Post-workout foods can often be just as important as what you eat beforehand– the nutrients that you consume keep your energy levels nice and balanced, level out your blood sugar, and even help your body to recover from exercise while you build muscle. Here are five exceptional choices.
They're cheap, they're easy to eat, and they provide you with the carbohydrates that your body needs to replenish its glycogen stores. Glycogen's the battery that your muscles need to perform when you exercise. If you don't have enough of it, you will hit the wall sooner than anticipated, which is one of the reasons why competitive lifters “carb load.” Aside from the glycogen, bananas are also very easy to mix with smoothies made with low fat milk.
Hard boiled, poached, or scrambled, eggs are another simple post-workout food that are also very affordable. While they can be useful for a pre-workout food as well, they are slower to digest than other options, which means you may feel heavier during the workout. By having them afterward, you give your body the protein that it needs to perform valuable muscle repair. Eggs also have the Omega-3s to reduce any muscle inflammation that you will experience.
Salmon is typically your best bet when comparing cost to what you receive in protein in Omega-3s, but your post workout foods could be canned tuna, or even sardines. As long as you aren't taking in too much dehydrating sodium during your meal or snack, any form of fish can be a very positive food to eat after a tough day at the gym. It's flexible enough to be incorporated into most meal or menu ideas, and some fish, such as tilapia, is also readily available, and not bad for the price.
If you're an early riser, and you prefer to get your workout in before you go to work for the day, then oatmeal's a perfectly good breakfast food. Aside from the fact that it's also affordable and easy to make, oatmeal's got a great mix of carbs and protein to help you to restore your glycogen levels, and maintain your positive muscle growth. You can add ingredients like cinnamon, which can cut down on inflammation, and raspberries or blueberries, which add flavor and dietary fiber.
1. Chocolate Milk
The best has been saved for last. Chocolate milk's got proteins, carbs, fat, and it's extremely tasty, especially if you're looking for a reward after a few hard routines. Chocolate milk is the unofficial drink of some of the strongest people today. For an added bonus, you can mix your favorite protein powder into a serving as well.