We’re on a role with nutritious eating tips lately! Here’s another article along the same vein from guest blogger, Hayley Irvin, who shares 5 really delicious, healthy snacks to have after a workout.
Exercise is a vital component of healthy living. Experts suggest a minimum of two and a half hours per week, though it never hurts to do more. To get the most out of a workout, it’s important to hydrate and fuel up before you hit the gym.
However, having a snack after working out can be beneficial as well, helping restore the energy and nutrients your body used while exercising. To improve your mood, energy levels, and muscle fatigue after a workout, try eating one of these healthy snacks:
1. Turkey Sandwiches
Turkey sandwiches are a great mix of protein and carbohydrates to help refuel and reenergize your body after a workout. Try to use freshly sliced turkey as opposed to lunch meat, and opt for whole grain breads or wraps instead of products made with white flour. The protein will provide your body with the amino acids necessary for muscle growth and tissue repair, while the healthy sugars in the whole grains will help regulate your blood sugar throughout the day, helping you feel fuller for longer. Load up on avocados, sprouts, tomatoes and other veggies to add a little something extra to your sandwich!
2. Hummus & Pita Bread
A staple of Middle Eastern diets for centuries, hummus is made of chickpeas, tahini (ground sesame seeds), olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. This tasty combination of legumes and oils contains just the right amount of protein, fiber, healthy fats and antioxidants to help keep your heart and muscles in great shape. Like other whole grains, pita bread will help you maintain a steady glucose level throughout the day. You can also spread hummus on sandwiches or wraps or dip fresh veggies in it for extra vitamins and minerals.
3. Nut Butter with Apples or Bananas
Nuts and seeds are full of protein and healthy fats that our bodies need to grow and repair tissue on a cellular level. Thankfully, you don’t have to limit yourself to peanut butter. Butter can also be made out of almonds, walnuts, cashews, soy nuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, etc. For carbohydrates, healthy sugars, and extra fiber, pair your nut butter with a banana or an apple. This combination will not only give you an immediate boost of energy after your workout – it will also help curb hunger later on in the day.
4. Tuna on Crackers or Whole Grain Bread
Like turkey, tuna is a great source of lean protein. It’s also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that are great for your heart, skin, hair, eyes, and muscles. Avoid sandwiches swimming in mayonnaise – the fatty, creamy sauce will cancel out all of the good things in the tuna and you’ll only end up wasting an otherwise nutritious and delicious sandwich. Remember to use whole grain bread for a carb-induced boost that will last hours. If you want something a bit lighter, try tuna spread on crackers.
5. Low-Fat Yogurt with Fruit & Nuts
It’s why easy to see why some people consider yogurt a superfood of the dairy group. Not only is it packed with protein and fiber, yogurt also contains a number of probiotics that improve immune and digestive function while also preventing weight gain and its associated risks. Nuts and seeds provide heart-healthy unsaturated fats, lean protein and extra fiber, while berries contain amino acids that encourage cell growth and tissue repair. Combined, these foods are a great way to improve your energy, alertness and blood sugar while reducing muscle soreness and fatigue. If you’re looking for something more convenient to carry around, try eating a protein bar that contains some combination of nuts, yogurt, and fruit.
Soreness and sluggishness do not have to stick with you all day after exercising. With the proper snack after a workout, you can give yourself a quick boost that will last for hours afterwards. Avoid the smoothie bar at the gym – the sugary, syrupy concoctions they serve are often loaded with enough calories to cancel out your workout. Instead, opt for whole grains, lean protein, and healthy sugars and fats. You’ll thank yourself later.
PS: Here is an added bonus post workout snack – protein-licious Yogurt (photo image above).
About the Author
Hayley Irvin is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. When she’s not creating awesome content for Marketing Zen Group & Promax, she’s writing about basketball, learning about space, and thwarting her cats’ attempts to take over the world. Catch up with her on Twitter @HayleyNIrvin.
What’s your favourite post-workout snack?