Wednesday, September 26, 2012

post-workout snacks

I realized it has been a while since I had done a post related to health/fitness, so I want to write about some good snacks to eat post-workout! Depending on the amount of calories burned, different things will be good for your body. Yesterday I taught a Zumba class and had a 2.5 hour dance team practice with a workout - according to My Fitness Pal app, I burned over 1,200 calories! That day I burned a LOT more than a usual workout day, but when I got home, I needed to replenish my muscle tissues and glycogen stores!

Here are a few post-workout snack ideas (note: I'm not a professional; I just enjoy learning tidbits about health from class, magazines, online, etc.) From what I've read and heard, the key is having food that contains carbohydrates and protein.

Water isn't food, but some H2O is especially important after a sweat session to remain hydrated. To me, there's nothing better than an ice-cold glass of water after a long run.

Chocolate Milk
One of the Gold's Gym trainers told me that chocolate milk has the best ratio of carbs to protein to repair your body. If you're working out at a high intensity for 60 minutes or longer, chocolate milk is your friend. AND an excuse to have chocolate!

Whole Grains
My nutrition professor said that if you're going to eat starchy carbs (like whole grain bread or pasta) that the best time to do so is between 45 minutes and two hours post-workout. That is when your body will really take advantage of the nutrients and use it to its benefit. A slice of whole grain toast (my favorite brand is Dave's Killer Bread) with an egg or spread with natural peanut butter is one of my go-to snacks.

Protein Smoothie
Many gyms or smoothie bars often have deceivingly unhealthy smoothies that are loaded with sugar, artificial fruit, and excess protein and carbohydrates. By blending your own at home, you know exactly what you're putting into your body! Check this post for my protein smoothie recipe.

Fruits and vegetables are always another smart choice for low-calorie carbs, and adding hummus or natural peanut butter is a healthy way to make a snack with both carbs and protein. -- And YES, fruits and veggies are carbohydrates too! Carbs ARE good for you! (Well, natural fruits, veggies, and whole grains...)

Eating the right food is crucial after a workout, but more importantly, a healthy lifestyle! Let me know what other healthy snacks you like to eat!


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