Working out is good for your health as it helps you to stay fit and prevent health-related issues. However, a good workout should always be accompanied by proper nutrients to ensure you remain energetic. When you work out, your body uses up all the glucose stored in the muscles. This is why you might feel weak after an intense workout.
A good meal plan ensures that your body stays fit and well-energized. The best foods to consume are carbs and protein, although you can add a healthy dose of fats. Carbs help to replenish glycogen (glucose in the muscles). Proteins work to repair and build muscles, while healthy fats provide your body with essential fatty acids. Here is a list of foods you should consider adding to your post-workout meal plan.
1. Sweet Potatoes
Apart from being tasty, sweet potatoes help to replenish glycogen levels. They are low in calories and also ensure you stay full for an extended period. Hunger cravings can throw you off your fitness journey. If you have diabetes or are trying to lose weight, it is essential to consume boiled sweet potatoes instead of baked ones. Health And Nutritional Benefits Of Sweet Potatoes
2. Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables like avocado, watermelon, bananas, carrots, apples, tomatoes, and beetroot make a great addition to your post-workout meal. They boost your energy levels and flush out toxins that cause illnesses. Consuming about 4-5 types of fruits and vegetables per day is recommended.
3. Cottage Cheese
When choosing to lose weight, your first thought might be to cut out dairy products, but some benefit your health. Cottage cheese is packed with protein, calcium, and vitamin D. Adding it to your post work out meal will help to rebuild muscles and strengthen your bones. You can add it to your salad or sandwich with whole wheat bread and a few avocado slices. 7 Types Of Cheese And How To Use Them
Nuts are the best energy boosters. They contain healthy fats, protein, and dietary fibre. You can add a few of them to your smoothie or choose to eat them raw. Almonds, peanuts, and pistachios are considered the best choices though you can also opt for other nuts. Lifestyle: The Benefits Of Nuts And The Most Nutritious Ones To Eat
Eggs are a good source of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and proteins. These nutrients help to build your muscles and protect you from diseases. The recommended portion is 1-2 whole eggs per day. Health: The Benefits And Dangers Of Eating Eggs
6. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like broccoli, kale, spinach, lettuce, etc., contain vitamins, magnesium, calcium, and fibre. These nutrients help to boost your energy levels, protect you from diseases, and are the best if you want to lose weight.
Chicken is high in protein, making it an excellent addition to your post-workout meal. Eating chicken can help build stronger muscles and strengthen your bones. It is also an excellent substitute for red meat. Lifestyle: 5 Chicken Recipes That You Need To Try Out
Most people consider rice to be full of carbs and, therefore, bad for your health. However, rice helps restock your muscles with glycogen, giving you an energy boost. Brown rice is the most recommended due to its high fibre content, but you can also choose to consume white rice. The trick is to control your portion size; half a cup is enough. The Health Benefits Of White Rice And The Different Rice Types
Fish is one of the best sources of protein and healthy fats. It also contains selenoneine, a compound that helps to protect your cells against oxidation and flushes out harmful toxins from the body. Lifestyle: 8 Health And Nutritional Benefits Of Fish
10. Greek Yogurt
Greek yoghurt is more nutritious than regular yoghurt since it contains more protein. Consuming Greek yoghurt post-workout can help you stay full, reducing the urge to keep snacking. You can take it plain or add it to your smoothie with nuts or fruits. 6 Reasons Why You Should Increase Your Consumption Of Yoghurt
Tips to Remember
- Post-workout meals are best consumed within 45 minutes – 2 hours after exercising. Taking a more extended period will slow down your metabolism and have you feeling exhausted throughout the day. Your muscles may also take time to recover.
- It is also essential to drink enough water. 2-3 litres per day is recommended to help you stay hydrated. You can also add small amounts of salt and sugar to make your own healthy energy drink. This will help you balance the salts in your body and prevent your blood sugar levels from dropping.
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