health & wellness

What to Eat After Your Workout? 12 Foods For Post Workout Diet

Sheena Joseph | Apr 10 2019
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Workout is one of the most important activities to keep you healthy and fit. Starting the day with a workout can make you happier and energetic. As we know too much workout and too little workout can make you tired and ehaused.

One of the very critical point is about your diet after workout. If you do not eat the right foods post workout, it can leave you exhausted and sleepy throughout the day. Some people even choose not to eat at all after working out under the misconception that it will help them lose weight faster. This is a total misconception. Eating the right foods after workout is very important to keep you healthy.

Having said that, what to eat after workout is still a sought after question? Most people are clueless about the diet after a workout session because they are unaware of its significance.

Even if you spend as little as 30 or 40 minutes working out, your body has burnt calories. That is why you are sweating, and the heartbeat has increased. Since the body has used up energy, it needs to be refuelled. The macronutrients that supply the basic needs of the body must be included in the diet. But, deciding on how to design the diet as per the workout's nature, goal, and intensity is slightly harder.

People often wonder about what to eat after a workout to lose weight.

What to eat after a workout at night?

The simple answer is that you must include all three macronutrients - carbs, protein, and fat in your diet no matter what. If your workout session included endurance activities like running and cycling, you should include more carbs in the diet which will replenish the body with instant glycogen. But, if you have been doing strength training, give more importance to protein as they are the key to building muscles. This doesn’t mean that you should avoid carbs. You can consume carbs in moderate amounts. Do not forget to include some healthy fats too as they are essential for the synthesis of cells. And experts insist that every meal should be consumed within the next 45 minutes. Here are 12 foods that should be included in a post-workout diet for healthy recovery.

1. Fruits

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Fruits bowls are perfect in a number of ways. They hydrate your body and supply a bunch of vitamins and minerals. Fruits are delicious and refreshing. They can literally recharge you after a workout. Prepare a large fruit bowl with your favourite fruits after doing cardio, cycling or running as fruits are rich in carbs. Pineapple, banana, apple, orange, and kiwi are popular choices as they are rich in fibre, antioxidants, and vitamins.

Also Read: 10 Easy Healthy Breakfast Ideas For Working Women

2. Chocolate Milk

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Pairing your breakfast with chocolate milk will supply the body with enough protein to initiate the muscle-rebuilding process. If you are worried about consuming sugar, choosing the ingredients right will eliminate this possibility. Check the nutrition label of the chocolate bars you buy and ensure that it consists of 80% cacao. They will be full of antioxidants and will have high in nutritional value with very little sugar. Pay extra attention to choosing cacao instead of cocoa. Cacao is prepared by cold-pressing which keeps the beneficial enzymes alive and removes the fat. But, cocoa is the roasted version which has no enzymes.

Also Read: Like Chocolates? 10 Must Know Fun Chocolate Facts You Would Love

3. Quinoa

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If you are used to eating grains and is wondering what to eat after the workout session in the gym, go for this healthy grain choice. Quinoa is high in protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. It is rich in fibre and replenishes the body with vitamins and minerals like potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamin E. This superfood is the perfect grain for those who are strength training.

4. Dark Green Leaves

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Have you been feeling stiff and sore after working out? It is due to the inflammation which is a natural response of the body. Including foods with anti-inflammatory properties will help you wake up without an aching body the next day. Dark green leaves are a good choice as they are easy to incorporate in dishes. Pick up spinach, lettuce, kale, or swiss chard and add them to your smoothie or salad.

Also Read: All You Need To Know About The 20 Most Popular Fad Diets Of All Times

5. Potatoes

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Potatoes being the reason for weight gain is a myth. They are an excellent source of carbohydrates. They will provide the body with some instant calories which will help you recover fast from your tiredness and go on about the day. By including potatoes in breakfast, baked or mashed, they will energize you and keep you active  till lunch.

6. Eggs

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Do you have no clue what to eat after a workout at night? One of the simplest to choose is eggs after a night’s workout. Pick up some eggs and just do a quick scrambled eggs for your dinner. They are a great source of protein, and they will help you to sleep well. Egg whites can induce the production of melatonin, and it contains a lot of amino acid tryptophan that helps to sleep for longer hours. In the morning, your muscles are replenished with protein, and your body is well rested for next days hustle.

Also Read: These 8 Healthy Foods Can Badly Affect Your Sleep

7. Chicken

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Chicken is one of the best sources of protein which is a good pick after a workout. Pairing it with brown rice and vegetables will make for a wholesome meal. While vegetables provide the body minerals and vitamins it needs, brown rice is a great, healthy source of carbs. If you want to avoid the fat in chicken, exclude the skin of the chicken from the post-workout diet.

8. Greek Yogurt

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If you want to keep the meal after a workout session at night light and simple, go for Greek yoghurt with some fruits. You may not even feel like you have had a meal. But, it will supply your body with enough protein and carbohydrates to repair the muscles. Greek yoghurt has twice the protein than plain yoghurt. It is a rich source of calcium too which improves bone health. Eating Greek yoghurt after a workout session will balance the blood pressure. It will balance the gut microbes too as it is a probiotic food.

9. Cottage Cheese

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Cottage cheese aka paneer is another very good post workout food that is yummy. Paneer can provide the muscles with protein and the body with carbs. This will give you instant energy and kick off the muscle recovery. Similar to Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese also is a rich source of calcium. It can also boost the metabolic rate. Hence, promoting weight loss.

Also Read: What Is Negative Calorie Food? Does It Help In Weight Management?

10. Tuna

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Tuna is fish with tons of health benefits. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and prevents inflammation. Tuna is a suitable option for the meal after a workout as it is low in fat and is a good source of lean protein. Eating a tuna sandwich after a workout will supply you with enough energy and protein for muscle recovery. The omega-3 fatty acids are great for cognitive health too.

11. Avocado

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An avocado toast is an excellent way to kick start the day after working out. Not only they are full of good, healthy fats but high in potassium too. Potassium deficiency is a major reason for muscle cramps. The good fats in it will keep cholesterol and heart diseases away. Avocados are yummy and filling which is like an incentive after an intense workout session.

12. Nuts

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Nuts and nutty butter are packed with protein, calcium, fibre, and magnesium. Contrary to popular belief, they help in lowering cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart diseases. Grabbing a few nuts after working out will initiate muscle recovery and energise you. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, and pecans are popular among fitness freaks. Preparing granola bars with these nuts is the perfect breakfast.