Calling all sports enthusiasts! I love sports nutrition…it’s the reason I went into the nutrition profession! What you eat after you exercise dramatically impacts how you feel during future workouts. If you don’t properly refuel, you risk the chance of “bonking” or just not feeling up to par during your next workout. You may also increase your risk of injury, so take advantage and eat a good meal after you exercise. You deserve it!
Here are three of my favorite recovery foods.
I love oatmeal because it’s carbohydrate-rich, perfect for replacing muscle fuel (carbohydrate) used while exercising. I prefer to balance the carb to protein ratio a little more by adding a scoop of protein powder to my oatmeal.
Another perk…the fiber in oatmeal helps prevent spikes in blood sugar, giving you energy evenly and consistently–a must for longer distance runs or bike rides. Oats also tend to be pretty easy on the tummy, another important quality in a pre-workout meal.
Eating protein for recovery is vital for repairing worn out muscles and stimulating development of new muscles. Greek yogurt is high in protein, plus it has calcium to maintain strong bones. Eating about 20-25 grams of protein post-exercise is sufficient for allowing maximal muscle response.
Used by college athletes in major universities across the United States, chocolate milk offers carbs and protein, plus fluid, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes–everything your body is looking for after exercising. Including protein in your recovery meal will further accelerate your carb stores, which allows you to feel replenished for your next workout.
Got a speedy, go-to, recovery food you’d like to share?
In Health and Happiness,
Kelly Harrington, MS, RD
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods