Proper recovery is crucial to maximizing the results of a workout, and that starts with nutrition.
By Jane Pegg
- 3 min read.
Healthy Meal Bowl with quinoa salad, pinto beans, asparagus
Photo by Shashi Ch / Unsplash
6 Powerful Post-Workout Foods You Want To Include In Your Diet
Proper recovery is crucial to maximizing the results of a workout, and that starts with nutrition. A post-workout meal or snack should be high in healthy carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores, and high in protein to build and repair muscle.
It is also important to drink plenty of water, since the body loses fluids during exercise. Here are some foods to include in a post-workout recovery plan.
According to Healthline Media, a cup of brown rice contains 44 grams of carbohydrates. It is a whole grain, meaning that the entire grain is intact. This differs from a refined grain, such as white rice, which is processed to remove the bran and germ.
Brown rice is high in fiber (3.5 grams in one cup), which is important for digestive health. It is also a rich source of B-vitamins, manganese, selenium, and magnesium.
There are 21.3 grams of carbohydrates in a cup of cooked quinoa, according to Healthline Media. This whole grain is low on the glycemic index, which helps people maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Quinoa is high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is also a good source of plant-based protein, containing 4.4 grams of protein per one cup.
You may even find quinoa available in online stores and meal delivery subscriptions. An increasing number of delivery companies are now pioritizing healthy eating and sustainability, and healthy ingredients are packaged in measured portions that come with recipe instructions.
Even if you're unsure what to do with an ingredient like quinoa, following recipes and using meal kits will give you easy access to this powerful food.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, there is about twice as much protein in Greek yogurt compared to regular yogurt. A serving of Greek yogurt has about 15 grams of protein (the amount varies slightly between different brands).
Greek yogurt is rich in calcium, which strengthens bones in the body. It is also an excellent source of probiotics, which promote gut health.
High in protein, oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel and tuna) is the best dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are important for heart health and for reducing or alleviating inflammation.
A vigorous workout may lead to aches and pains, making the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids important for the health of joints and muscles.
Fruits and vegetables are high in healthy carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are important for post-workout nutrition, and smoothies are an easy way to ensure that daily requirements are met for the consumption of fruits and vegetables.
Smoothies also provide fluids, which are needed after exercise.
Electrolytes need to replaced after a workout, since they are lost through sweat. Potassium is an electrolyte, and dried apricots are a rich source of this mineral. According to the National Institutes of Health, a half-cup of dried apricots has 1,101 milligrams of potassium
The adequate daily potassium intake for healthy adults in 3,400 mg for men and 2,600 mg for women, according to the NIH.
No matter what your fitness goals are, post-workout recovery is crucial to your success. This starts with diet, so ensure that you are refueling well after every session.