If you’re not seeing results after consistently dragging yourself to the gym, chances are the problem isn’t your fitness routine – it’s what’s on your plate. Take your post-workout snack or meal to the next level and munch these down to ramp up your results!
After exercise your body needs specific nutrients to repair muscle and stabilise blood sugar. Aim to eat something within an hour of finishing your workout, when your muscles are primed to absorb nutrients most efficiently. Check out our post-workout suggestions.
Eggs are the jam. Packed with 6.3 grams of protein and just 70 calories each, eggs are one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D. They also contain something called branched-chain amino acids, which helps to reduce muscle damage. As for Rocky’s old raw egg drill – there’s no evidence that raw eggs beat cooked, so save yourself the gagging. Word.
Times, they are a’changing and we now realise that fat (the good kind, of course)is actually good for us. An avo is full of healthy fat, which is essential for muscle and joint repair. It also contains a heck ton of B vitamins to kick-start your metabolism. Get into them!
3. Sweet potatoes
Boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew. Sweet potatoes are a good nutrient-rich source of carbohydrates, which is essential if you’re going to be in shape for the next sweat session. These bad boys are a bonafide superfood, containing thee days worth of vitamin A (we’re impressed) and 26 grams of carbohydrates to restore your glycogen supply. Plus, they contain fibre, which will keep you full and away from that snack cupboard.
4. Orange juice
Instead of reaching for a Gatorade, grab an OJ. Packed with vitamin C, orange juice is also full of potassium – which is an important electrolyte that helps the body restore its fluid levels. It’s also a great addition to a protein shake.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are known to help reduce post-exercise muscle inflammation. Salmon is also packed with lean protein, which is essential in cell generation and muscle repair. Looking for vegetarian sources of omega-3s? Try walnuts, chia, and flax seeds, which are all good sources of fatty acids.
6. Green tea
Green tea is an all-rounder. Providing an energy boost when you need it most, it contains powerful antioxidants that help metabolise fat and fight exercise-induced free radicals (the bad guys that cause muscle soreness). What’s more is that one of its key components has been shown to help treat chronic inflammatory conditions such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and heart disease.
Containing both protein and carbohydrates, hummus is also high in vitamin C and iron. A great way to keep up your energy levels after a workout.
It seems obvious, but it’s easy to forget. Keeping hydrated after a workout is so important. Not only will it make you feel great and stay energised, but it will help replace all the water you lose through sweat.
Most importantly, eat something! Your body burns a lot of energy during a workout, so it’s pivotal to replace this an hour or two after finishing, or your muscles won’t recover properly and all that hard work could go down the drain *sadface*.