What to Eat After a Workout? | 21 Best Post Workout Meals for Weight Loss & Fitness
After working out, our body undergoes catabolism or wear and tear. That is why, after a workout, it is very important to recover, re-energize, rehydrate and rejuvenate. Drinking an appropriate amount of water and eating a healthy meal is very crucial after your workout session. But the question is that what are the healthy meal options post-workout? It is always better to plan your meals beforehand so that you can manage to eat it on time. In this post, I have tried to answer your question what to eat after a workout? and suggested 21 best Post-Workout foods for you.
What to Eat After a Workout?
What to eat after a workout is one of the most common questions. When you exercise, your body’s ability to rebuild glycogen and protein gets enhanced. Your body loses a lot of its glycogen and if your post-workout meal is not fulfilling, your body will be stressed. Therefore, it is suggested by dieticians that after a hectic workout session you should have a meal which combines a good amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It also has been recommended that food should be taken within 20- 45 minutes of a workout. But doctors have also stated that if the carbon consumption is delayed by more than 2 hours after a workout session then the glycogen synthesis takes place at 50% lower rates than usual. Even the proper meal is consumed before working out, the nutritional values of the feed still apply in the same way. (1)
21 Best Post Workout Meals for Weight Loss
It serves a meal in itself. Quinoa is very filling and helps in sustaining long hours without food. It is perfect for people who are on a diet or are working out regularly to shed those extra pounds. Quinoa is devoid of fat but it is a protein-rich food. Proteins are made up of amino acids and quinoa is called the “complete” food because it has all the 9 amino acids that make it a complete meal itself. (2)
2. Protein Bar / Peanut Bar
Protein bars contain proteins like milk, eggs or soy. Other ingredients such as carbohydrates, vitamins, fats, and minerals are also present so as to provide all types of nutrients. The amino acids present in it helps to synthesize immune and red blood cells as well as helps in building muscles, helps in repairing damaged tissues. Besides these, it also helps in manufacturing enzymes and hormones. Due to the presence of fats and vitamins, it also supports in maintaining an overall health. A protein bar is an easy answer to your question what to eat after a workout.
3. Greek yogurt and Berries
Yogurt contains animal protein, besides that there are lots nutrients in yogurt like Calcium, Potassium, Vitamin B-12, vitamin B-2, and magnesium. It keeps you fuller than any other liquid would do. Berries are a favorite part of the meal for most people. The fiber and liquid content in berries are really high and it helps us in keeping full. Besides these berries help in preventing cancer and fights urinary tract infections.
4. Whole Grain Crackers with Tuna Fish
Tuna fish can be found in fresh or in canned form. Tuna fish has reduced level of calories and fat but is loaded with nutrients and protein that are beneficial for health. It also contains Omega-3 Fatty Acids which stimulate the hormone called leptin that balances the food that is consumed by the body and regulates the desire to eat more. This, in turn, reduces the tendency of overeating and confirms that you are consuming only what is required which helps the body to get the appetite back in form. Vitamin B complex present in tuna is said to have a lot of benefits.
It is mainly useful in boosting the metabolism, protecting the skin, increasing efficiency of the organs and increasing energy levels. Since it helps in building up energy levels you can consume it after your workout session to get back the energy lost. Whole grains on the other hand whole-grain crackers boost your consumption of B vitamins. The main function of vitamin b complex is to provide energy to the body so that it can keep you active through the day. Vitamin B1 which is a part of the vitamin B complex helps in regulating your appetite. Vitamin B6 helps in the production of healthy RBCs.
5. Grilled Chicken & Vegetables in Pita Bread
Nobody likes boiled chicken in the stew. So you might as well grill the chicken before having it. Sauté the vegetables in a little bit of oil so that they don’t seem boring or tasteless and voila you are ready to eat a delicious meal. We only have chicken in the dried form or in a burger but if the chicken can be cooked in a healthy way it does retain its beneficial properties. Chicken is one of the best options for protein content. Protein, as we know, is made up of amino acids, which act as pillars for building muscles.
Chicken has been one of the main contenders in the race of foods that help in losing weight and this has been possible because of the high content of protein in it. Keeping chicken as a part of your regular diet will help in a marked decrease in weight. We all know how beneficial vegetables are for health. It is because they have a high content of fiber, vitamins, minerals and are devoid of anything that increases weight. Pita bread just increases the nutritional value of the meal. It is made up of wheat and is highly rich in carbohydrates and proteins.
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6. Chicken with Leafy Vegetables
Besides vegetables as a whole being a great source of fiber, kale, spinach, romaine, iceberg and many more such leafy vegetables contain dietary fiber, magnesium and is low in fat. Its high magnesium content they use for people who have type 2 diabetes. It contains vitamin K which in turn helps in the production of a protein called osteocalcin which is important for maintaining bone health, especially in middle-aged women. The benefits of chicken as we know is very helpful in reducing weight while keeping the stomach full. A combination of these two- leafy vegetables and chicken- can be found in salads which can be enjoyed with a low-fat dressing.
7. Yogurt with Fruits
This combination can be found together in the form of fruits salads that are really nutritious. Fruits and yogurt both are filling. Therefore, it can keep you going for a long time before you can gorge onto the next meal of the day. There should always be something to compliment fruits because consumption of fruits in an empty stomach may result in acidity. However, fruits are a great source of fiber that keeps you fuller and improves the functioning of the digestive tract, also is low in fat. For proper functioning of the body, fruits are required as they an immensely rich in minerals and vitamins. Fruits give you a lot of energy and help you in reducing weight by providing you with a lot of nutrients that help in curbing weight gain. Yogurt also contains high quantities protein that helps in weight reduction.
8. Rice Cakes/ Idli with Sambar and Coconut Chutney
Rice cakes can be prepared by blending them with a variety of ingredients, including sesame seeds, rye, and corn. In one single piece of rice cake, you can find less than 1 gram of calories i.e. 69 to 70 calories, but these fats are not saturated fats which are harmful to the body. After working out for an hour or so you will feel the need to jump on food due to increased hunger. Rice cakes are one of the best options you can put your hands on, in this case, since it is really low on fat. Rice cakes don’t supply you with large quantities of vitamins and minerals but they do supply with little amounts of nutrients that are essential in a healthy diet.
If you like Indian Food then you can eat Idli sambar in place of rice cakes. It is a complete food, healthy and very tasty.
9. Poached Egg with bread and Avocado
One-fifth of an Avocado contains 64 calories, almost 6 grams of fat and 3.4 grams of carbohydrate. It also contains less than one gram of sugar and almost 3 grams of fiber. Hence, you may be able to figure out how much energy it can provide us with. Most of the calories avocadoes come from fat. But it doesn’t mean that it will result in weight gain instantly because these type of fats beneficial for health to keep you full and satisfied. Eggs, as we all are aware of, is a rich in proteins. It contains the amino acids all the appropriate ratios. Such high protein content gives a lot of energy for thriving. Therefore, this meal is indeed energy-packed as is recommended by the doctors more often.
10. Whole grain cereal and Milk
We have already read about the benefits of whole grains, now we need to find out how can milk give us the energy to keep going after a tiring stretch of the workout. Essentialities of milk is known worldwide and thus people make it a part of their stapled diet, milk has so much calcium that one carton can fulfill the requirement of the day. Milk also contains high amounts of protein which help in the growth and development of the human muscles. This combination of milk and cereals is popular among children as a stapled breakfast.
11. Cottage Cheese and Fruit
Fruits, as we know, are a great source of proteins and fiber but we are yet to know about the benefits of cottage cheese. Cottage cheese has high protein content along with significant amounts of calcium, and potassium, phosphorus, and thus is useful for weight management. A high volume of casein protein can be found in it. Bodybuilders and sprinters are a lover of cottage cheese because casein is a slow-digesting protein, therefore, the process of release of energy is very slow.
12. Whole Wheat Sandwich Wraps
During the workout, your body burns carbohydrates as fuels for keeping up the drive and energy to drill harder. The contents of the wrap i.e., turkey are rich in fiber grains and the fresh vegetables keep replenishing the store of fibers and keep the level of blood sugar steady. This meal will energize the body instead of more drainage of energy. Pairing the carbohydrates of the vegetables with turkey which is rich in protein will help you recover from the fatigue after working out more quickly.
13. Oatmeal and Bananas
Both bananas and oatmeal are rich in the protein and thus a quick snack including both of these goodies will be helpful in restoring the lost energy of the body.
14. Orange Slices and Almonds
Orange and Almonds are easy to carry and can be consumed anywhere. The nuts contain protein and healthy fats and also mends the hunger pangs. Snacking on nuts like almonds reduces appetite so that you don’t reverse all the sweat shed during that training. Oranges on the other deliver carbohydrates and also boosts the immunity system by providing Vitamin C and hydration.
15. Smoothie Made with Berries, Avocado, and Plain Yogurt
Plain yogurt or greek yogurt serves as the base for a number of smoothies. If you make the smoothie using avocado and berries, it will provide you with a lot of zeal because all the components of the smoothie contain high levels of protein and healthy fats. It tastes good and will become a preference for any gym-goer.
16. Hummus and Whole Grain Crackers
Hummus is basically is a Palestinian dish made up of chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, and spices. It is a good source of protein which in turn helps in fighting diseases, supports bone health because of the vitamins and minerals present in hummus, helps for digestive purposes and most importantly boosts energy. On the other hand benefits of whole grain, cracker is known to be highly protein-rich and carbohydrate-rich. Therefore these two, when consumed together, can help in boosting the energy levels.
17. Black Beans, Brown Rice and Vegetables
Have you been working really hard? Then you deserve a reward for a healthy and tasty post-workout meal. The black beans have fiber-rich carbohydrates. Brown rice is gluten-free which in turn helps in weight management. It provides energy. Vegetables, brown rice, and black beans make an amazing combination of high-quality food which is delicious to eat.
18. Salmon with Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes contain fiber which prevents constipation. High level of sugar in sweet potato provides energy to the body. The sugar breaks down into carbohydrates and that into glucose which energizes the muscles. A baked potato contains 103 calories. Calories equate to obesity but all kinds of fats are not bad, they provide energy as well. Salmon contains omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins and also helps in weight control.
19. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter contains protein as well as potassium that lowers the chances of high blood pressure followed by a stroke. Fibre present in it eases bowel movements. Peanut butter contains monounsaturated fat and protein which is highly filling. Having peanut butter sandwich or any other form of consuming this nut butter prevents overeating.
20. Trail Mix
Trail mix is a combination of dry fruits such as cashew nuts, raisins, dates. These can be easily be carried from place to place and is a favorite snack cum post workout titbits for hikers. It is filled with carbohydrates, fats, and proteins which is an essential requirement for the hikers.
21. Animal-based Protein Powder
Sources of animal protein are fish, poultry, dairy, eggs and are similar to the proteins that we can find in our body. These are termed as complete sources because they are made up of all the important amino acids that our body needs to function. Protein, when eaten, is broken down into amino acids. Amino acids are required for every metabolic process in the body animal proteins have a good balance of amino acids while the plant proteins lack in it.
One thing that should not be forgotten by us is that we need to be hydrated in the similar fashion as we need to keep our stomach filled. Any of these foods need to be consumed after that rigorous session of workout. Sweat it out but eat proper food to hold onto your health!