Working out goes hand-in-hand with dieting/healthy eating – you all know that. But what you may not realize is that, if you don’t eat properly after your workout, you’re missing out on a lot of solid calorie-burning. If you want to capitalize on your workout and fuel your body in a way that will help target those fatty bits that you wish would just disappear, let’s figure out what you should be putting in your mouth post-workout. Also, for the sake of this post, “working out” is only referring to cardio (no offense to other workouts!).
First, make sure you eat within two hours of working out. Now, two hours is the longest you can wait to refuel your body if you want to utilize your workout; honestly, it’s best to eat within the first 30-60 minutes. If you’re working out at an awkward time during the day and don’t want to eat a full meal, go for an easy snack. If you are eating a full meal afterwards, just be cautious not to overdo it. Either way, though, you want to eat some combination of protein and carbohydrates.
I know what you’re thinking: “Wait a second. Carbs? Is this a joke? You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about.”
False. (Okay, sometimes I definitely have no idea what I’m talking about… But now is not one of those times!) Carbohydrates – in moderation – are absolutely necessary for your body. Especially post-workout. When you refuel with carbs, you’ll give your body what it needs to release insulin and help with muscle recovery. Obviously, you don’t want to overdo it on carbs just because you worked out – in other words, don’t go and eat an entire baguette and call it good.
So, what are some good snack ideas?
- Greek yogurt (Not a fan of the flavor? Try adding some fresh fruit or granola.)
- Sweet potatoes
- Hummus and whole grain pita/crackers
- Apples and peanut butter
- Whole wheat toast and peanut butter
- (Maybe just.. peanut butter?)
- Trail mix
- Tuna or salmon (Try getting the little 70 calorie packs at your local grocery store – super convenient + packed with protein. As you can see below, I like to throw onions and avocados in mine!)
- WATER :)
Remember: the food that you put into your body after your workout is just as important (if not more!) than the food you eat before your workout. I typically workout after work but before eating supper. That way, when I get back from my workout, I can eat a grilled chicken breast or a salmon filet instead of just snacking because I burned all those calories.