I realized I get so many more questions regarding diet related help than fitness related help. Most people either
- Workout and then eat too much.
- Workout and have no idea what to eat after.
- Eat food they know they don’t need and workout to undo the results.
All wrong people, all wrong. There’s a ton of information out about what to eat AFTER you go out. Nuts, trail mix, yogurt, toast and nut butter are all options. There’s great sites like Nuts.com that offer helpful snack options (see below) as well as a plethora of information sources. I’ll break it down here….
So let’s get started shall we!?
Let’s start with the basics. You NEED to refuel your body after you workout because you are using energy and (dependent on the intensity of your workout) seriously breaking down muscle. In order to refuel and rebuild you need CARBS AND PROTEINS. Yes CARBS. All exercises use carbohydrates first, so you need to re-up your carbs when you eat after you workout.
Eat fairly quickly after you workout. Meaning from when you are done to the 2 hour post-workout mark. I eat (refuel) after I cool down/stretch…usually on the drive home.
Not every workout requires a post workout snack. Yo, all because you walked around the track one time and did 20 squats, that doesn’t mean you need to prepare yourself a full snack post workout. Endurance exercises, are workouts that lasts longer that 45-60mins OR strength or interval training are ideal for refueling. Most importantly, your heart rate, perceived exertion and other factors can help you determined. Your body should tell you when it needs a lil somethin’ somethin’.
Back when I took my exercise physiology classes I learned that a post recovery food should have a carb to protein ratio of 3:1 or 4:1. Meaning for every 30 or 40 grams of carbs there should about 10 grams of protein. Follow that ratio.
Now if you’ve read this blog you know I am not a stickler for numbers and being stuck writing down/recording my macronutrients, however, I do have an idea of the nutritional content of everything I eat. Below are some favorite nutritional post workout snack ideas… not meals just snacks!
- Protein shake- Milk, Whey Powder, frozen banana
- Trail Mix: (A mixed of about 4 of these) Dried fruit, almonds, peanuts, Brazilian nuts, macadamia, walnuts, cashews, seeds
- Fruit: I love apples, but post workout, I enjoy citrus: Usually an orange or grapefruit.
- (Back in the day I always had) chocolate milk. There’s tons of research about why this is a great recovery drank. When I interned at Princeton, the strength and conditioning coaches gave this to their athletes post workout.
If you need some guidance for what could be considered a healthy snack- check out this link from Nuts.com it has some great help on nutty snacks! Also, check out the pictures accompanying this post and this link with another great infographic.
Enjoy your snacks post workout and remember to make them healthy! There are so many options out there for you!