When it comes to exercise and weight loss, there are some popular questions that seem to repeat themselves constantly. Often times, the answers to these fitness questions are dependent on various personal factors. However, when it comes to nutrition questions, it is without a doubt that everyone must eat not only the correct foods but that they eat them at the correct time.
While exercising, the body holds the energy which it stores in your muscles for energy, which is referred to as glycogen. After you are at the end of your threshold, your muscles are completely emptied of their glycogen storage and are broken down. In order to avoid this breakdown, you need to eat or drink something that contains both protein and carbohydrates. The perfect window of timing is 30 to 60 minutes following your workout. This will refuel your energy, as well as build and repair your muscles that broke down during the exercise. It also will assist your metabolism in burning and will speed it up throughout the rest of the day.
If you wait too long to eat, even as little as two hours following your workout then your muscle storage will decrease. It is highly recommended to plan your food in advance, for example by bringing snacks with you to your workout. This way you will not risk losing your hard work, and you will also not grab the first thing you see, which most likely will not be the healthiest choice.
The best post-workout choices to help you lose weight are foods with protein and small amounts of carbohydrates. Some tasty examples are a protein shake made with banana, protein powder, almond milk and hemp seeds. This is not only delicious and refreshing but also very easily digestible after a workout in which you might not actually have an appetite for anything too heavy.
Another idea of a post-workout nosh is a salad with roasted chickpeas, dressed with olive oil and vinegar. This is a light and healthy choice, and the chickpeas provide a great vegetarian source of protein and carbohydrates. Tofu or chicken with sautéed or steamed vegetables is an additional option of a satisfying snack or meal following a workout, as it is both a source of lean protein and provides fibrous nutrients.
If you are looking for something a little more interesting, quinoa with berries and pecans can be a delicious combination and offers all the needed post-workout fuel. And for some more filling options, try multi-grain bread with peanut butter and agave nectar or honey. Or even a burrito with beans, brown rice, guacamole, and salsa.
Although these foods may not appear to be the most diet friendly items, they are in fact some of the perfect after workout things to eat, offering your body exactly just what it needs to recover and truly get the benefits from your hard work. And you, of course do not have to eat merely from this list. Just remember the rules of thumb. Stop being afraid of food! Treat your body well and nourish it well. It will thank you!