You’ve just got done doing a 45-minute weight training circuit and a half hour of cardio before that…So what do you eat afterwards that won't ruin your diet and weight loss plan? Knowing which kinds of food to eat after a workout is necessary for you to maintain your weight loss goals.
“During a workout your body uses up all of its glycogen stores (carbohydrates); that's the first substrate your body uses for fuel as your energy. Once your body uses up the glycogen stores, it uses protein for your energy. The third substrate to be burned as fuel is fat,” says Mary Bielawski, personal trainer at Edward Health & Fitness Centers. “After a workout, eat a meal or snack that is balanced in carbohydrates, protein and fat. Even though your workout has ended, your muscles are still in over-drive, and they need proper nutrition in order to increase your metabolism.“
Bielawski offers a few post workout "fuel" snack/meal ideas to help replenish your glycogen stores, protein and fat:
Chocolate Milk. A very popular snack recommended by personal trainers. The sugar in the chocolate helps to replenish your glycogen stores. And there's plenty of protein, not to mention a good source of calcium! If you are worried about the sugar content, you can drink regular milk.
Apple slices with peanut butter. My favorite! Fruit is a great natural source of sugars/ carbohydrates. Peanut butter is a good source of protein. Try to use organic peanut butter since it's usually lower in fat and calories than regular non-organic peanut butter.
Eggs and toast. Eggs may have a bad reputation due to their high cholesterol content, but more and more studies show just how nutritious eggs are - scrambled, hard boiled, and easy over - any which way eggs pack in protein. Toast is a good choice for carbohydrates, just be sure to use whole wheat or whole grain and that it contains at least 2 or more grams of fiber per serving.
Post workout fuel tips
Whatever you decide to eat after a workout just be sure to:
Watch your portions!
Combine a carbohydrate (fruit, whole grains, potato, etc.) along with a lean protein (eggs, nuts, fish, chicken, beans etc.)