On Tuesdays and Saturdays I take a class called ‘Body Pump’ which is a strength training class that utilizes a barbell. I’m in love with this class. I was always so intimidated by weight-lifting before, because I had no idea what I was doing – how to target different muscles, what proper form was, how much weight to lift, etc. But this class took away all those fears for me – and set the lifting to awesome music! In just 8 weeks, I’ve already seen so much improvement from this class and I truly look forward to it every time I go. It’s also one hell of a workout! The goal of the class is muscle failure. All-out, gasping for breath, can’t do one more rep, dripping in sweat, muscle failure.
After a class like that, I know you need a recovery period. I try to follow it up the next day with an all-out rest day, a light run, or a yoga class. Except for a few weeks ago when I was possessed by some insane spirit and went to a class called ‘Extreme Abs’ the day immediately following Body Pump. I swear I almost died. Also, immediately after class I know that I need a post-workout recovery snack. But I didn’t know too much about what kind of food your body needs post-workout so I went and did a little research.
Immediately after a moderate to high intensity workout, you should eat a snack that combines complex carbohydrates and protein with a very small amount of good fat in order to rebuild and repair your muscles. Recovery times (when your muscle rebuilds itself) are just as crucial to increasing your fitness levels as the workout themselves! The recommendation by the American Dietetic Association is to consume 1–1.5 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight to allow for maximum replenishment of glycogen stores, the primary fuel or energy used during moderate– to high–intensity exercise; and 10–20 grams of lean protein to help repair muscle tissue.
The other night after Body Pump, I opted for a whole grain English muffin spread with crunchy peanut butter and topped with some raw cocoa nibs (I was going to top it with sliced bananas until I discovered I had (in)conveniently peeled and put all my bananas in the freezer for smoothies earlier that day).
Depending on if you’re going for a post-workout snack or meal, change the portion sizes of the below items.
Here are a few other examples of a great post-workout snack!
· Banana with 1 tablespoon of nut butter
· Dried fruit and nuts mix (1/4 cup serving size)
· Turkey or tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread or pita
· PB&J – or better yet a PB&B (peanut butter and banana)!
· Veggie omelet and whole wheat toast
· Whole wheat toast or English muffin (even a whole wheat pancake! Just skip the butter and syrup) spread with nut butter, top with sliced banana
· Protein shake
· Cheese and whole wheat crackers, can add a slice or two of turkey for more protein
· Cottage cheese or yogurt topped with nuts, fruit, seeds
· Whole wheat bread, English muffin, or pita with hummus (can add a slice of turkey for more protein)
I had no idea what to eat after a workout at first, but now I feel like I have tons of healthy options! I hope you found some inspiration in the list above. 🙂
Also, I went back and updated my “Everything Cookies” recipe since I baked up two cookies from frozen the other night and they turned out fantastically! 🙂 I was pumped to see that freezing the dough and baking up individual portions worked so well.
What is your favorite post or pre-workout snack?