Post exercise your body is ready and waiting to absorb nutrients from a wholesome snack. Choosing the right foods after working out can have a huge impact on your short-term recovery and long-term goals. Here are our tips for selecting the best foods to build lean muscle and support your fitness goals.
We all know protein is very important. Protein contains our amino acids (building blocks) essential for building body tissue such as muscle. Protein can also serve as an energy source for the body. A good guide for how much protein your body needs in its first post workout hour is about 20-25g (which isn’t as much as you think). That looks something like two boiled eggs, 200g of Greek yoghurt or good quality protein powder shake.
Pairing protein with good carbohydrates can help maximise the benefit of your post workout snack. When paired with protein, carbohydrates spike insulin which helps move amino acids from protein and glucose into your muscle cells – think supported muscle growth and repair and replenished energy stores. Try and keep your carbohydrate intake during your post-workout hour under 40g – great options are pairing your eggs with some wholemeal or sourdough toast, adding muesli to your yoghurt or fruit to your protein smoothie.
After intensive training the immune system is suppressed for a few hours making you more susceptible to feeling run down. Ensure optimal immune function and support by including vitamin C rich foods into your post workout snacks – think citrus, berries and your green leafy vegetables.
Long or high intensity workouts can lead to oxidative stress on the body and the overproduction of free radicals. Including antioxidant-rich foods in your post workout snack helps to neutralise the effects of free radicals on the body. Berries, citrus, dark leafy greens (all your bright colourful fruits and veg) contain high levels of antioxidants (vitamins, minerals and live enzymes) that help protect your body for optimal health.
Using the above tips will help minimising fatigue, minimise recovery time and muscle soreness as well as prevent over eating of calorie rich food later on.