Nothing is better than a long hard workout. The type of workout that leaves your arms and legs feeling like spaghetti! But what’s the best way to mend your overworked body and replenish the vital fluids, nutrients, and vitamins after such a tough routine? Finding the best “Post Workout Snack” has often been a topic of controversy, so we wanted to dive into the subject a little deeper and provide some guidance and support on your post workout choices.
Why a Post Workout Snack
Before we get into the specifics, it’s important to understand why having a post workout snack helps your body recover. During a workout, your body uses up massive amounts of energy, and that energy is consumed by converting fat, protein, and carbohydrates into energy sources, depleting your body of said stored properties.
Feeding your hungry muscles is key to kick starting the repair process and minimizing soreness. Carbohydrates for example will boost your insulin production, releasing this hormone to transport vital proteins to your body. While it’s no secret that your body uses protein during a workout, increasing your protein intake post workout has also shown to reverse the body’s natural inclination to break down current protein, allowing your body to rely on recently ingested protein for repair as opposed to breaking down your current muscle mass.
Finally, understanding the timing factor of a post workout meal is key to providing your body with the right amount of protein and carbohydrates it needs during the “primed” window that your body is biochemically preparing for maximum nutrient intake.
Best Post Workout Snacks
Now that we know the basics on how the body reacts to a hard workout, finding the right snack to replenish our bodies only makes sense. Here are some of the top choices of best “Post Workout Snacks” offered by various experts:
Protein Shake with Banana –Kristin Reisinger, a sports nutritionist and competitive figure athlete based in New Jersey, offered up this tasty treat as one of her favorite post workout concoctions saying, “After a workout, you want ample protein combined with a carbohydrate,” says Reisinger. A protein shake made from whey protein, water, and half a banana is a great choice, since your body quickly turns it into energy.”
Sun Butter and Dates– Laurel House, a certified personal trainer and author suggests this delectable treat stating, “Dates are high in potassium, which is great to help revitalize post-workout and also helps to flush out any excess salt and water weight. You get the protein from the Sun butter (which is made with sunflower seeds instead of nuts so it’s perfect for people with allergies), and it’s delicious!”
Apple With Almond Butter – Tamilee Webb, known for her Classic Buns of Steel workouts, offers up a quick and tasty treat for after a hard workout sharing her best snack, “I like to bite into something crunchy, and combining it with a little sweetness and texture gives me a filling snack and builds up my energy and muscles.”
Turkey, Cheese and Apple Slices – keeping apples in mind, if you are looking for an alternative, then add in some lean turkey and cheese to help rebuild your muscles. Christine Gerbstadt, a Florida-based M.D. and R.D offers her stance on the topic stating, “Fruit without some kind of protein isn’t a great choice for keeping energy high.”
Finding the right post workout snack doesn’t mean you have to choke down a protein bar, and it also doesn’t mean you have to spend a copious amount of time preparing your meal. In fact, a “snack” is just that, something intended to be quick, efficient and beneficial. So the next time you find yourself post workout, why not reach into the fridge for one of these top choices and make your post workout snack a treat.