An important part of your workout routine is how you’ll refuel your body once you’ve finished working out—much like how you prepare for your workout with a meal beforehand. For the best results, however, you’ll want to optimize your nutrients so that you don’t accidentally undo your hard work. Here are some of the best foods for your post-workout snack based on three crucial macronutrients.
Protein-rich foods are great for exercise because they aid in the repair and building of muscle. Exercise triggers the breakdown of muscle protein, so if you want your muscles to rebuild themselves bigger and better than ever, you need to provide them with the foundation blocks and material they need to do so. Some protein-rich foods include eggs; lean meats such as beef, pork, poultry, and fish; and dairy products. Furthermore, there are substitute breads such as plant-based bagels that you can eat as a snack without overindulging in carbohydrates.
In moderation, carbohydrates are the second important macronutrient for post-workout recovery. Carbs are rich sources of glycogen, the chemical sugars that provide us with energy. Naturally, working out demands that we use a lot of energy, and glycogen is the fuel that provides that energy. So to restore your energy, some of the best foods for your post-workout snack include white rice, potatoes, pasta, fruit, and oats.
It may sound counterintuitive, but fats are actually important for keeping yourself healthy and energized. You may not want as much fat in your post-workout snack as you do carbs and protein, but fat can slow your digestion so that you feel fuller and more satisfied after your workout. Furthermore, fats contribute to the rebuilding process of your muscles. Some good fatty foods include salmon, avocado, whole milk, nuts, and nut butter.
Focusing on these three macronutrients will help you recover after a workout, and you’ll see far more growth and improvement in your body as your muscles recover and rebuild. If you’re new to regulating your diet, focusing on healthy snacks is an easy first step to planning a healthier diet.