If you're not giving your body the nutrients it so desperately craves following your workout, you're only cheating yourself. A post workout meal will help you recover, repair, and rebuild so you're ready to tackle your next workout. But not any snack will do. Your body demands lean protein sources and nutrient-packed carbohydrates.
1. Chocolate Milk
It turns out chocolate milk contains the perfect ratio of protein and carbohydrates, making it the perfect post workout snack. One cup of low-fat chocolate milk contains a little over 150 calories, 26 g of carbohydrates and 8 g of protein. In fact, one study showed that chocolate milk is a more effective recovery aid than common sports drinks. And not to mention, it's delicious too.
2. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is like regular yogurt's lean and mean sibling. One cup of Greek yogurt contains double the protein and half the carbohydrates of regular non-Greek yogurt. For a more equal ratio of protein and carbohydrates you can buy flavored Greek yogurt or add fruit. This protein-packed snack is also shown to keep you fuller, longer versus non-Greek yogurt.
3. Bean Salad
Beans aren't just rich in fiber, they're full of protein too. Try adding a mixture of kidney, garbanzo, and black beans to your favorite salad. Include grape tomatoes, sliced almonds and apples with a drizzle of vinaigrette dressing for a tasty and healthy post workout meal. Additionally, regular bean consumption is associated with several health benefits.
4. Fruit and Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is high in the slow digesting protein, casein. When casein protein digests, it forms a gel in your stomach and releases a steady supply of protein to fuel your hungry muscles over several hours. One cup of low-fat cottage cheese contains more than 20 g of protein. Adding fruit, like blueberries, is a great way to up the nutrient content and taste.
5. Veggie Omelet
Eggs are nature's perfect food. They contain ample amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals (with the yolk of course). And since the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans reported that there is a lack of evidence linking dietary cholesterol to cholesterol levels in people, you don't need to fear the yolk. Add your favorite veggies for increased nutrients and fiber or add whole-grain toast for more carbohydrates.
Gavin Van De Walle holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition and is a certified personal trainer. He is a Master of Science candidate in nutrition with an emphasis in sports nutrition at South Dakota State University. Contact Gavin at http://www.supranutrition.com.