Always grab a bite to eat after working out. It will reduce your soreness and recovery time while also putting off intense hunger waves later in the day. Post workout time is the one spot where you can eat your carbs and 100% enjoy them with zero guilt added. The key is to be selective with which kind of carbs you are ingesting, as some will work with your body and continue building your muscles while some negate all the hard work you just put in!
1. Energy Bars Loaded with Fiber: These are actually loaded with over-processed sugars. While there’s less chance of it being stored as fat, it still lacks the right nutrients. These bars are empty calories and aren’t going to replenish much of anything and the fats won’t break down easily. This snack/meal should be low in fat and fiber to speed digestion, and high in carbs and protein to provide fuel and the raw materials for muscle repair. Registered Dietician Julie Meyer recommends finding a bar with less than 15g of sugar per serving (ivillage).
2. Fruit Drinks: Again, the sugars in this drink will deplete the purpose of your exercise. The high fructose corn syrup found in these drinks will actually slow down your metabolism and should be avoided. Look for sports drinks with extra electrolytes and no high fructose corn syrup.
3. Foods with little to no calories: Your celery sticks, carrots and raw veggies are not enough to support your body after a workout. You need to refuel your body, not put it into starvation mode, which stores your fat! I’m not saying these aren’t healthy options, but they just aren’t the best fuel options for your body post-workout.
4. High Fat Foods: You need lean proteins and healthy fats, not saturated or trans fats. Rather than grabbing a burger patty, grab a turkey sandwich or a peanut butter sandwich. But, be careful not to overuse the peanut butter.
5. Chips, Pretzels and Salt Laden Foods: Salts will deplete your potassium levels. This mineral is also an electrolyte like sodium. While it is important to your essential body cell function, it’s not an ideal food to ingest post-sweat sesh.
Now that you know the foods to pass up on after your gym time, check out our 8 Post-Workout Treats To Refuel + Recharge!