Post-Workout Snack Ideas

Posted on October 4, 2009

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kate's post workout snack today: apple & 2 hard boiled eggs

kate's post workout snack today: apple & 2 hard boiled eggs

One of the “4 rules of meal timing” is to eat a snack or meal within 1 hour completing your workout. The reason? Because your body has just burned through the majority of its’ glycogen (energy) stores & has created micro-tears in its’ muscles & both of those things need to be replenished for the body to be able to grow/give you results. If you never eat after your workout (or don’t eat for a long time), you’ve just done all that work, & then didn’t give your body what it needs to finish the process of building lean muscle tissue, burning body fat, & restoring energy to get through the rest of the day.

So skip a snack or meal within 1 hour? Skip out on the best of your results. Working out at night & trying to cut body fat? Make sure your snack or meal is mainly lean protein & vegetables – the starch from something like brown rice will help a person whose goal is to gain weight, size, & larger muscle, but will not serve the person who is trying to lose weight & bodyfat well at all.

Working out 1st thing in the morning? Eat a small something before you go to ensure you have good energy to have the kind of workout that will burn enough calories to really make a difference. Working out on an empty stomach is touted as “the thing to do” by some, but all it’s really doing for you is forcing you to workout without any energy stores in your bloodstream, which means you will ‘bonk’ on your workout sooner, will not be able to go as hard, for as long & with as much force – all of which are things that are necessary for best results. Even if it’s just an apple, banana, or cheese stick, something is better than nothing!

Here are snack ideas that are high in protein & are a good resource for healthy/clean carbs for anyone looking to supplement post workout:
-Protein shake: HEMP protein is a better choice than whey protein isolate & is widely available in health food stores & on the internet
*Hemp- made from hemp plants; contains all 20 amino acids including the 10 essential amino acids our bodies cannot produce; high in fiber; no fillers or add-ins that can sit in your intestines & create inflammation in the bod, making it tougher to lose bodyfat
-Grilled or Roasted Chicken (amt. depends on size of person & type of goals) w/ veggies (cooked or raw)
-String cheese & an apple
-Turkey & Cheese roll-ups
-Edamame w/ veggies dipped in hummus
-Eggplant chips (eggplant baked to make crispy strips) & hummus
*eggplant has 4g of protein per serving & hummus also provides healthy fat with its protein offering
-2-4 Hard Boiled eggs & an apple
-2-3 Scrambled Eggs w/ spinach or other veg
-1/2 cup-3/4 cup cottage cheese w/ fresh pineapple slices or fresh tomatoes/
-home-made tuna salad (use mustard instead of mayo to save cals & fat)
-home-made chicken salad
-Steel Cut Oats (certified gluten free for those living GF) w/ 1-3Tbsp chopped walnuts & 1/2 cup blueberries
-Greek Yogurt (plain, sweetened w/ stevia) w/ 1/2 cup fruit (frozen or fresh) & honey or nuts
-Bean salad (usually a mix of green beans, garbanzo beans, red beans) in a light dressing
-Tofu prepared cooked/grilled/sauted

It is of note that I did not list protein bars in the list of quality snacks/meals for post-workout. Most protein bars are made with ingredients that serve as ‘fillers’ which your body can’t do much with and will store as fat. In addition, most bars are made by using high-heat to cook the ingredients together into the bar. This alters the enzymes in the healthful ingredients that are in the bar, thereby making them unusable for your body. In addition, most bars lower the body’s pH level which sets you up for a hostile environment where disease can flourish. Maintaining the body’s pH is critical to avoiding everything from minor urinary tract infections to major issues like some cancers & diabetes.

I will be going into further detail about bars soon, but for now, know that any bar I do recommend serves more as an “energy bar” than a protein bar since the amounts of protein in these bars is not enough to make a measurable difference as a post-workout snack or meal.

Feel free to comment/leave questions as this is a topic that confuses many! Your question/comment may help someone else who’s thinking the same thing!

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Posted in: nutrition