According to some people, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But for others who manage to squeeze some gym time into their everyday routine, pre- and post-workout healthy foods can be just as important. It is very important to refuel your body after a hard workout, more so if it lasts longer than 60 minutes. If your workout is strength based, the food you eat can help your muscles rebuild and repair. As far as the best time to eat is concerned, if your workout is short or moderate, you can just wait until the next meal.
On the other hand, if it's high intensity, strength based, or lasts over two hours, you need glycogen replenishment within the first 30 to 60 minutes after your workout. When you’re working out, your muscles use up their glycogen stores for fuel. Consequently, your muscles end up being partially depleted of glycogen. Some of the proteins in your muscles also get broken down and damaged. After your workout, your body tries to rebuild its glycogen stores and repair and re-grow those muscle proteins. Hence, it is particularly important to eat carbohydrates and protein after your workout.
Here are some ideas for your post-workout healthy snacks-
Grilled Chicken and Mixed Vegetables- This nutrient rich dish works wonders for the recovery mode of your body. The lean protein and carbohydrates in chicken will fill you up while the veggies in olive oil will keep you in shape.
Veggie Omelet with Avocado- eggs are a great source of protein and help aid in muscle recovery and growth. Besides, avocados can help your body better absorb fat soluble nutrients that your veggies have like vitamins A, D, E and K. These vitamins are stocked with antioxidants, the best boost for your body, inside and out.
Whole Wheat Tuna Fish, Hummus and Spinach Sandwich- If you're a lunchtime exerciser, then this is the ideal sandwich for you. Tuna is low in calories, but high in protein and carbohydrates. Hummus is a much better alternative to mayo or mustard as a spread, while also being high in fiber. And last but certainly not least, spinach is a produce powerhouse that does immense good to your body.
Chocolate Milk- this is very popular mainly because it has everything you need in one glass: carbohydrates and protein for muscle recovery, water content to replace the fluids lost as sweat, and calcium, sodium and sugar help you recover faster, retain water and regain energy.