If you have a regular exercise routine, you’re definitely going to want to check this out.
Did you know that one of the most important ‘snacks’ of your day is what you eat right after your workout?
That’s because what you eat right after you exercise can have a pretty big impact on your results since it helps your body do three important jobs: replenish, rebuild, and re-hydrate.
Your body is smart and resourceful, so you don’t have to worry about being exact with everything. Even so, there are some simple things you can do to make sure you get the most out of your post-workout ‘re-feed.’
First, choose your snack BEFORE you start your workout – and make sure you have it handy!
One study showed that if you wait until after your workouts, you might not make the healthiest choices.
Scientists at the University of Nebraska had study participants choose between an apple and brownie for their post-workout snack. BEFORE their workout, they were about 33% more likely to choose the apple than if they chose after their workout!
Bottom line: plan ahead for what you’re going to eat after your workout.
Second, try to eat something within 45 minutes of finishing your workout. That’s because your body’s ability to rebuild its glycogen stores (basically, what your muscles use for fuel), as well as protein, is higher right after workouts.
Waiting longer can slow down that process.
Here’s a third key: your snack doesn’t have to be huge, but after more intense bouts of exercise, it should contain both carbs and protein.
If you want to get really fancy, you can aim for a 1:1 ratio of carbs to protein (so if your snack has 30 grams of carbs, you’d want 30 grams of protein). This is a guideline, not a rule, and you can certainly have more/less carbs or protein if you like.
Here are a few snack ideas that you can pack up and bring with you to your workout:
- Post-workout smoothie with your favorite milk, fruit, and protein powder.
- Turkey on a sprouted-grain wrap with veggies
- 2 sticks of low-fat string cheese with fruit (apple, banana, pear, etc.)
- Greek yogurt with berries.
Hope this helps!
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What are your usual after-workout snacks? Let us know by commenting on it below.