Proteins help in muscle growth, hence it must find a place in the post-workout meal. Having sufficient protein after a workout gives the body the amino acids required to repair and rebuild muscle proteins.
When we talk about exercising, we tend to focus on how much weights we carry and how long and how fast we run on the treadmill. But what happens once you have clocked the workout minutes and are gasping for breath? You have to down some fluids and a healthy meal, to actually make the workout count. Consult with a dietitian and she will tell you that what you eat after your workout is just as important as the workout itself.
WHAT MAKES THE POST-WORKOUT MEAL SO IMPORTANT?
- It helps restore energy lost during the workout
- It helps build muscle
- It helps hydrate the body of lost electrolytes
- It helps reduce the breakdown of muscle protein
Important Facts to consider while planning your post-workout meal:
- Rehydrate as soon as your session is over, and even in between if you are doing intense training.
- Nothing can beat the goodness of water to rehydrate. However, the occasional energy drink is fine after high intensity training. But watch out for its sugar content.
- Eat within 45 minutes to 1 hour of wrapping up your workout. This helps with muscle growth and recovery.
- Include good carbs in your meal. They speed up the recovery process.
- Healthy Carbs include: Fruits (such as berries, apples and bananas), oatmeal, quinoa, sweet potatoes, whole grain bread and whole grain cereal
- Proteins help in muscle growth; hence it must find a place in the post-workout meal.
- Having sufficient protein after a workout gives the body the amino acids required to repair and rebuild muscle proteins.
- Good sources of protein: cottage cheese, eggs, Greek yogurt, chicken, salmon, tuna, peanut butter, protein shake and tofu
- Fat in your post-workout meal may slow down digestion and slow down the absorption of nutrients, but it does not affect the impact of the nutrients.
- Healthy Fats that you can include: Avocados, Nuts, Nut butters, dried fruits and nuts
- Lots of people choose to buy packaged post-workout meals. Check the sugar content and if possible, run it past a qualified dietitian to make sure it has adequate quantity of carbohydrates and proteins.
Some QUICK SNACKS that are perfect for after a moderate to heavy workout session:
- Peanut Butter and mildly toasted whole grain bread
- Peanut Butter and crackers (the low sugar, unflavoured ones are best)
- Low-fat, low sugar chocolate milk shake
- Two hard boiled eggs with toasted whole grain bread
- A Green Smoothie made from spinach, Greek yoghurt, chia seeds and almond milk
- Baked or boiled sweet potatoes
- Oatmeal with banana and almonds.
- Greek yogurt with berries
- Grilled Chicken with brown rice
- Tuna sandwich with whole grain bread
These are delicious quick bites that won’t hamper your fitness goals. Instead, they will help build muscle and get you there the right way. Trying to lose weight through diet and exercise, does not have to be ‘tasteless’ process. With a little research, a chat with a dietitian/ nutritionist and some extra effort in the kitchen, you can shed the pounds and keep your tastebuds happy.
CONSULTANT – FAMILY MEDICINE
MBBS, DNB (FAMILY MEDICINE)