After an intense workout, your body is literally screaming for nourishment. Muscles are sore, tired and need rest and recuperation in order to rebuild and grow. This can only be done by giving them sound nutrition from the right food sources.
Post workout fatigue can also sap you if you do not replenish your body with nourishing foods. Ideally, you should be gorging on a small but wholesome meal, which is high on protein and carbs. These aid in muscle recovery and also provide energy. Here are some of the snacks that can help you recover from an intense workout session and prepare your body for the next exercise session.
Best Post Workout Foods
1. Fruit With Low Fat Yogurt
A big, wholesome bowl of fruit with low fat curd or yoghurt is just what your tired and aching body needs. Curd has the important whey protein, which helps to repair tired and worn out muscles. The fruits contain power packed, low sugar carbs, which energize you.
Choose any fruit like bananas, mangoes, chikkoo or apples that help to replace the loss of salts from the body and are loaded in vitamins and minerals.
2. Cereals With Milk
Feast on a bowl of cornflakes with low fat or skimmed milk. Add a teaspoon of honey and a sprinkling of nuts or fruit of your choice. It is a power packed meal, full of carbs, essential fats and the right quantity of protein.
3. Dried Fruits Or Nuts
Eat a small bowl of a variety of nuts like walnuts, almonds, dates, raisins and dried apricots. They are loaded in proteins and also have calories that energize you. Nuts have omega-3 fatty acids and other healthy fats that reduce overall cholesterol levels and help you to lose weight. Keep your portions in check though. Do not feast on more than a handful.
4. Chicken, Cheese And Lettuce Sandwich
Buy a loaf of multigrain bread, put in a filling of curd, and shredded chicken. You can add mustard sauce as a sandwich dressing which is low on calories. Top it up with a slice of cheese and lettuce. You will get all the nutrients that your body needs with this small but wholesome meal. Cheese and curd have calcium and protein while the bread and chicken give you healthy carbs and proteins.
5. Vegetable Omelette
Make a nice Spanish vegetable omelette. Use two egg whites and whisk the egg with some olives, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and coriander.
You can add some cheese and shredded chicken to your omelette to make it more wholesome and nutritious. Enjoy this gooey and sumptuous omelette, which fills you up well after a gruelling workout session. If you are very hungry, have a multi-grain toast along with it.
6. Fruit Smoothie
A fruit smoothie is another interesting way of enjoying a post workout meal. This is a good option after a morning workout especially if you are heading for office and are running against time. Cut a small banana and grind it with a medium cup of low fat curd.
You can add just a dash of honey to sweeten the smoothie though this is really not required. Top it up with some nuts for a good dose of essential fats. You can also add a scoop of protein powder to this if you are into serious bodybuilding.
7. Cheese And Crackers
If you are craving for something salty after a workout, cheese and crackers are your best bet. Take a thick slice of parmesan cheese and have it with 2-3 whole-wheat crackers for a good dose of energy. You can add some shredded chicken or turkey to your crackers for upping your protein quota.
8. Energy Bars
While this is not one of the best options, you can choose from an assortment of healthy energy bars, which give you the right amounts of protein, carbs and essential fats. Ask a nutritionist to help you assess the nutrient quantity of energy bars so that you do not have to load up on extra and empty calories.
9. Idlis With Vegetable Stew
Have an energizing breakfast of idlis with a thick vegetable stew as a healthy breakfast option after your morning workout. Idlis are rice cakes that are full of nutrients while the thick stew will give you essential minerals, vitamins and protein.
10. Stir-Fry Veggies With Fish
Have a generous helping of stir-fried vegetables that have been fried in olive oil. You can add bell peppers, olives, mushrooms, cauliflower and potatoes to your veggies. Have a palm sized fish fillet with the vegetables to complete your post workout protein requirements.
11. Pancakes And Eggs
Use some whole-wheat flour to whip up a couple of small pancakes. Have these with eggs to order or the eggs of your choice. Make sure you do not load your pancakes with butter or syrup though a small spoon of peanut butter is a good option.
Paneer or cottage cheese is loaded in protein. Have it with spinach or mixed vegetables along with a serving of bread or chapattis for post work out nutrition. Cottage cheese is very versatile and you can mix it up with almost anything.
13. Homemade Pizza
Pick up whole wheat pizza bases from your nearby confectionary. Pick only thin crust pizzas. To the pizza, add a home made tomato puree topping and a generous seasoning of vegetables like mushrooms, olives and peppers. Sprinkle pieces of chicken and low fat cheese on the top. This is one healthy way of fulfilling your pizza craving without adding up on the calories.
14. Peanut Butter Sandwich
Peanut butter sandwich is another way of kick starting your day after an energizing workout. Put 1-2 teaspoons of peanut butter on two thick slices of whole wheat bread and munch away to glory. This is just the right food that your tired muscles require. You can also have some fresh fruit juice with this.
These are some of the delicious post workout food options that you can have after a tired and hectic workout. Refuelling after a workout is crucial for muscle recovery and energy.