Do you believe me, if I say that following the best workout plan and hitting the gym every single day is not enough? Trust me, it won’t make you achieve your fitness goals, until and unless your nutrition is not on track.
What you eat after your workout is important, but the truth is most people struggle to find the best post-workout food or drink which helps them to achieve their health goals. Some studies have shown that the post-workout meal is as important as your daily calorie intake. Here are the Top 9 things that you can eat after a great workout session.
In this article we will discuss some of the best food or drinks to consume after your workout, and how can they affect your fitness goals. Before that let us first understand what is post-workout nutrition and why it is important?
What is post-workout nutrition?
Post-Workout nutrition is one of the controversial topics among personal trainers and nutritionists. Everyone has their own viewpoint, but here we’ll discuss what most of the studies shown.
Physical activities use lots of energy, for example when you hit the gym, you utilize the stored energy while performing exercises. You break different muscle tissues every day in the gym. That is the reason it is difficult for the body to recover if energy levels are not replenished within 20 to 40 minutes after finishing the workout.
Most of the studies have shown that even eating a little snack which is the ideal combo of carbs, and protein, shortly after your workout routine can help the body to restore energy levels. The basic idea of eating after the workout is-
- The body consumes particular nutrients after the workout, which improves body composition, performance, and overall recovery.
- Replenish the energy storage in the body after a good workout.
- Increases muscle size and muscle quality by providing amino acids to the body.
- Repair any damage caused during the workout in the gym.
- It helps to lose fat and increases the ability of the body to build muscles.
These benefits of post-workout meals work for everyone, regardless of age, gender and type of exercise you perform. There are many more benefits of having a complete post-workout meal after a workout, like increase performance, improve your appearance, and helps you remain injury-free. So far, I hope you get the idea of eating food or having a shake after a workout. Now let us see what you can eat or drink after your training.
Top 9 Things that you can Eat after a Workout – Post Nutrition Meal
1. Whey Protein Shake
Whey protein is among the best supplement in the world when it comes to fat-loss, energy-restoring protein, and immune support. A good whey protein has very high nutritional value and studies have shown that whey has numerous health benefits also.
People commonly use whey protein as supplementation, to restore their muscle tissues and to manage their daily protein intake. Do you know what’s the best part about whey protein supplement? Research has shown that people who consume whey as a post-workout drink, burn nearly twice as much body fat as those who don’t.
Benefits of Consuming Whey Protein after a Workout:
- Excellent quality of Protein (almost 25 grams)
- Promotes Muscle Growth
- Anti-Cancer properties
- Lowering Cholesterol
- Beneficial for Blood Fats
This shows that whey protein is one of the best post-workout drinks, which will help your muscles to recover faster and lose fat at the same time.
2. Eggs and Bread
Other food that you can eat after a workout is eggs and bread. Let’s find out how eggs and bread can help you in achieving your fitness goals.
Our body after the workout feels hungry, and we have to fuel it with protein and carbohydrates. Chicken eggs are the most affordable source of protein which helps to restore muscle tissues and bread is a good source of carbohydrates, helps to regain energy.
Eggs contain vitamins and minerals that are essential parts of a balanced diet. In many parts of the world, eggs are readily available, inexpensive food. Eggs contain all 9 types of essential amino acids. Studies have shown that you don’t have to throw all of your egg yolks. Nutritionist believes that you can eat at least two-three egg yolks in a day, not to mention yolk is the home to all vitamin-D and omega-3 fatty acids.
Bread is a key staple in the Indian diet and provides many of the nutrients required for good health. White bread and brown bread both are good for your health. White bread is full of calcium and four slices per day will provide you over 30% daily recommended intake of calcium. Whereas brown bread is a good source of dietary fibre, which keeps your digestive system healthy.
I personally suggest you eat a combination of eggs and bread after your workout, because this is the complete source of protein and carbohydrates. These foods will help you to recover faster and provides you instant energy.
3. Chicken Breast and Salad
When it comes to protein and nutrients in a post-workout meal, and how can we forget about chicken and salad? Chicken breast and salad is the regular diet of many healthy people in India. Depending upon the Ingredient you use (and how much!) in your dish, chicken, and salad can certainly be a healthy and nutritious choice.
Chicken breast is a good source of protein (somewhere around 30grams of protein in 100gram of the breast) and is low in fat & sodium. More than that it provides zero grams of carbohydrates, this is the reason why chicken breast is so famous among fitness enthusiasts. Since the breast is so versatile, they are easy to incorporate into a healthy diet.
Whereas Salad is easy to make at home. With their multiple health benefits, nutritionist suggests consuming a leafy green each day is one of the best habits to get into. To get the most nutritional impact out of your meal, add fresh, and raw vegetables over your chicken breast after your workout.
4. Dairy Products
Milk and dairy products are considered to be healthy, and nutrient-rich because they serve as a good source of calcium and vitamin-D. This is the reason why Indian moms force their children to drink milk daily. There is no doubt that dairy products are a good source of vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
Most of the nutritionist will definitely suggest you add dairy products in your diet because as few as 9-10 grams of milk protein is enough to stimulate protein synthesis in the muscles. Which leads to recovery after a workout. Dairy products make you feel energized enough to power through every training session. Three servings of dairy per day (Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese) can help you to build bone mass and improved bone health.
Chickpeas are part of the legumes family. Their nutty taste pairs well with several different foods and ingredients. Like other legumes, they are also rich in nutrients, minerals, and vitamins, including protein and carbohydrates. Some studies have shown that chickpeas also help you to have more healthy skin and strong bones.
Chickpeas are the most favourite meal to eat for vegetarians. Even if you are not vegan, you should try to add at least one bowl of chickpeas in your daily diet. Whether you eat them with rice or roasted, it can contribute a significant amount of protein in your post-workout diet.
Benefits of chickpeas:
- Healthy Heart
- Good source of protein and carbs
- Manage Blood Pressure
- Muscle and Bone Health
- Benefits people with Diabetes
Chickpeas can be a great choice to eat after your workout. Try not to consume packed or canned chickpeas, opt for homemade cooked chickpeas.
Quinoa is known as the superfood of the future, which is quite true because of its benefits. When it comes to a vegetarian diet, quinoa is one of the most protein-rich food that we can eat after exercising. It has all nine essential amino acids, helps to repair muscle tissues.
Studies also have shown that quinoa bowl contains as much fibre as other grains, which means it is good for constipation. Eating quinoa regularly has a significant impact on reducing high blood pressure, and keeps your heart healthy. There is another study that supports the fact that eating quinoa bowl after your gym session is a great idea, it says that quinoa has a high content of manganese. Manganese is an antioxidant, which helps in energy production as well as protect red blood cells from injury.
Smoothies are probably my favourite thing to drink after performing a high-intensity workout in the gym. Smoothies are so popular for a reason, they are powerful, healthy, and nutritious. If you are like me who loves to workout in the morning, then smoothies are the best choice for you, it gives the energy to keep you going all day long.
You just have to blend some fruits & yogurt, and your nutritious meal is ready. Having this simple meal after your training surely leads to better health and it tastes pretty damn good. Want to know which one is my favourite smoothie? Checkout The benefits of having Blueberry Avocado Smoothies.
Fish is among the healthiest food on the planet. Fish is a low-fat high-quality protein, and it’s easier to consume them after your physical training every day. They are filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins (such as ‘D’ and ‘B2’), also they are rich in calcium, phosphorus, and minerals (to name a few zinc, iron, magnesium and potassium).
Benefits of Eating Fish:
- Lower risk of Heart Attack
- Nutrients important for Child Development
- Boost Brain Health
- Good for your Eye Health
- Improve Sleep Quality
These essential nutrients keep your heart and brain healthy and provide you with lots of energy all day long. Paired them with good sources of carbs such as oats or boiled rice for a post-workout meal, that will keep you filled.
9. Protein Bar
Protein Bar is one of the best meal replacements especially when it comes to daily protein intake. They are a fast and convenient way to get more protein, helps to increase protein synthesis and lower body fat. It is often considered as the best option when it comes to taste and texture, moreover, protein bars have several dietary and lifestyle benefits also.
After exercising at a higher intensity, your body needs more protein to meet fitness goals. These meal replacement bars contain a high amount of protein and fiber, which will make you feel fuller along with many essential vitamins. Supplying your body with essential nutrients can help you to get the most out of your workout. They have the advantage of small and can be consumed quickly by active people.