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6 Post-Workout Foods: Diet After Hitting The Gym

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Working out and exercising is the key to a healthy life. Working out a good amount helps you utilize the energy and channel the resources in the development of your body.

At the same time, workouts are important to lose and maintain weight. Consuming the right food at the right time plays its cards as well.

It is always suggested to follow a diet plan alongside exercising to get good results. In all the diet plans we follow, different food routines are to be followed. 

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are the stipulated amount of food you need. Besides this, we have a pre-workout meal and a post-workout meal.

Both these food items are as important as other means of energy during the workout. Remember that you may consider the stipulated food routine as a post or pre-workout meal, but they must serve their purpose well. 

This article will discuss all the post-workout food items you could consume after your workout session. All these food items depend upon the intensity of your workout. 

Therefore they should be consumed only when required. Unnecessary consumption of such foods would not give you desired results.

Food Items For Post-Workout Meal

  1. Scrambled Eggs

    Scrambled eggs may be the best food item for your post-workout meal, giving you an adequate amount[1] of protein. You could add a few low-sodium spices for good taste and heavy nutrition.

     

  2. Smoothie

    Smoothie is an excellent beverage for the protein, fat, and fiber requirements of your body post any intense[2] workout.

    This smoothie tends to fill all the nutrition and fiber requirements of your body after a workout. Add Greek yogurt, water, fruits, and ice to prepare this nutritious smoothie.

  3. Wraps

    Whole green wraps may be a great start for a recovery meal. These wraps are very high in fiber, giving you an adequate amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates in one meal.

    Add avocado, beans, green vegetables, and lean meat to prepare this delicious and nutritious recovery meal.

  4. Peanut Butter

    Peanut butter is probably the tastiest food item that you could consume post-workout. Spreading peanut butter on whole-grain toast[3] may be the best way to consume protein, healthy fat, and high fiber to recover from an intense or intermediate workout.

     

  5. Tart Cherry Juice

    Tart Cherry Juice is a great source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that could give you a good recovery after an intense workout.

     This Cherry juice would improve your systolic blood pressure and provide good amounts of fiber and protein to stay healthy and full after a workout. 

    This juice has been consumed by athletes for ages for recovery after intense training. Hence, it may be consumed[4] in place of a power smoothie if you want variety.

    On the other hand, tart cherry juice has also been claimed to give you a good sleep.

  6. Jerky

    Jerky is a very famous food item consumed by bodybuilders to add taste and nutrition to their diet. Beef, bison, turkey, or salmon could be consumed in the form of jerky to increase the amount of protein in your body after any workout session. 

    The good part is that jerky provides your body with dehydrated protein, which is very healthy. Remember that the jerky should be high in protein and deficient in carbohydrates and sugar.

    Manufactured jerky should be consumed with caution[5] because of its sugar glaze and high carbohydrate.

Carbohydrates For Post Workout

Carbohydrates play an important role as fuel to your body post and during a workout. The body uses carbohydrates the most while performing any workout.

That is why carbohydrates tend to exhaust the fastest in any workout. The glycogen present in carbohydrates is the core fuel used during exercise or any activity that you perform.

Hence it is important to keep your body filled up with carbohydrates in the required amount.  Excessive consumption of carbohydrates may be problematic[6] as well.

Hence, the consumption of carbs needs to be limited to a certain amount. In the case of regular excessive workouts, one could consume plenty of carbs for glycogen stores. 

The reason behind it is the requirement of carbohydrates as fuel in your daily life. The difference is that two people consume good carbohydrates instead of bad ones. 

Both types of carbohydrates differ in different foods. Bad carbohydrates are present in fast food items which would give you an unnecessary amount of carbohydrates that could be hard to shed. 

On the other hand, good carbohydrates consumed from regular home food may give you the required amount of carbohydrates.

This type of carbohydrate is easy to break. Hence, they are good fuel for your body. Carbohydrates may be consumed from plenty of nice and tasty food items.

Fat For Post Workout

Alongside many workout Myths, A myth about fat being bad for workout sessions is very popular. People usually claim fat slows down the digestion of people who work out.

This is majorly triggered by post-workout meals. This claim is absurd and wrong. Many studies have debunked the theory that fat slows down your post-workout meal absorption.

This is because fat is used as a substitute for fuel during workouts or any exercise in case of carbohydrate deficit. 

Sometimes, substituting carbohydrates with fat could give you better and faster results in bodybuilding and losing weight. 

While fat consumption is recommended as a pre-workout meal, it may also be consumed in limited amounts as a post-workout meal. 

Because in case of carbohydrate deficit, fat is used as a substitute fuel of the body, fat is recommended to be consumed before any workout session for better results.

Protein For Post Workout

Adding protein to your diet is very important when working out. Protein is considered to be the building block of the muscular system. This is why they are very important for your diet. 

Protein helps to repair[7] and build muscle extensively. Exercise usually triggers the muscles of your body. Hence it breaks down the muscle protein. 

Once the exercise has broken down the proteins and exhausted them, you could need to refuel your body with proteins for further requirements. Therefore protein is a must for most intense workout sessions.

Conclusion

Working out alone is not enough. You might mess up your results if you miss the crucial role of post-workout food.

Keeping the body healthy and matching the overall body goals with a post-workout diet is the primary step in ensuring results.

The main aim should be to eat balanced meals with healthy fats and proteins. Trans fat and junk food should be avoided throughout, especially after a workout.

Foods like lean meats, peanut butter, eggs, veggies, dairy, and mercury-content fish are great post-workout. Choose wisely, as the right food after a workout could make all the difference.

References/Sources

Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

  1. Egg, whole, cooked, scrambled. Date of Publication: March 1, 2019. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172187/nutrients
  2. HIGH PROTEIN FRUIT SMOOTHIE. Date of Publication: March 1, 2019. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/555476/nutrients
  3. Peanut butter. Date of Publication: October 30, 2020. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1100559/nutrients
  4. Cherries, sour, red, raw. Date of Publication: March 1, 2019. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173954/nutrients
  5. BEEF JERKY MEAT SNACKS. Date of Publication: March 1, 2019. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/378869/nutrients
  6. Michael J. Ormsbee, Christopher W. Bach, and Daniel A. Baur. Pre-Exercise Nutrition: The Role of Macronutrients, Modified Starches and Supplements on Metabolism and Endurance Performance. Nutrients. 2014 May; 6(5): 1782–1808. Published online 2014 Apr 29. doi: 10.3390/nu6051782
  7. Brad Jon Schoenfeld, Alan Aragon, Colin Wilborn, et. al. Pre- versus post-exercise protein intake has similar effects on muscular adaptations. PeerJ. 2017; 5: e2825. Published online 2017 Jan 3. doi: 10.7717/peerj.2825

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