So you’ve started your workout journey but you have no idea what to eat.
Contradicting your high intensity workout with super-sized fries, half a chicken and a large soda is not the best choice to make.
Just imagine each jump squat, push up and pull up being in vain. Here are some guidelines for a post-workout diet that will keep your calorie count in check.
Always put some protein into it.
Physical activity places strain on your muscles and usually small, microscopic tears arise. Your body then switches into repair mode after exercise. Protein is the best macronutrient to assist with the repairing process considering that it is the framework for muscle fibres. Supplementing your body with protein will help to accelerate the healing process.
Baked is better than fried
Fried, especially deep fried food is basically food that has been cooked by submerging it in heated fats. This fat is additional fat that quite obviously makes its way into your potatoes, chicken and all fried food period. This means that even though your chicken breast may be the leanest of lean the deep frying process counteracts the entire motive behind opting for lean meat in the first place. Baking your meat or meals in general with minimal additional oil helps to keep your fat intake and your calorie count in check.
Complex carbs over simple carbs
Carbohydrates are power plants and when used post-workout they replenish the body with energy. When the energy supply exceeds the body’s demand it is shipped off to storage. By storage I mean fats. The reason why you want to choose complex over simple is because they supply more than just sugars and the sugars are also released in doses instead of spikes. Complex carbs provide the body with fibre, vitamins and minerals while supplying energy. Also, because there is no spike in blood sugar and the sugar is released more steadily, there are less chances of your energy supply exceeding your body’s demand and creating more fat. Try using brown rice instead of white rice and whole grain breads and cereals are always the better option.
Don’t over-do the starch
Too much starch means too much sugar and too much sugar means storage. You don’t want the storage in fact you are trying to eliminate it. Smaller portions for starch is key.
Fluids but cut back on the sugar.
You need to replenish the fluids and electrolytes lost through sweat. Water is a great option to complement a post-workout meal as well as energy drinks containing the salts like potassium and sodium that need to be replaced. If the fluid is the only thing you will have for a while a smoothie made from fruits and veggies is better. This way you acquire the water as well as the salts lost.
Vitamins and Minerals in everything.
Vitamins and minerals are needed for hundreds of reactions that are going on in your body. Post-workout they are appreciated even more. Don’t stifle your metabolism by disabling digestive reactions from occurring. Do your body a favour and choose the meals with more vitamins and minerals included. Remember, You Only Live Once.