So last week was all about pre-workout food for energy and this week is all about post-workout food for ultimate recovery.
It took me years to realise that recovery was an essential part of a workout.
Just like stretching and a cool down after a workout is good for your muscles, so are certain foods.
Follow these 5 tips and you’ll be rested up and raring to go next time.
1. Respect the recovery window
First of all, let’s talk timing. The best time to eat is within 15-60 minutes immediately after your workout. This is the window in which your muscles are primed to receive fuel and begin repairing. If you can, eat or drink your recovery meal straight away.
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Basic fact. You need lots of water when you workout so make sure you’re sipping away on a water bottle regularly throughout the workout.
Afterwards, replace lost electrolytes that you’ve sweated out all over the bench press (and then wiped off with your towel BECAUSE YOU’RE POLITE LIKE THAT) with coconut water rather than sugary, processed drinks like Gatorade, Powerade etc.
PS - I really hated coconut water when I first tried it (to be honest – I thought it tasted like ass). But then I tried fresh young coconut water (not from a can or box) after a tough workout and it totally hit the spot. Now I love it!
3. Drink your meal
Shakes are easily digested and quickly absorbed. But be careful what protein supplement you use (if any) because many are a chemical shitstorm of fake sugars and heavy processing.
If you’re going to use a protein powder, look out for whey protein isolate (which contains the highest percentage of protein) or if you’re vegan – a plant based protein powder like Sun Warrior Rice Protein Powder.
4. Mix it up
Get a good mix of carbs and protein in your recovery meal. Great snacks include
- trail mix
- boiled egg with a glass of OJ
- banana with nut butter
- tuna and rice crackers
- hoummus with carrot & capsicum sticks
In a nutshell, my favourite recovery meal? A swamp smoothie!
- one frozen banana (for carbs)
- handful of spinach leaves (for nourishing greens)
- one tbsp of almond butter (for protein)
- one cup of almond milk (for protein and smooth blending)
- one teaspoon of maca powder (for adrenal gland recovery. Your adrenals get a big hit during a heavy workout)
- dash of cinammon (for flava flav)
5. Keep recovering
Recovery doesn’t just stop there. You’ll need to refuel again in about an hour or two with a full meal focused on high quality protein.
Plus, magnesium supplements taken just before bed will help the muscles relax and prevent DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) which is a fancy term for “ow ow, my legs” as you hobble up the stairs the day or two after leg day.
What’s your favourite post workout meal?