After a training session your body craves nutrition, and it’s very easy to just grab the nearest sugary or fatty snack. However, with a little knowledge and preparation you can ensure that you’re getting the right type of food to recover from the effects of your session.
From looking at foods to avoid, including those high in trans fat, to healthy snacks that are perfect for recovery, i'm here to give you some ideas about what to eat after your next workout.
What is trans fat?
One thing you certainly don’t want to fill up on after a workout, or at any time for that matter, are trans fat foods. What is trans fat, you say? Answer: unsaturated fatty acids found in certain foods. Eating too much of this type of fat can raise bad cholesterol levels and lead to health problems like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. With that in mind, is better to avoid foods like:
They’re not going to give your body the nutrients it needs! Find more information here on what is trans fat foods and how to replace bad with good fats!
The window of opportunity
Once your workout is complete there is a prime period of time to hit your body with some much-needed nourishment. Eat within an hour of training and your body will start to begin the repairing process in earnest. Leave it too long, and you could end up with impaired performance in your next session. A balance of carbohydrate, healthy fat and a good source of protein is the right combo. Here are three great ideas:
1. Yogurts, berries and nuts or seeds. In addition to being kind to your stomach, Greek yogurt is good for tired muscles, thanks to its protein content. The berries provide the carbs, along with antioxidants, and the nuts and seeds are full of healthy fats and fibre.
2. Protein-rich shake. Sometimes it’s difficult to digest after a heavy workout and a liquid meal is the way to go. Chuck a scoop or two of quality whey protein into your blender, along with a banana and a handful of spinach, for an ultra nutritious post-workout shake. If you’re in a hurry you can simply combine your whey with water and give it a good shake.
3. Chicken, rice and veg. If you’re someone who likes to be well prepared, a winning trio of grilled chicken, brown rice and steamed green veg is ideal for workout recovery. It’ll do the job of feeding your muscles, and the slow release carbs will help quell the hunger.
In addition to these great combinations, there will be times when you need to grab something really quick. Here are a few suggestions:
Seeds and nuts – these provide you with a good hit of healthy fat and protein.
Protein bar – they’re specifically designed for refuelling, or you could learn how to make your own.
Granola bar – choose a low sugar option.
Sandwich – always look for a lean protein option with wholemeal or granary bread.
Timing and balance is key to post-workout nutrition. Stick to the guidelines we’ve looked at here avoid trans fat foods and your body will certainly thank you!