A key piece of advice post-workout is to refuel. Whilst exercising, your muscles work hard and you deplete your body’s energy. It’s therefore, essential to give your body the nutrients it needs to repair and replenish within the hour.
Yet, some foods are better than others. Amy Wright, our Integrative Health Coach has given us all the best kept secrets of what to stay away from post workout.
1. Sugary Post-workout Shakes
“A protein smoothie is one of my favourite post-workout meals because it can quickly nourish the body after an intense workout or weights sessions” explains Amy. “However, you need to be careful as some of the protein powders come with some nasties such as fillers, chemicals and bulking agents and not even speaking of the super sugary shakes or artificially sweetened ones.” Try our fruit superseed beauty’smoothie, it’s got a superseed mix, coconut milk, dates, apple, banana, pineapple and strawberries. It’s 370kcal and has all you need in one cup.
2. Processed Energy Bars
Energy bars can be a convenient option, Amy advises that it is better to avoid energy bars with lengthy ingredients lists, artificial sweeteners, refined sugars or high levels of natural sugar. “A good rule of thumb is that if you don’t recognise an ingredient, your body won’t either. An ideal alternative could be a banana or berries with a handful of nuts,” she says.
3. Low-carb Meals
Carbohydrates are just as vital as proteins in the post-workout recovery time. “Your body taps in its glycogen stores during exercise and eating carbohydrates in your post-workout meal helps to restore them,” explains Amy. Surprisingly fruits are a really good source of carbohydrates, among Amy’s favourites; strawberries, bananas, blueberries and kiwis. Also instead of picking refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta or flour go for the ‘smart carbohydrates’ such as whole grains, legumes. “This will ensure you have sustained energy throughout your day.” Why not try our well’being warrior bento box.
4. Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are extremely high in sugar, sweeteners or chemicals. Even though they are marketed as the perfect rehydration and electrolyte replenishment, more natural drinks such as filtered water, raw coconut water or a healthy protein shake will treat your body better. They won’t have any of the syrupy ingredients which would spike blood sugars and zap your energy levels. You can find Rebel Kitchen Raw Coconut Water in our fridges.
5. Salty Processed Foods
Deliciously soothing to your palate, salty foods are not your friend when it comes to nourishing your body. It is normal for our body to crave salts after exercise as we lose water and potassium. Try to grab a banana to replenish your potassium levels.
6. Fried Foods
Fresh not fried, that is our motto. Even though it may seem quite obvious that fried foods are not your body’s best friend it is important to know why. The high-fat content can slow your digestion process and leave you feeling quite sluggish rather than enjoying your post-workout high. On top of that working out is a stressor which is why it is important to include micro-nutrients and nourishing ingredients that fuel and take care of our bodies. Why not choose a baked or steamed protein along with a complex carb such as our asian falafel & veg rice’bowl, deliciously baked falafel, veg & brown rice. This meal is a great way to refuel your body and provide you with long-lasting energy and strength.
Whilst caffeinated beverages such as coffee can be a beneficial energy boost prior to a workout and may even enhance performance, it is better to avoid coffee immediately after workout. Caffeine raises our body’s stress hormone cortisol and so does exercise. Even though healthy too much cortisol can increase inflammation, cardiovascular issues, immunity and hormonal imbalances. It’s better to stick to water to rehydrate.
Amy tells us that it is so important to nourish your body after exercise and it’s the ideal time to eat. Your body needs replenishment after all the hard work it has done, so it’s really important not to skip your meal after you work out.