6 Perfect Post-Workout Meals

This is a guest post from Chloe Smith. Smith is a cycling enthusiast, business consultant, and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice. She believes that passion, courage and, above all, knowledge breed success.

Recovering from a workout has been to known to be just as important, if not more important than the actual workout itself.

When exerting ourselves, we end up straining the entirety of our body and using up most of our energy in the process. All of this “fuel” needs to be replenished quickly to maximize the effect of nutrition after a workout. When deciding what to eat, people usually opt for a wide-variety of choices but always seem to hover around six foods that are rich in protein, carbs and calories – helping both them and their bodies recover.

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Nuts

First up to bat are nuts. These tiny nutrition bombs are a godsend as they are packed with everything we might need and come in economy-sized packaging. A single nut has an amazing protein ratio to its actual size, along with fiber and antioxidants. The beautiful thing about these guys is that their nutritional content shifts based on the actual type we eat, so customizing a post-workout meal comes down to whether we’re going to chug down a fistful of almonds or i.e. walnuts. They’re fairly cheap and are even great as snacks during the day if we opt for something else as our post-workout grub.

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Chicken

Ah, probably one of the favorites among the bunch – chicken. While being an amazing source of protein, it is also rich in niacin which is amazing for our metabolism. Pair this with something rich in starch like potatoes and you’ve got a winning combo. Another great option is to eat chicken with rice and vegetables in general, completing the dish and rounding up our nutrient intake. If not on a plant-only diet, chicken should be your go-to meal as it simply has everything one might need after a workout and is in healthy supply all over the world.

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Tuna

Ah, there is a reason professional kayakers love the stuff – it’s packed with all the nutrients one might need and it’s cheap. Tuna is rich in protein and omega 3s while being on the low side when it comes to fat content. Couple a single can with something like a bell pepper and you’ve got yourself a nutritional powerhouse. A combo I personally prefer is to add a bit of mayonnaise on top of the tuna and eat it with a fork while I chow down on the pepper like an apple. It’s quick, easy and it can effectively help boost intake like a serving of protein powder would.

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Dried fruit

Ah, usually coupled with nuts, dried fruit is the go-to snack food when in a hurry. Much like nuts, it doesn’t take any particular preparation, you can eat it on the go and you have little to no leftovers to deal with afterward. If nuts were your main source of drive-by protein, then an assortment of dried fruits will cover all of your simple carb needs. Simple carbs, as the name suggests are easily-digestible and help our muscles conjure up glycogen faster. This helps boost our muscles and give them that booster shot they need after getting pushed to their limits during our workout.

Salmon and potatoes

When speaking of fish, we cannot go on without mentioning salmon. Seen as the more-expensive option of the two, salmon is very rich in omega 3s and protein and its nutritional content can be seen from a mile away – in its price. However, inflated prices aside, couple this with potatoes and you’ve got a well-rounded meal that will cover all of the bases while tasting heavenly as well. Nuts are great and all, but sometimes we just need to have that explosion of flavor to recharge our minds as well as our bodies.

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The king

Last, but certainly not least, we have the king of post-workout foods…or should we say – drinks. Introducing, the undisputed heavyweight post-workout champion – chocolate milk. The Happy Healthy Wellbeing Centre and other institutions list chocolate milk as a top priority when deciding what to take after a workout. With a stupidly high amounts of calcium, magnesium potassium, protein, niacin and way too many vitamins to count, chocolate milk has almost everything we need without any drawbacks (assuming we’re not lactose-intolerant). If really in the mood to treat ourselves, try eating a banana along with chocolate milk – thank us later.

Eat it

Recovering after a workout is no trivial task as certain thresholds need to be crossed in order for the workout to prove effective. While we always have the option to pull in supplements to effectively cheat the system, there is just something about doing it the old-fashioned way and actually enjoying what we’re consuming. Don’t get me wrong, protein shakes are all fun and dandy but I’ll take a nice grilled chicken breast any day of the week.

This is a guest post from Chloe Smith. Smith is a cycling enthusiast, business consultant, and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice. She believes that passion, courage and, above all, knowledge breed success.

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