7 Best Foods to Eat After a Workout

What you should eat after your workout?

The best food to eat after a workout may depend on what list you decide to use for that information. It is thought that during a workout muscle protein declines and muscles begin to break down. It is also thought that within 45 minutes after the workout, protein and carbohydrates are absorbed more quickly. Obviously, avoid high-glycemic carbohydrates such as bagels and donuts. These turn to sugar right away and are not a good source of energy. However, complex carbohydrates are necessary to keep both the body and the brain functioning normally. Blood circulates best right after a workout, so this the time to put those proteins and carbohydrates back into your body.

The following list of foods and beverages, and what makes them good after a workout, is a combination of seven of those most recommended.

Greek Yogurt

This food is thought to be a new “miracle” item of nutrition. The Greek form of yogurt has twice the protein of regular yogurt and is also an excellent source of good carbohydrates. For extra effectiveness, add Greek yogurt to cereal or fruit.

• Fruit Salad/Fresh Berries

Fresh berries contain “micronutrients”, enzymes which are thought to help with soreness in muscles after a workout. Berries are good for after a workout because they are digested easily and have enough carbohydrates to replenish energy. They can be added to a smoothie or a portion of Greek yogurt, and even put them in cereal or oatmeal to add flavor and carbohydrates. Specifically, pineapple fruit has anti-inflammatory effects to help ease sore muscles. Kiwi is known to assist digestion and breaks down amino acids. Bananas, also from the fruit category are full of fiber, potassium, B and C vitamins, manganese, magnesium, and water. All of these assist in muscle function and revitalization.

• Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes, as many of the foods on this list, are filled with water which helps re-hydrate after a workout. These potatoes also contain B and C vitamins, manganese, magnesium, and iron. Unlike other potatoes, the sweet potato will lower blood sugar and stabilize insulin, while helping to fuel the body and invigorate the cells. Additional advantages to sweet potatoes is that they repair inflammation and fight off contaminants.

• Cereal (High Protein/High Fiber)

Look to purchase cereals containing about 30 grams of carbohydrates, at least 10 grams of fiber and at least 13 grams of protein. Adding milk or Greek yogurt will enhance the benefits of refueling the muscles, and add flavor to the cereal.

• Milk

This beverage is at the top of some lists of best foods/drinks after a workout. Everything contained in milk: calcium, sugar, protein and water, helps refuel the muscles. It is best to go with a nonfat, or at least a low-fat version of milk, and drink a recommended three cups each day. As previously mentioned, add milk to cereal, or make a smoothie and include a banana.

• Water

Water makes your entire body function better by regulating body temperature and rinsing away toxins.

• Fish

Fish, and specifically wild Alaskan salmon, some tuna, rainbow trout and certain halibut is high in Omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium and protein. These attributes make these types of fish good for stamina and strength, as well as lean muscle. The Omega 3 fatty acids contained in recommended fish products reduces inflammation of muscles, helps keep disease away, and reduces heart attacks. To stay healthy, be sure to buy fish that is low in mercury and from environmentally friendly sources.

Body size, levels of activity, goals for fitness and genetics should determine the carbohydrates your body needs daily. The best food to eat after a workout should be high in both protein and complex carbohydrates. Read food labels and consult a carbohydrate guide to getting the most benefit from food your body needs to maintain a strong and healthy life. It is wise to consult a physician before making any dramatic changes to a daily diet and carbohydrate intake.

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