Post Workout Meals – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Let’s talk about food, baby. Specifically, what you’re eating (or not eating) after your workout. Getting your butt into the gym or into a class is just half of the equation to fitness. How you’re fueling and, more importantly, recovering from your workout can either hinder or help your results. Your post workout meal can seriously make or break the muscle you build and fat you burn. And, let me assure you, not all post-workout fuel is created equal! Not to worry. I’m here to answer all your questions about what to eat after a workout.

Ladies (and gents), food is not the enemy. The goal is not to see how long you can go without eating before you want to gorge on your entire kitchen. The secret to weight-loss, that fit physique, and higher energy levels comes down to the timing, quality, and yes, quantity, of your meals. One of the most important times to eat is after a workout – specifically no more than 60-minutes after.

After a workout, your glycogen (or carbohydrate stores) have been depleted. Glycogen is how we produce energy and how we burn fat! If you do not restore glycogen after a workout, your body has no energy to use in order to repair and build your muscles and can actually cause your body to eat up your muscle to use as energy completely canceling out the exercise you just did, slowing your metabolism, and increasing your body fat percent over time!

So now, how do we replenish in order to build muscle and continue to burn fat? This may shock you, but this occurs  mainly from carbohydrates. I know what you’re thinking, “But I thought protein was the building blocks of muscle?” Well yes, but in order for any protein to be transferred to the muscles for repair, your body needs to produce insulin, the hormone responsible for transferring carbohydrates/ glycogen and amino acids to the muscles. The magic number of carbs and protein to create this response post sweat session? About 0.8 g of carbohydrates and between 0.2-0.4 g of protein to kg of body weight!

To take the guess-work out of your post-workout meal planning, here are 5 of my favorite recovery snacks!

1) Crunchy Yogurt Parfait

5-Minute Energizing Breakfast for Weight Loss, Muscle Definition

Ingredients

1/2 cup non-fat, plain Greek yogurt

1 tbsp honey (or Body Ecology Liquid Stevia to reduce sugar content)

1/4 cup chopped strawberries

1/2 sliced banana

1 tbsp chopped walnuts or almonds

1 tbsp Live Superfoods Raw Organic Chia Seed

1/4 cup cooked oats or 2 tbsp uncooked oats

Preparation

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and serve!

2) Chunky Hummus and Veggies


Top 5 Post Workout Meals

Ingredients

1/4 cup hummus (there are so many flavor varieties out there you’ll never get bored!)

2 tbsp chickpeas

1 cup veggies (I love carrots, jicama, cucumber, celery, broccoli, and mushrooms!)

Preparation

1. Put chopped veggies and hummus on a plate. Top hummus with chickpeas and eat up!

3) Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Milkshake

Top 5 Post Workout Meals

Ingredients

1 cup almond milk

3/4 frozen banana

1 scoop VegaOne Protein Powder

2 ice cubes

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 packet/drop Body Ecology Liquid Stevia if you want a little extra sweetness

Preparation

1. Blend all ingredients together in a blender and enjoy!

4)  Emily’s Everything Energy Bars

Life in Spandex's Grab n' Go Homemade Everything Energy Bars

Ingredients

2 cups gluten-free oats

1/2 cup almond flour

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup dried, unsweetend blueberries (or whatever dried fruit you prefer – just check the ingredients to make sure there is no sugar added!)

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup almond butter

1/2 cup pure maple syrup or 1/4 cup granulated Stevia

1/2 cup egg whites

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp cinnamon (or more to taste)

Pinch of salt

Preparation 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with coconut oil cooking spray.

2. Mix together the oats, almond flour, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, walnuts, and chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the almond butter, egg whites, almond milk, cinnamon, and salt.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

5. Add in the maple syrup or Stevia and mix in completely.

6. Spread the batter out on the baking sheet. Depending on the size of your baking pan, there should be about an inch of space from the edge of the pan to the dough all around. Or, the batter should be about 1/2 inch thick on the pan.

6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool and then slice into bars. I like to individually wrap mine in tin foil to make them easy to grab n’ go!

5) Quest Bar!

Buy your Quest Protein Bar!

 

 

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