Eating the right food when you’ve finished working out can have a vast impact on how you pull up the next day (or later that afternoon) so it’s important to make sure what you snack on is the right fare. Read on to see what our experts suggest as the best post-workout foods to help speed up your recovery process.
Post-workout food to help you recover faster
Dietician and nutritionist Susie Burrell says:
“If you’re going straight to a meal then nothing, but if it’s over an hour until your next meal a small (200 calorie) snack of carbs and protein is best. A latte, greek yoghurt and fruit, cheese and crackers or a nut based muesli bar are all good options.”
Nutritionist and Pilates instructor Lucy Beaumont says:
“After working out (within the hour of finishing) your body is the most responsive at absorbing carbohydrates and protein, so the best foods to fuel and support muscle recovery are foods high in these macronutrients. Best foods include good quality protein shake, lean meat (e.g. chicken) and salad, eggs and wholegrain toast, omelette with lots of vegetables, fruit salad and yogurt, carrot sticks and hummus.”
“Again, a meal with a high protein component to promote muscle repair as well as a low GI component to restore glucose levels. This could include a nourishing salad of spinach, chicken breast, sweet potato, avocado, nuts and olive oil, or an omelette with vegetables and kale. Pre/post workout hydration is also extremely important, so keep the water bottle full to sip on.”
“After working out, you want to rehydrate and refuel on electrolytes. There are a million products out there – coconut water, cactus water, rehydration salts – but the easiest way is just a pinch of celtic sea salt in a bottle of water. Also, it’s important to get amino acids in to the muscle cells to repair damaged tissues and strengthen lean muscle. An unflavoured protein supplement, or a couple of eggs in your post-workout brunch will do the trick. Add a piece of whole fruit to replenish blood glucose, which helps push the protein in to the cells for repair.”
So what’s the verdict?
Good quality carbohydrates and protein are the best macronutrients for both pre and post training, but the key point is that’s it is better to eat small quantities pre-workout and larger quantities post.
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