What do I eat after an intense workout?
Last Saturday after a tough Red Rocks workout, I got an email from one of my students asking just that. Gatorade is not necessarily the answer, nor is a Grand Slam breakfast. But rather something a little in between the two.
What you eat post-workout should contain the following:
- Protein — to help muscles recover
- Carbohydrates — to replenish energy stores
- Phytonutrients — antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, cellular repair
Sounds easy, right? Now, to put it together into something easy to make with accessible ingredients and easy to take with you.
A Protein Shake would be my first answer. Using a base of either low-fat milk, rice milk, water, almond milk. Then add some whey protein (they have a great one at WF), a banana (for potassium & magnesium — for muscle function), some greens like spinach or blueberries or Greens First for phytonutrients. Throw in an apple, mixed frozen fruit for vitamin packed flavor. I have one of these every day.
If you are on the go, bring some fruit with you like an apple or a banana, beef jerky or a turkey stick. I also like Mix1 as a good post-workout drink.
Of course good ole water is something you should have after a workout no matter what, to keep you hydrated. At least 8 oz.