You just had a killer workout, pushing yourself to the absolute limit. As you head home from the gym, dripping with self-satisfaction, it's easy to want to reward yourself with junk food. But you worked hard, and you deserve to give your body what it needs to recover from exercise and maximize your results. The good news is that you don't have to sacrifice that urge to splurge. Here are some nutritious and delicious options for your post-workout meal.
Okay, it's not a meal, and it's not really tasty. But first and foremost, it's important to hydrate. Especially when training in a high heat environment, drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. A few fresh cucumber slices in a water bottle are an easy way to elevate a simple sip of H2O.
Foods rich in protein help build muscle and increase endurance and stamina. Greek yogurt with a walnut crumble makes for a decadent post-workout treat. A healthy chicken stew will fill you up without dragging you down, and you can add quinoa to just about anything to satiate your hunger in a healthy way.
While there is always debate in the diet and fitness arena about carbohydrates, there's no denying the power of the carb in terms of recovery. A modest amount of carbs after a workout can help your body replenish glycogen. Try a multi-grain wrap with some lean ground turkey, hummus, and avocado for a super satisfying lunch.
Magnesium and Potassium
These vital elements aid in digestion, recovery, and help your body maximize hydration. Foods like leafy greens, nuts, bananas, fish, and dark chocolate will all help your body replenish and be ready for the next workout.
Spice it up!
Remember, you don't have to sacrifice flavor for a healthy recovery meal. Spices go a long way toward keeping your post-workout meals interesting. Many spices have beneficial properties as well. Cayenne pepper is great for your circulatory system, turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent, and ginger can help reduce muscle soreness.
Work hard and eat well, and your body will respond. Bon Appétit!