Just finished an intense workout session in the gym? If so, you should be prepping a solid post workout meal. The foods you choose to eat during this post-workout period are essentially the tools your body is going to utilize to rebuild the body back from its broken down state.
If you don’t provide the right tools, muscle tissue is not going to be built and it will take longer for you to make a full recovery so you can get back to your next workout protocol.
Furthermore, immediately post workout your insulin sensitivity is at its highest, meaning the body is primed to send the nutrients you feed it right to the muscle tissues.
At other points in the day, it’s much lower so if you pass through this post-workout window without eating, you’re really doing yourself a disservice.
Let’s go over the best post-workouts that you should consider serving up after you put in that hard effort with your training.
Picking a Post Workout Meal
A Banana With Whey Protein
One of the top options for many people post-workout is a simple banana with whey protein. The banana is a fast acting source of carbohydrates that has an excellent balance of sugar with starch, so it’ll help to restore muscle glycogen while boosting insulin levels to drive the nutrients into your system.
It also contains potassium, which your body may be slightly depleted of after your hard training session, so this too goes a long way towards improving your performance.
Pairing this with a whey protein is a wise decision because this is the most rapid digesting protein source that you can consume post-workout, so will repair the damaged tissues at top speeds.
The next smart post workout choice is simple chocolate milk. If the thought of eating anything solid right after you come out of the gym doesn’t sit so well with your stomach, this makes for an excellent go-to.
Chocolate milk is rich in sugars and protein – the two nutrients that help kickstart muscle building repair. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism also indicated that chocolate milk was superior for complete muscle recovery compared to a carbohydrate replacement drink.
Keep in mind it isn’t as high in protein and carbs as the above post-workout meal, so you may need to drink two to three cups depending on your own body weight and how intense and long that training session was.
Also keep in mind that there are few complex carbohydrates in chocolate milk, so you will want to follow it up with a solid meal with some slower burning carbohydrates shortly after.
Try and find lower fat varieties of chocolate milk whenever possible as the addition of fat will just slow the digestion of nutrients.
White Fish With White Rice
If you’re dieting and aren’t so thrilled at the thought of drinking your calories since liquid calories aren’t as filling as solid calories, opt for white fish and white rice.
Both are relatively fast to digest, so will get to the muscle tissues quickly and give you a bit more of a satiety response as well.
Just be sure again that you prepare these foods using as little added fats as possible as fat should be kept out of the post workout period for the most part.
A Bagel With Jelly And Whey Protein
Finally, another quick digesting source of carbohydrates is the bagel, which will pack in quite the high carb punch for those training very intensely.
Serve it smeared with a little jelly for added fast carbs to spike insulin levels and then drink it with your whey protein shake to get the fast digesting source of protein you need into your post workout meal.
This meal is higher in calories overall, so also make sure you’re accounting for it into your daily total calorie intake.
Remember that your calorie intake must balance to help you achieve the proper weight goals you’ve set for yourself.
So there you have some great ideas to know and remember about post-workout nutrition.