In Response to Post-workout:
What is best to eat after a hard workout? Is there anything that should definitely be avoided?
Posted by aejax10
After a hard workout you want to aim for carbohydrates, high quality protein and replenishing your fluids and electrolytes (sodium and potassium). You have about a 30-60 minute window to get in a recovery snack or meal.
Carbohydrates are important because your muscles are tired and need to be "fed." Your body's favorite type of energy is carbohydrates. After they have fueled up they are ready to start rebuilding muscle and therefore need protein. There are numerous research studies that show chocolate milk as a great recovery beverage. The chocolate contains carbohydrates and the milk has high quality protein plus other essential nutrients that your body needs.
Other great recovery options would include:
Smoothie made with yogurt and frozen berries
Sport drink (carbs, electrolytes, fluid) + sports bar (carbs, protein)
Graham crackers with peanut butter + low-fat chocolate milk + banana
Whole wheat pita sandwich with turkey and veggies + pretzels + low-fat milk
Rice bowl with beans, cheese, salsa, avocado + whole grain tortilla chips or whole wheat tortilla
Stir-fry with lean steak, broccoli, bell peppers, carrots + brown rice
If you don't have an appetite post-workout, choose liquid foods over solid to meet your nutritional goals.
As far as what to avoid post-workout, I would be cautious of a high fat snack or meal. The reason behind this is because fat actually slows down digestion. After a workout we want the carbohydrate and protein to get to your muscles quickly and fat will just slow down your body's chance to recover from the workout.
Feel free to let me know if you have additional questions.
Alexandra Economy, RD, LD
Winona Hy-Vee Dietitian