Post workout meal should help you refuel and recover, not pile on more fat. Here’s a list of what not to eat, post workout!
An intense workout always makes you feel great. But your first thought post workout is food! A right diet, being psychologically motivated and a regular physical activity is a must in your quest to lose weight. However, you might be surprised to learn that certain combinations of foods eaten post workout can actually sabotage your entire weight loss campaign!
Sweetened drinks and soda
Yes, intense exercising makes you thirsty, but sweetened fruit drinks or the sugary sports drink will not help you replenish your lost fluids. If your intension is to lose weight, drinking sodas and sugar-filled fruit juices will be counterproductive as they have a slowing effect on the metabolism. Sports drinks should be an option only if your workout needs you to sweat profusely, in which case they will replace the lost electrolytes. However, if you are just thirsty, rehydrate with plain water.
You might be surprised, even shocked to learn that raw vegetables are not such a great post workout snack! Reaching out for carrot sticks, bell peppers or broccoli might not be such a good idea. They might be healthy, low-fat foods but they are not good enough as post workout recovery food. These vegetables have minimal calories and will not help your restore energy or maintain a healthy metabolic rate. However, you could eat them with a healthy, protein-filled yogurt dip or hummus, which will make it more substantial. As yogurt is low on glycemic index, it does not raise your blood sugar level and at the same time your body gets its quota of probiotic bacteria.
Make sure you chose a combination of carbs and protein after a workout. If you are working out in the mornings, have a toast and eggs and if you workout during evenings, have a peanut butter sandwich or a sandwich with some lean meat or a handful of nuts.
Munching on salty snacks like potato chips after a workout will lower your potassium levels, which is more important for your recovery post workout. The protein and carbohydrate meal suggested above will take care of the salt that you may have lost during the workout. Loss of essential minerals like potassium should be more of a concern to you, as your body loses electrolytes while exercising. Eating a bag of salty chips will only deplete your potassium levels even more! Instead, eat a handful of dried fruits or a banana which is rich in potassium.
Pizza, fries, milk chocolates, donuts and pastries – these might be your favourite food. But if you think you can pig on them just because you’ve sweated on the treadmill for the last one hour then forget it! One slice of a greasy pizza or one portion of the oily fries or one milk chocolate is enough to reverse the gains of all the pain you went through on the cross trainer or treadmill!
Instead, have a muffin or a bite of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is filled with antioxidants which fight free radicals and these help you quickly recover post workout. If you are craving for something sweet, have a toast with peanut butter or a fruit preserves.
You can maximise your benefits of a
workout by opting for protein and fiber-filled foods such as nuts, lean meats and vegetables with dips. Substitute all sugary drinks with water and processed carbs with low carb foods, especially in the two-hour post workout period if you are serious about optimizing the weight loss from your training sessions!
Photograph via sxc.hu
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