What you eat after your workout may just be the most important food you eat all day. Muscles store excess energy in the form of glycogen and protein and, when you work out, the body burns fuel from your pre-workout meal, then it breaks down glycogen stored in muscles. Your post-gym workout snack MUST include protein in order to repair and rebuild your muscle, which will ultimately increase muscle strength. Within a few hours of working out, muscle protein drops and muscles begin to break down. However, within a 45-minute window, your body is the most responsive with absorbing carbohydrates and protein. Supplements such as whey protein can play a role in meeting your protein needs throughout the day but real, whole foods should always be the primary focus. So here are some of the best quick and easy foods to fuel and reload the depleted muscles.
- Toast, smashed avocado and eggs: Using a ripe avocado, mash up the flesh with a fork in a bowl and spread it evenly onto two slices of granary or rye bread. Top this with two fried or poached eggs. Tip: Fry your eggs in coconut oil or rapeseed oil (which are great at high temperatures) and add in a handful of cherry tomatoes and sliced mushrooms to boost the antioxidant levels even more.
- Tuna with wholegrain crackers – Tuna is a good source of omega -3 fatty acid which may reduce exercise induced muscle inflammation. Served with wholegrain crackers, it makers a tasty, portable mini meal.
- Greek Yogurt – Greek yogurt has double the amount of protein compared to regular yogurt and is a great source of carbohydrates. Serve it with fresh seasonal berries which have been proven to fight sore muscles and you’ll quickly rebuild your energy levels.
- Protein Shake with Banana – A protein shake made with 2 scoops of whey protein powder and a banana is an ideal post workout snack as your body quickly turns it into energy and is perfect for busy people on the go.
- Almond butter and banana on wholegrain bagel – Whole-wheat bagels are dense in calories and complex carbs, while almond butter is full of essential minerals like potassium. Combine the two and you have yourself a dynamite duo which will replenish your energy quickly.
- Hummus and wholegrain pitta – Made from chickpeas, hummus is an excellent source of both protein and carbs. Combine with a whole-grain pita for a complete post-workout punch.
- Scrambled eggs – Nothing says post-workout breakfast like eggs. This post-workout is perfect for those on low calories and carbs, but need the protein to retain muscle and fat to decrease hunger.
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