Many people neglect the fact that workout preparation and recovery are just as important than the workout itself. An effective and healthy workout will always consist of an appropriate pre-workout snack and warm up, and will be followed by a cool down and post workout meal or snack. But, before you go and stock up on whatever meal item you can find that sounds good after a workout, allow us to enlighten you on what the greatest post-workout meals might include.
Protein Is Great For Post Workout
Protein is key to a great post-workout meal for muscle gain, more than any other thing you’ll still want to include (fiber, leafy greens). Working out essentially tears your muscle fibers in a safe and healthy way, so that they can mend and strengthen in the process – that’s why you feel sore after a great workout! Mending those muscle fibers is done most safely by building in recovery time, and by consuming a large portion of protein in the meal following. Protein aids in muscle reparation more than any other food. An added bonus? Our bodies have to work a little harder to digest protein; this means that when we do it, we burn more calories. So, eating protein after we workout keeps our bodies burning calories even once the workout stops.
Eggs, Turkey Bacon and Whole Grain Toast
Technically breakfast, but let’s face it: who doesn’t love breakfast all day? Eggs are loaded with protein, while turkey bacon as a lean meat provides some of that as well. Whole grain toast provides the fiber and complex carbs you’ll need to continue your day on a full stomach, if your workout comes early. If it’s an evening workout, there’s nothing wrong with skipping the toast all together.
Grilled Chicken Salad
Get your leafy greens and adequate nutrient intake via some organic veggies by eating a healthy salad, and throw in some grilled (or baked) chicken for that protein benefit. Steer clear of fatty or sugar filled dressings (like most store bought Ranch or Thousand Island); rather, consider making your own by combining some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Italian seasoning, and a bit of salt and pepper.
Fish on Zucchini Noodles
Fish is always a great idea, but especially after a workout. Protein packed and lean as meat comes, this meal also gets downright flavorful. Put a zucchini through a spiralizer to create little zucchini noodles. Place the noodles on a large piece of parchment paper. Take the fish of your choosing (cod and sea bass both work great), and place it on top of the noodles on the parchment paper. Slice a tomato and slice a lemon, and layer them on top of the fish. Gently wrap the parchment paper up to close it on top, and place the wrapped up noodle, fish, tomato and lemon dish in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes. Juices run together inside the paper – it’s a tasty dish that’s extremely healthy for rebuilding muscle and leaving out excess junk.
Don’t ruin a great workout by feasting on pastas and sugary items! Stock up on Lean meats and veggies to really give yourself the best post-workout meal possible.