The 5 BEST Foods to Eat Post Workout
Just finished a great session at the gym?
That’s the first phase of getting stronger and fitter!
BUT, there is a SECOND (and a third) phase that are EQUALLY important to maximise your results!
How we train matters! But without re-fuelling and allowing recovery, your not giving your body the tools it needs to really excel!
It’s the repair process that makes us stronger or fitter, not the workout itself.
To maximise your results from your training sessions, let’s look at the nutritional goals that we want to achieve.
Replace glycogen (the stored form of carbohydrate in your muscles, helping you move with power and speed).
Enhance Recovery, reduce inflammation and oxidative stress naturally created through training (reducing soreness, stiffness and getting you back to your next session stronger!)
Provide fuel for muscular growth and recovery (making you fitter, faster and stronger!)
Your body is EFFICIENT and essentially wants to ‘get in and get and get the job done’. It needs fuel to repair and grow and nutrients to assist recovery.
Your post workout meal is the IDEAL opportunity to support your body and give it what it needs to adapt and get the results you trained for.
The food that you are eating and WHEN is just AS IMPORTANT as your training.
Because essentially, you can’t make something from nothing…. Your body needs the right nutrients and building blocks, just like a builder needs the right materials and tools.
The ideal window to support this, is to eat within 90 minutes of finishing training. The most absorbable and efficient fuel to consume is FOOD (not supplements).
In an ideal world, your post workout meal will be your breakfast, lunch or dinner – however LIFE doesn’t always run to schedule, so a post workout snack within this time is a perfect choice.
So… What are the best foods to eat and when??
To get the most bang for buck, lets have a look back at our nutritional goals and find the most nutrient dense, easy (and delicious) forms of these.
Salmon is high in protein and omega 3 essential fatty acids, which work in the body as a natural anti-inflammatory.
Research demonstrates that the omega 3 essential fatty acids found in fish have the ability to significantly diminish the production and effectiveness of prostaglandins; a natural compound in the body that can trigger inflammation.
A reduction in inflammation post workout, means less muscle soreness and stiffness – which is definitely what we want!!
Additionally, salmon is packed full of lean protein, which is essential in cell regeneration and muscular repair.
Greek yogurt contains a significant amount of protein per portion; which is essential for muscular repair and growth PLUS it tastes delicious!
Greek yogurt contains both casein and whey making it a highly absorbable 'complete protein'. It is also high in the amino acid Leucine which works at a catalyst to stimulate muscular growth.
Greek yogurt also rich in calcium and magnesium; both essential nutrients to support your muscles and your bones.
Natures perfect portable powerhouse!
Egg protein is HIGHLY absorbable and nutrient dense! They are a 'complete protein'; containing all the essential amino acids your body needs to adapt and grow.
Eggs truly are a super-food with 11 different vitamins and nutrients tucked into a little package.
Eggs are rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids helping to reduce inflammation post workout.
They also contain vitamins A, D, E to support your immune system, bones and muscles and Iron for energy production.
Blueberries are super high in polyphenols and anthocyanins which work in the body as anti-oxidants; helping to mop up the cellular damage created through training, which in turn can help REDUCE MUSCULAR STIFFNESS and soreness after your workouts.
Researchers have investigated many options to increase the anti-oxidant capacity in the body post workout; including dietary antioxidant supplements like vitamin C and E. Unfortunately there is no evidence that supplementing with antioxidants in pill form actually works, in fact supplementing with antioxidants long term directly post workout has shown to down regulate your own bodies’ natural antioxidant capacity.
HOWEVER, providing anti-oxidants through FOOD has shown to be highly beneficial to support muscular repair and reduce muscular stiffness.
Blueberries have an EXTREMELY high anti-oxidant capacity and have been demonstrated to accelerate muscular recovery.
Is an ideal post workout meal. It contains all essential amino acids that your body requires for muscular repair and growth; making it one of the only plant based sources of complete protein .
Quinoa contains flavonoids which work as anti-inflammatory agents in the body to help reduce muscular soreness and stiffness.
It is high in Magnesium, Iron and B Vitamins, helping to support recovery and energy.
Food is the most enjoyable and effective way to fuel your body. It's the synergy of the nutrients in food given by nature, that will truly give the BEST RESULTS.
Here are some of my FAVOURITE post work out snacks
Greek yogurt with Blueberries
Greek yogurt with rolled oats and berries
Salmon with quinoa salad
Quinoa with roast veggies
Rice Crackers with Salmon
Banana with ABC Butter
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2006, April 4). Anti-inflammatory Effects Of Omega 3 Fatty Acid In Fish Oil Linked To Lowering Of Prostaglandin. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 10, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060404085719.htm
Bridge A, Brown J, Snider H, Nasato M, Ward WE, Roy BD and Josse AR (2019) Greek Yogurt and 12 Weeks of Exercise Training on Strength, Muscle Thickness and Body Composition in Lean, Untrained, University-Aged Males. Front. Nutr. 6:55. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2019.00055
Can blueberries beat muscle soreness? J Koslo; Precision Nutrition. Retrieved July 10, 2019 from https://www.precisionnutrition.com/soreness-and-blueberries
Nocella, C.; Cammisotto, V.; Pigozzi, F.; Borrione, P.; Fossati, C.; D’Amico, A.; Cangemi, R.; Peruzzi, M.; Gobbi, G.; Ettorre, E.; Frati, G.; Cavarretta, E.; Carnevale, R.; SMiLe Group. Impairment between Oxidant and Antioxidant Systems: Short- and Long-term Implications for Athletes’ Health. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1353.