[I received free samples of the Inner-J Bars, however, all opinions are my own].
Good nutrition before working out is important for you to perform well but healthy eating after you work out is just as important. If you have been following these blog posts, you may have seen the first part of the Eating for Exercise series - Part 1: all about pre-workout nutrition. Today’s post will be the second and final part of the series. We will be talking about post-workout nutrition and what you can do to help your body recover after your workout.
When you exercise or do an intense workout, you:
Deplete your carbohydrate stores
It is important to replace everything you have lost after you exercise so that you recover well and can continue to perform your best at your next workout.
Here are some recovery tips to keep in mind:
Eat a recovery meal or snack within 30 minutes after finishing your exercise. This is important to speed up muscle repair and refuel energy stores. You may need to eat every 2 hours for up to 6 hours to fully recover if you exercise intensely or for a long period of time
Eat foods high in carbohydrates. These foods help replenish carbohydrate stores in your body. Example of carbohydrate-rich foods include:
Legumes (chickpeas, black-eyed peas, lentils, kidney or black beans)
Eat foods high in protein. Protein helps repair, maintain and provide the building blocks to build new muscle. Aim to eat 15g to 25g of protein after a workout. Some good choices are:
Lean meats, poultry, and fish
Milk, yogurt, cheese or cottage cheese
Nuts and nut butters
Beans, peas, and lentils
Tofu, soy products and fortified soy beverages
Drink enough fluids to replace what you lost in sweat during your workout. While you refuel your body with food, make sure to also drink fluids to replace what you lost during your workout. You can use your thirst as a guide to replace fluids lost. Instead of sugary drinks, opt for water.
An important note: Eating more carbohydrates or protein does not mean that you will build more muscle. Excess protein and carbohydrates is stored as fat in the body.
Supplements are also very common nowadays and there are many sports supplements on the market today. Instead of relying on supplements, regular exercise combined with a healthy, balanced diet and enough rest is more likely to help your performance. One of the most common supplements is protein powder or drinks.
Protein helps build and maintain muscle and support recovery of muscles after exercise. Choosing nutritious, protein-rich foods should always be your first choice but protein supplements are an easy and portable way to meet exercise protein needs. However, protein supplements have not been shown to be better than protein rich foods for building muscle.
Here are some tips to remember when choosing and using protein supplements:
Whey protein contains all important amino acids and is digested quickly. Protein supplements can come from many sources such as whey and casein. Whey protein generally contains leucine which is important for building muscle.
Aim for 15 to 20g of protein. This is a good amount of protein to have shortly after most exercises. Conventional liquid or powder protein supplements generally provide 16-30g of protein per serving so be sure to check the label to see how much protein it contains.
Eat enough calories and carbohydrates to get the most out of protein supplements. It is important to eat enough so that you are meeting your body’s needs. Otherwise, your body will use the protein as a source of energy
If you are looking for some great post-workout meals or snacks, here are some ideas:
Greek-style yogurt with low-fat granola
whole grain cereal or oatmeal with milk
whole grain pita with tuna and mayonnaise
a medium-sized baked potato with lean steak or grilled tofu and a side salad
grilled or roasted chicken on a whole wheat tortilla with lower-fat cheese and mixed raw vegetables
brown rice or quinoa with grilled fish and steamed vegetables
smoothie made with Greek-style yogurt, soy beverage or low-fat milk, banana, and mixed berries
My favourite flavour was the Chocolate Quinoa Coconut Bars because I loved the extra crunch from the quinoa and the flavour from the coconut.
Do you want a chance to win a box of your very own Energy Bars? Head over to my Instagram and let me know which flavour you would like to try for a chance to win a box for Inner-J Bars! Contest open until December 8th 2016 11:59PM EST for Canadian residents only.
Are you ready to begin your healthy lifestyle journey but don't know where to start? Join me and many other women with The Muslimah’s Meal Plan!