We all are guilty of carb-loading during the holiday season. This is why many of us also try to battle the winter weight gain by challenging ourselves physically.
Many people are adding extra power and momentum to normal exercise routines this time of year, including training for marathons and triathlons, weight training, yoga, and incorporating more dance-related classes like Zumba or Barre. While this is fantastic and healthy for your body, you run the risk of all those benefits going to waste if you don’t provide your body with much-needed nutrients after a workout. (I'm not talking about stuffing and turkey, though.)
So what are the best foods to eat after a workout?
Nutritionists differ in what they recommend, depending on your fitness level or what type of workout you do. But there is some commonality to certain types of foods that can help you maintain a healthy body, which include:
Berries and leafy greens.
Berries pack a great punch in a post-workout smoothie, because they provide much-needed antioxidants. Add some leafy greens like spinach to your smoothie and you have a great drink to help replenish your muscles. Spinach is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese. That’s a lot for one vegetable, so it's totally worth the effort.
This superfruit is a great post-workout food, especially if you don’t have the time to make a smoothie or scramble some eggs. Bananas provide fast-acting carbs and repair damaged muscles, plus they have potassium to help replenish lost minerals during your workout.
Despite the back and forth debate over the years, studies have shown that eggs provide a great deal of protein for relatively few calories and added fat. Plus, they are one of the few foods which have naturally occurring Vitamin D.
This fish is a great post-workout food, because it is a great source of protein and also is high in much-needed fats to help repair tissue, like the anti-inflammatory Omega 3. If you don’t eat fish, you can add flaxseed oil to your smoothie or yogurt for a healthy and anti-inflammatory oil.
Tumeric and Ginger.
There’s nothing wrong with packing a little punch to your breakfast or dinner. Tumeric and ginger are both great spices that are a natural anti-inflammatory and digestive aid. They can be added to a smoothie or a nice hot tea to help better utilize the nutrients from other foods.
Got no time?
Then pack a handful of almonds and an orange in your purse before you head out the door. The orange gives much-needed Vitamin C and immunity-boosting ingredients that help you recover from your workout, and the almonds are a great source of protein and healthy fats that help curb your appetite.
Have a great workout!