Don’t Ruin What You’ve Worked For: After Workout Snacks
What you eat or drink after a workout can either hurt you or help you. After a workout, regardless of how long or intense, it’s never a good idea to go pig out on fast food (including pizza). Besides, why would you ruin everything you’ve just worked for? You’ll likely be hungry, but be careful of what you grab for.
But, be sure to eat something because nutrition is essential to achieving your goals. When you eat after a workout your body burns the food faster because it’s already working from your workout. The better foods you eat the faster (and easier) it will be digested, be used as fuel for your body (instead of going straight to fat storage), and will help rebuild and repair your muscles.
Personally, I love to hit Starbucks after a good workout, but not for the coffee. They have a great protein pack that includes: a few small pieces of white cheddar cheese, some apple wedges, grapes, a packet of honey peanut butter spread, a cage-free boiled egg, and a piece of multigrain muesli bread. Not only is this healthy, but it’s the perfect size! If you’re not full right after eating this box of goodies, give yourself a little while…you will. And, of course, don’t forget the water!!
Other great after-workout snacks include:
Fruit smoothie – homemade, of course! Add in any fruit you want, and even add a scoop of your favorite protein powder mix, and blend.
Yogurt and fresh berries – this is another one I get from Starbucks. They sell an amazing greek yogurt with berries and granola…yummy! Only one is enough, though.
Dried fruits and nuts – this is my go-to snack just about anytime anyway. This mixes salty and sweet in a perfect combination to satisfy your taste buds on both sides. But be sure you don’t eat the whole bag! Only about a ¼ cup…
Peanut butter and banana sandwich…on rice cakes – the rice cakes add extra fiber that bread won’t give you, and the banana will increase your after-workout energy. Don’t worry about the sugar in the banana because your body will burn that quickly after your workout. Don’t overdue it, though. Half of a banana and one tablespoon of peanut butter is all you need.
Not craving the sweets this time? No problem!
Here are a few without so much sweetness:
Turkey & cheese…with or without apples – skip the bread, though. Roll up two or three slices of deli turkey with some cheese in the middle for a great after-workout snack. Add an apple for more energy. Or, you can put the turkey and cheese on high-fiber crackers for a little extra fiber.
High-fiber, low-sugar cereal and low-fat or skim milk – find a high-fiber cereal that isn’t loaded with sugar and eat a small bowl…don’t go overboard!
Whole wheat bread and tuna – tuna (with a little lemon juice and olive oil) over a slice of whole what bread is a great protein/carb snack! Your body will love you for it!
Veggie omelet – who doesn’t like some eggs in the morning? They’re full of protein and adding your favorite (and colorful) veggies to the omelet will give you added fiber and vitamins. Add a slice of whole grain toast if you need some additional carbs.
Eat up and be healthy!