Post-workout meals are one of the most essential meals of the day if you’re trying to get in shape. A proper combination of lean protein and fast digesting carbs will help you re-fuel after an intense workout, and ensure that your body is optimally recovering between workouts. Skip this meal, and you’re putting your body at risk for over-training, fatigue, and injury. So here are a few quick and easy options to make sure you give your body exactly what it needs every time, no matter how busy your day is, or what you might be craving.
#1: Fruit Smoothie (for those on-the-go days)
When your day is already jam-packed with chores and appointments, just fitting in a workout is hard enough without worrying about stopping to eat afterwards. For days like these, we always recommend our clients have something they can make ahead of time and eat on the go, like a protein packed smoothie made with whey protein powder, almond milk, Greek yogurt, and fresh or frozen fruit.
#2: Chicken and Rice Stir-Fry (a perfect post-workout dinner)
A lot of people workout on their way home from work, so when they get home it’s usually time for dinner. When you’re busy, hungry, and tired from your workout, it’s easy to reach for some convenience food that, chances are, is completely lacking in the proper nutrition profile your body needs after training. Instead, try making a delicious stir fry ahead of time that you can easily heat and serve within minutes. We suggest making it with boneless skinless chicken breast, white rice (it’s faster digesting, and therefore a great post-workout option), fresh veggies such as peppers and onions, and low sodium soy sauce.
#3: Ice cream bars and a protein shake (Yep! You read that right!)
A lot of our clients are surprised when they see ice cream as a post-workout option on their meal plans, but, post-workout, your body needs a fast digesting carb source to recover. A low fat and calorie conscious ice cream bar fits that need perfectly. Pair it with a whey protein shake or some low fat Greek yogurt and you have a delicious post-workout meal that aids in recovery, AND satisfies that sweet tooth. A great brand to try is the Skinny Cow ice cream bars, but the main thing to look for is that they contain less than 5 grams of fat.
So, as you can see, post-workout nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming, but it is essential for proper recovery so you can get back in there and have another awesome workout the next day. We’d love to hear your favorite post-workout meals in the comments below.