Good Things to Eat After a Workout

Make sure you get some good things to eat after a workout in order to get the most from the hard work that you put into the gym. What you eat or drink before, during, and after a workout can have a significant impact on how your body responds to the effort. Here are some key things that you should consider replenishing your body with once your exercise time is over.

Water

Naturally you don’t “eat” water, but it is the single more important thing that you can do both during and after you exercise. Dehydration has a negative impact on how your body responds to physical activity and can lead to excess fatigue and even increased chance of injury after the fact. Make sure you sip on some water for quite a while until you no longer feel thirsty. Plan on carrying a water bottle around for at least an hour. A good rule of thumb is to add another full 16 ounce water bottle, at least, gradually over the next hour assuming you kept drinking while you worked, but since the length and intensity of your effort is custom to you, it may take a bit of trial and error to figure out the perfect amount.

Carbohydrate

When you work out, your body uses what it has in store for energy. That basically means that your body is going to use fat and carbohydrate for energy, but at a typical intensity of workout, carbohydrate is the likely source of energy that you body will find. This means that when the exercise is over, it is important to have a plan to restore those carbohydrates into the body so that it can recover. This will not only have health benefits, it will make you feel better later and make your next workout easier. Try to consume some health nuts like almonds or whole wheat toast to get some easy carbohydrates into the system.

Protein

If you feel real hungry after a workout, it’s probably due to the fact that your carbohydrate levels are running low, so eating some protein will help by making you feel full longer and preventing a meal that is bigger than it should be. Protein is also a key ingredient for muscle building, so any workout that involves strength training will benefit from a helping of protein after a workout. Keep it simple and lean for the best health benefits. A helping of yogurt or milk or a small portion of lean protein like chicken breast will do the trick.

Some Specific Ideas

Here are some specific foods that you may want to add to your post-workout diet.

  • water
  • almonds or other healthy nuts
  • milk or chocolate milk
  • hard-boiled egg
  • your favorite fresh fruit
  • low-fat yogurt or even a smoothie
  • english muffin with peanut butter
  • lean chicken breast
  • healthy breakfast cereal

Don’t leave your body depleted after exercise. Make sure that you hydrate and get some carbohydrate and protein within an hour or so to aid in the recovery process. Check the list of good things to eat after a workout, pick your favorites, and enjoy.

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