Best Foods to Eat after Working Out

Healthy feeding habits, engaging in physical exercise, and balancing mental health is the perfect recipe for leading a healthy lifestyle. Being healthy is a continuous process that you should follow. However, some people relapse as they may not be disciplined enough to follow a strict or continuous schedule.

You may think that attaining your fitness goals ends in the gym, but this is not the case. The type of food that you consume can determine how quickly your muscles recuperate and be ready for the next training session. Preparing healthy recipes after your workout sessions using an instant pot is one way of helping you achieve your fitness goals. The following are some foods that are recommended to take after your workout routine.

Eggs

Eggs have several nutrients that are beneficial to your body. It is a great source of protein needed for repairing your muscles after your workout. Eggs contain a range of vitamins – such as B, D, and E – that are good for your muscles and bones. You can also get nutrients such as folic acids, omega three fatty acids, and biotin from the yolk of eggs. Your bones also receive a boost from eggs as they are rich in potassium. You just need 15-40 grams of protein after your workout routine, which you can get from eggs.

Salad

Eating a nutrient-rich salad aids in muscle recovery post-workout.

A post-workout salad should include a serving of protein to avoid breakdown of muscle leading to fatigue, lethargy, weakness and wasting over the long-term.

Healthy options to include in a vegetable-based salad include a serving of lean chicken or turkey breast chopped or shredded; lean beef; salmon, tuna or sardines; and chopped, hard-boiled eggs. Non-animal protein alternatives include lentils, beans, nuts and seeds as well as tofu and tempeh.

Black Rice

Black rice has a nutrition profile that is very similar to brown rice, as they both provide fibre and some iron, but black rice has more vitamin E in it, which is an important fat-soluble vitamin. This means you need to pair it with a source of fat like avocados or olive oil in order for your body to absorb it.

Black rice also has some antioxidants that will help your body get rid of wastes. Antioxidant vitamin E helps prevent cell damage in the body, protects eyesight, and boosts the immune system, some research suggests.

In addition, a study on mice suggests black rice might have anti-inflammatory benefits, and it has a similar fibre content but fewer calories than brown rice, roughly 160 per serving compared to a little over 200 in brown.

Salmon

Consuming seafood like salmon after a workout session works wonders. It is rich in proteins that help reduce recovery time, build muscles, and increase strength. Proteins help our body to release leptin, which makes us feel fuller for longer while at the same time proving unmatched energy. Proteins build cells and tissues in your body, and 3 ounces of salmon is enough to provide up to 20 grams of proteins. You can either prepare fresh or frozen salmon in your pressure cooker. You can enjoy this meal with vegetables or plain rice.

Sweet Potatoes

It is a good source of carbohydrates which are critical after an intense workout session. Your energy levels drain during exercise, and wholesome plants with high carbs content such as sweet potatoes help you recover. They also come with vitamin A that can last in your system for up to 3 days. You need approximately 26 grams of carbs from sweet potatoes, and your glycogen levels will be restored. You can take this meal with vegetables or a smoothie and enjoy high fibre content that is essential for your digestive system.

Chicken

It is one of the most-loved recipes. You need a tasty meal and one that is rich in proteins after an intense workout session. There are numerous chicken recipes that you can try depending on your tastes and preferences. Frozen chicken comes in handy if you do not have much time at your hands, and you need a quick bite. You can also try instant chicken corn soup that you can prepare within a few minutes. You can even refrigerate your leftovers for up to 3 days and enjoy after every workout session.

Healthy Fats

You can take healthy fats and help your body rebuild. You can get these healthy fats from different fruits, such as avocados and nuts. You can have your avocado with your rice or chicken (see above).

Unsaturated fats may help reduce inflammation and provide calories. While fat is a primary fuel for aerobic exercise, we have plenty stored in the body to fuel even the longest workouts. However, getting healthy unsaturated fats helps to provide essential fatty acids and calories to keep you moving.

What about Water?

Whether you are an elite athlete or a weekend warrior, hydration is key during exercise.

Around 60% of your body is water and it plays a vital role in every bodily function. You can lose a lot of fluid when you exercise – as much as a litre or two an hour – mainly through sweating and breathing.

If you do not top this fluid back up, you can get dehydrated. This can affect both your general health and how well you can exercise. You will feel tired more quickly if you are dehydrated, and you will not be able to control your temperature as well as usual.

Water helps fuel your muscles, so drinking before, during and after exercise will boost your energy levels, and may help to prevent cramp.

When Should you take a Meal?

Your body needs recharging, and this can only happen (optimally) through a balanced, nutritious diet and adequate muscle recovery training.

That can only happen after you take the right foods and in the recommended portions. Carbs and proteins are important foods after a workout session. Timing does not have to be exact. However, experts recommend that you should take your post-workout meal within 45 minutes after the session. Delaying the consumption of carbs for up to two hours can lower the absorption rate of these nutrients by almost half. Meals that you consume before the session will also benefit your body.

General guidelines include:

  • If you exercise in the morning, get up early enough to finish breakfast at least one hour before your workout.
  • If you plan to exercise within an hour after breakfast, eat a light breakfast or drink something such as a sports drink.
    • Focus on carbohydrates for maximum energy.
  • Large meals.
    • Eat these at least three to four hours before exercising.
  • Small meals or snacks.
    • Eat these about one to three hours before exercising.
  • Most people can eat small snacks right before and during exercise.
  • To help your muscles recover and to replace their glycogen stores, eat a meal that contains both carbohydrates and protein within two hours of your exercise session if possible.
  • Drink fluids.
    • You need adequate fluids before, during and after exercise to help prevent dehydration.

Keep in mind that the length and intensity of your activity will determine how often and what you should eat and drink. For example, you will need more energy from food to run a marathon than to walk a few miles.

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