What to Eat After a Workout: 7 Foods for Quick Recovery
Want to know what to eat after a workout for better recovery? No sweat! Start with these superfoods. Mix and match them for satisfying meals!
A post-exercise snack can be more than just a tasty reward for . Refueling with essential nutrients like carbs and protein fast-tracks recovery, lowers your risk for injury, and even encourages muscle-building. So, want to know what to eat after a workout to maximize your gains? No sweat! Start with these seven superfoods. Plus, get meal ideas that are perfect for guys on the go.
7 Ingredients for Better Post-Workout Recovery
According to The Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute (OSMIFW), you should aim to eat within 30 minutes of a rigorous workout. Your muscles would be more receptive to nutrient intake during this period. By grabbing a quick but nutritious snack, you'll feel less sore and more energized. Here are some ideas.
Eggs offer high-quality protein: an essential for tissue after relentless activity. They also contain muscle-repairing amino acids, specifically BCAAs. Make a big batch of boiled eggs at the start of the week and store them in the fridge. Ta-da! Now you have a healthy to-go snack on hand.
Cheese is another reliable source of protein – plus other nutrients like calcium and vitamin B12. The former helps with bone health, while the latter improves energy metabolism. If you want the protein boost but you'd rather skip the extra fats, go for cottage cheese or kesong puti.
Yogurt ticks the protein box, too, while delivering a healthy dose of probiotics, a.k.a. beneficial bacteria for your gut. Does your stomach feel weird ? Yogurt should help! Some varieties, like the ultra-sour Greek, may even contain hydrating electrolytes like potassium.
4. Whole grains
Enough about protein – what about carbs? Yes, you need them, too! replenish glycogen stores in the muscles, which are critical for recovery and energy restoration. But instead of opting for overly processed (and sugary!) white bread or rice, stick to whole grains. They have more complex carbs and micronutrients to offer. Examples include quinoa, oats, and brown rice.
Fruits are another natural source of carbohydrates. They're also incredibly hydrating, especially if you get fresh fruits with high water content. Your top choices include bananas (filling and rich in potassium), antioxidant-rich berries (combats oxidative stress), and watermelon (92% water – the rest is vitamins).
Nuts are a source of plant-based protein, heart-healthy fats, and dietary fiber. They're easy to throw into a baggie and enjoy on the go. Mix them up with dried fruits for some carbs, cacao nibs for antioxidants, and you've got yourself a well-balanced, portable snack.
Wondering how to stay hydrated when water tastes so... blah? Try all-natural fruit juices with minimal to no added sugars. Experts specifically recommend tart cherry, watermelon, and pomegranate juices to aid in muscle recovery. You're welcome! But, seriously, don’t forget to , too.
3 Light Post-Workout Meals for Busy Gym-Goers
Most people feel ravenous after exercise, so don't fight the feeling! Don't even think about skipping that post-workout treat. Doing so can sabotage your fitness goals and leave you more vulnerable to injury. Prep your meal before you jump into your routine. Your aching body will thank you later.
Meal idea #1: Smoothie with berries, yogurt, and oats.
What's simpler than a smoothie? It requires no cooking and very little prep – the dream scenario for the always-moving. Combine berries for antioxidants and fiber, yogurt for protein (make it Greek for added electrolytes!), and oats for complex carbs. Chug, chug, chug!
Meal idea #2: Turkey sandwich with greens.
The OSMIFW cites turkey sandwiches as one of the most popular recovery foods among athletes. What's not to like? You get lean protein from the meat, energizing carbs from the bread, and a serving of vitamin-rich veggies in every bite! It’s the way to go if you’re more of a savory snacker.
Meal idea #3: Whole-grain crackers with bananas and nut butter.
Love crunchy munchies? Drop the bag of greasy chips and go for these instead. The whole-grain crackers and bananas offer wholesome carbs, while the nut butter adds flavor, protein, and satiating fats.
Once you've effectively tended to your hunger and sore muscles (thanks to your expert knowledge of what to eat after a workout!), . No one wants to collapse on their couch in their sweaty gym clothes! De-grease your hair and scalp with the CLEAR Cool Sport Menthol Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for Men, then refresh tired-looking skin with the POND'S Men Facial Wash Energy Charge. Now you're ready to go into rest mode. Pat yourself on the back for getting through another worth-it workout!