. L., Sawan, S. A., Beals, J. W., West, D. W., Skinner, S. K., . . . Burd, N. A. (2017). Consumption of whole eggs promotes greater stimulation of postexercise muscle protein synthesis than consumption of isonitrogenous amounts of egg whites in young men. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 106(6), 1401-1412. doi:10.3945/ajcn.117.159855

 

 

 

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