Energy Boost: The Best Post-Workout Snacks
If you have exercised, secured a good sleep, and got rid of stress, this is wonderful. However, one more thing plays an important role in your physical health - the snacks you eat after your workout. After hard work, you deserve a tasty reward. But if you start to consume french fries, sweet coffee, or chocolate bars after class, with a sense of accomplishment, your efforts will be nullified.
After exercise, your body needs protein and carbohydrates. Protein helps restore tired muscles, and carbohydrates help restore all the energy you use in the gym. For optimal results, take a 1:3 ratio of protein and carbs, meaning 1 gram of protein for every 3 grams of carbs. This is a good formula to keep in mind, but the ideal post-workout nutrient distribution varies by activity, duration, and fitness level.
If you don't feel like breaking your calculator, choose one of these post-workout snacks that contain the perfect proportion of nutrients to help you recover and refuel.
Chickpeas fit in almost perfectly with a 1:3 ratio of protein to carbohydrates. With 6 grams of protein for every 20 grams of carbs, chickpeas make for the ultimate post-workout snack.
While nuts don't fit the classic post-workout snack profile, they offer another important nutrient—healthy fats. Fat is the body's primary fuel source during low-intensity workouts such as yoga and Pilates.
For example, 30 grams of pistachios will provide you with 6 grams of protein, 310 milligrams of potassium, and 160 milligrams of sodium. You can choose any nuts you like.
Oatmeal with fruits
Oatmeal contains protein to help tired muscles and fiber to fill an empty stomach. A half-cup serving of oatmeal contains 27 grams of carbs, 5 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber. In addition, oatmeal contains beta-glucan, which helps lower cholesterol levels. Add milk and seasonal fruits (apples, pears, berries, or citrus fruits) to your cereal for an extra serving of protein.
Eggs are nutritious on their own, but pairing them with vegetables makes for a powerful rejuvenating snack. Eggs contain fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins D, E, and A, choline for your brain, and antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin for eye health. You can add a slice of whole-grain bread to your meal; just be sure to control your portion sizes.
No matter what recipe you use, stick to 2 parts fruit (carbs) to 1 part milk or yogurt (protein), and keep sweeteners to a minimum. Don't be afraid to add nuts, seeds, or greens for more protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Beans and dried fruits
Beans contain 13 grams of quality protein, and dried fruits contain carbohydrates that will make up for post-workout losses. In addition, you can eat beans from a can and find dried fruits in a convenient package in the store so that they are always at hand.
Crackers with tuna
Fish is a high-quality protein, but it's not always easy to fluff salmon filets after a workout. However, you can still reap the benefits of canned tuna on whole-grain crackers. A 4.5-gram can contain about 18 grams of protein, while a serving of crackers typically includes 20 to 30 grams of carbohydrates. Pair them together for a post-workout afternoon snack that will keep you full and satisfied.