You’re riding high on the feel-good, after-workout mindset, and now it’s time to reward your body with a post-fitness refuel. Eating after exercise is essential to prevent muscle breakdown, replenish glycogen stores and ensure a speedy recovery, but you have to choose the correct foods to help things along. This list of the top foods to eat after hitting the gym, with recipes, makes it easy and delicious.
Everyday bananas are a portable snack you can enjoy immediately after your workout, offering carbs and potassium, two muscle-friendly, post-workout nutrients. Add bananas to whole-grain pancakes, toss them in a smoothie, mash them onto toast with peanut butter or simply peel and eat. There are also plenty of ways to use overripe bananas.
This tiny grain is packed with healthy carbs and plant-based protein, two macronutrients that work with your body for a speedy post-workout recovery. Plan ahead and cook up a few days’ worth for fast food you can quickly snack on after exercising.
Eggs are a source of highly bioavailable protein, which helps to replenish and increase muscle stores after exercising. What’s more, they’re quick, versatile and more affordable than a shake at your smoothie bar. For more inspiration, try these creative ways to cook eggs.
Get the recipe for Avocado Toast with Poached Eggs
Chicken brings tons of easily digestible protein to your post-workout routine. Meal-prep grilled or roasted chicken at the beginning of the week to quickly add to salads, lettuce wraps or any other after-exercise meal. If you have more time, prep these slow-cooker chicken recipes in advance.
Eating fibre-rich foods before a workout can cause digestive distress, but afterwards, these foods can help to replenish blood sugar levels. Chickpeas are a post-workout superfood, containing good-for-your carbs and plant-based protein in one tidy package.
Yogurt, especially the Greek variety, provides portable protein and calcium, two nutrients that enhance your post-workout recovery. Skip the flavoured type and go for plain, seasoning with fruit and honey or maple syrup to taste, or, add in lieu of protein powder to your go-to smoothie recipe. These healthy smoothie recipes will keep you full.
A handful of nuts after a workout provides protein, fibre and healthy fats, keeping your stomach satisfied until you can get something more substantial to eat. Keep a small pack of almonds in your workout bag, top your lunchtime salad with walnuts and so much more – nuts are extremely versatile!
After a workout is the best time to enjoy comforting, healthy carbs like oatmeal, which effectively replenishes hardworking muscles. Cook up a batch of hot oatmeal or add a handful of oats to your favourite pancake recipe – it’s a simple grain that can be prepared in a flash.