Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My Favorite Post Workout Snacks

A lot of people struggle with knowing what kind of foods to eat after a workout. To be honest, I never thought much about that kind of thing until recently. I'd just eat whatever sounded good afterward.

Recently though, I've felt the desire to eat a little healthier. That doesn't mean I don't eat chips and cake or go out to eat.  I certainly still struggle to want the healthier foods all the time. And I don't think it's bad to eat the junk food once in a while. The key to it is not eating it all of the time.  I am of the impression that food shouldn't take a lot of work.  While it's good to eat healthily, it shouldn't be something we stress over. The key here for me is to make sure I'm getting enough protein, fruits, vegetables, and dairy, while still enjoying a little sweet treat once in a while.

Here is what the American Heart Association says about what to eat after a workout.

To read the whole article, go HERE.

When I'm looking for a good post-workout snack, I'm looking for something that allows minimal cleanup and that is quick to make. I'm also looking for something that is more healthy and refreshing than a normal mid-afternoon snack, like a cookie or one of the kid's fruit snacks. I want something that will give me good energy and a little bit of protein to help my body recover. So with all that in mind, here are a few ideas of what I like to munch on during the day or for a post-workout snack.

  • Fruit with whipped cream on top. What I like is that it is a guilt-free dessert. Whipped cream is really low in calories and fruit is really healthy for you.  Most of the time I just find whatever fruit I have in my fridge. Lately, it has been a lot of strawberries, raspberries, peaches, mangos and sometimes kiwi.  I cut it all up, put a little bit of whipped cream on top and enjoy. 

  • Sometimes after a run, I don't feel like eating anything. I don't know if that happens to anyone else, but sometimes after a run, I feel like nothing sounds good. When that happens, I focus on rehydrating and getting some nutrients at the same time. I do that with a protein shake.  My favorite protein shake is a Carnation instant breakfast.  I like these for a few reasons: first, I hate the big protein shakes that taste like added protein.  Second, these are almost always pre-measured and you just pour them in a glass of milk and stir it. They are a good for you kind of chocolate milk. And finally, they taste good. No chalky taste to them, they aren't too rich, and they taste just like another brand of chocolate milk would taste. 

  • Popcorn is always a good snack option.  It's super low in calories and high in fiber. And who doesn't like popcorn? (well, besides Trevon).  If you want to add some different flavors to your popcorn, HERE is a great way to do that. 

  • Smoothies are a great, refreshing post-workout snack.  A lot like the fruit bowl, we put whatever fruit we have on hand in it.  This one has strawberries, raspberries, pineapple, banana, and carrots in it. We put it all in out Blendtec and it's ready in just a minute. Then clean up is super easy (because who feels like cleaning up a big kitchen mess after a hard workout?)

  • A yogurt is a great option because it's got a lot of protein to it. You also get a very wide variety of flavors and textures. You can get a greek yogurt or an original yogurt, which happens to be my favorite. 

  • Granola bars are another great and convenient option. When looking for a good granola bar, look for one with high protein. I like these Nature Valley granola bars because they are convenient and they taste good. Again, you're not tasting added protein. They have different flavors too if peanuts aren't your thing. If you don't like Natures Valley, there are many other granola bars to choose from. Another great brand I like is NuGo. (Just a little tip about NuGo, they are fantastic for nursing mommas. They help you build that milk supply up and stay healthy yourself.) 

Post workout food is important. You need to refuel your body with good things to give you energy for the rest of your day. 

What are your concerns with eating after a workout?

Do you have a favorite snack?

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