Exceptional Post-Workout Snacks
You’re finishing-up your gym session and the next thing on your mind is what to eat to satisfy your body. After an intense gym session, your body starts to crave two things – protein and complex carbohydrates. Exceptional post-workout snacks that incorporate this will help your muscles to recover and get them ready for your next session.
In this post, we have a look at why post-workout nutrition is so important and give you some tasty snack ideas that will leave you feeling satisfied and ready to go again.
Why are post-workout snacks important?
If you’re confused as to why post-workout snacks are important don’t worry – you’re not alone. With so much information out there online, and with every PT claiming that their right and others are wrong it can be difficult to navigate.
The truth is though, you need to eat after a workout to help support muscle regrowth and repair, replenish your energy stores and to fight post-workout fatigue.
What food should I eat after a workout?
Proteins and carbohydrates are the most important macronutrients that you should consume after a workout, but what does that look like in food terms? Let’s have a look.
Lean protein can be found in a variety of different foods, but beef biltong is one of the best grab-and-go snacks it can be found in. A typical 35g bag contains enough lean protein to meet half of your daily recommended allowance which helps to aid muscle growth and satisfy your hunger pains after a workout.
One of the great things about biltong is that it comes in so many different flavours and pack sizes and because of how it’s made it can be stored in your gym bag without the worry that it’s going to spoil or go off. You can even get a weekly dose of your biltong boxes here.
If you love to exercise in the morning, then Greek yoghurt is a great post-workout snack for you that isn’t too heavy on your stomach. It’s creamier compared to many normal yoghurts and provides an impressive amount of protein and calcium in each serving. Add some honey and granola to it and you’ve got yourself a well-balanced breakfast.
It might seem like an obvious choice to eat after a workout because it’s portable, but bananas are a brilliant snack to have after a workout session as they contain huge amounts of potassium, one of the electrolytes commonly lost through sweat. Bananas are also a fast-acting carbohydrate meaning that they hit the bloodstream quickly to help restore and replenish energy levels in fatigued muscles. Consider adding some nut butter onto banana slices for an added protein boost.
Eggs are another great source of fast-acting proteins, and bonus is that you already have them in your kitchen cupboards. The great thing about eggs is that you can boil a batch at the start of the week and pop them into your lunch box to eat after your gym session.
Cottage Cheese and whole wheat rice cakes
If you usually exercise before lunch, consider adding a pot of cottage cheese and a few whole wheat rice cakes to your lunchbox to eat afterwards. Low-fat cottage cheese is packed with protein, which helps to repair muscle tissues after an incredibly intense workout such as weightlifting. Adding cottage cheese to whole wheat rice cakes helps to replace the muscle’s glycogen, providing you with a balanced snack. If cottage cheese and rice cakes alone are a little too bland, add some hot sauce for an extra kick.
Quinoa and Vegetables
Quinoa is one of the best foods you can have after a workout. Not because it’s jam-packed full of essential carbohydrates, but it’s also high in proteins, fibre, magnesium, and iron too which all help to aid muscle growth and recovery. Quinoa is also gluten-free so makes for a great option for anyone with a gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
Consider adding some leafy green vegetables to Quinoa such as Broccoli, Kale or Spinach to get those iron sources in and top with hot sauce for when you need added flavour.
Peanut butter and banana protein smoothie
After a hard workout, all your body craves is nourishing food that is both delicious and satisfying, and with a peanut butter and banana protein shake you can give it just that.
A protein smoothie made from one small banana, almond milk, Greek yoghurt, peanut butter, and protein powder is a great way to help your muscles recover. Not only will your body quickly absorb it for energy but it’s also easy to transport meaning you can have it on-the-go. Some peanut butter brands are higher in fats and sugars than others, so it’s always best to opt for organic or whole nut butter wherever possible to maximise your efforts.