Health trends come and go, based on fashion, media hype, and, sometimes, their results. Diets, supplements, and workout routines may find fast favour and equally rapid rejection. One example is
carbohydrate loading, also known as carb packing, which supposedly provided a source of extra energy for the long-distance athlete. Carb loading has since found disfavor with athletes, who now opt for a continuously balanced, nutritious diet. This follows the belief that a nourished body performs at its best. Much has been written about what to eat prior to competition or exercise. This advice is meant to maximise the desired result of said exercise, whether that is to win the race or build muscle. It could be argued, however, that after exercise is the most important time to feed your muscles. Post-exercise, your muscles are trying to get over the exertion. They seek nutrients to replenish and grow. They need protein. The two-hour period after exercise is the best time for your muscles to absorb protein. Sports drink manufacturers would have you believe their drinks are the best, fastest way to provide nutrients after a workout. While these drinks deliver the goods, their sweetness is often objectionable and the caloric intake from their use is empty. A small meal would provide all the needed protein and is preferable in many ways. The muscles only require ten to twenty grams of protein to rebuild. More will not increase the effect, so a large meal is not better. Here are our ten best choices for a post-workout meal, in no particular order. Each of these will rebuild your muscles by providing a healthy dose of amino acids.
- Whey protein shakes are twenty-four carat gold to your muscles.
- Whole grain cereal with skim milk gives extra carbs.
- Peanut butter with apple slices tastes great and packs a nutritious punch.
- Cottage cheese has sixteen grams of protein in one half-cup portion.
- Fish are filled with protein. A broiled fillet with brown rice will work wonders.
- Nuts are packed with protein and can be mixed with yogurt and cereal.
- Brown rice is delicious, nutritious, and can be served many ways.
- Whole wheat pasta fried lightly in olive oil with basil is a terrific light meal.
- Turkey sandwiches are a traditional high protein meal.
- Beans are terrific. Serve them with rice and sautéed onion.
Rehydration is just as important as eating. Tear into a large glass of water with a lemon slice. Enjoy a cold glass of chocolate milk for extra nutrition. Chocolate milk replenishes fluids and has the added benefits of carbs and calcium. Eat well. Stay healthy. Exercise and reward your body to keep it functioning at its peak. Your workouts will show faster results if you nourish your muscles when they need it the most.