After a workout, focus on refueling within an hour of finishing your workout. Properly refueling helps you heal faster, can help with building muscle and helps you get the nutrients that your body needs. The following 7 food ideas will help satisfying your hunger and keep your fitness goals and lean body goals. They are quick, packed with nutrients and make great post-workout snacks.
1. CHOCOLATE MILK
Chocolate milk contains the perfect blend of carbohydrates and protein to have after your workout. Stick to a low-fat version if you are trying to watch calories. You can drink a glass as is or blend into a smoothie with a banana and peanut butter. Or you can mix up your own chocolate milk with your favorite milk of choice and cocoa powder.
2. TART CHERRIES
Tart cherries are known for their anti-inflammatory effects and is shown to help with athletic performance. You can drink tart cherry juice or buy frozen tart cherries which are perfect in a smoothie or on top of yogurt.
3. GREEK YOGURT
Greek yogurt is rich in calcium, vitamin D and protein. It is a good mix of carbohydrates and protein for after your workout. Look for versions without a ton of added sugar. To amp your yogurt up a little, add a handful of granola or nuts.
4. PEANUT BUTTER
Peanut butter or other nut butters are rich in healthy fats, fiber and protein. Have 1-2 tablespoons on an apple, toast or banana. Two tablespoons provides 7 grams of protein and the higher fat content helps to keep you full.
Smoothies are one of the best post-workout drinks because they are customizable and you can include the nutrients that you need in them. Want a boost of vitamins and minerals? Add a handful of baby spinach. Want extra calories and healthy fat? Add nut butter. Want a boost of protein? Add in protein powder, milk and or Greek yogurt. You can include whichever fruits, vegetables and proteins you like to make it your own.
6. GRILLED CHICKEN
Chicken is a great source of protein and is lean. You can also bake it, roast it, sauté it, etc. Serve with a baked sweet potato for a balance of carbohydrates and protein. Chicken is rich in selenium, vitamin B6, phosphorus, vitamin B12 and niacin.
7. WHOLE GRAIN PASTA WITH MEAT SAUCE
Whole-grains are rich in fiber and B vitamins compared to their white counterparts. Pasta provides the carbohydrates your body craves after a workout. For the meat sauce, choose a low-sodium tomato sauce and lean ground chicken, turkey or beef. Watch portion sizes as it is easy to eat 3-4 times the amount of pasta that you should have. Add in your favorite vegetables for a boost of nutrients.