After a pretty intense workout, your body is calling for nutrients, and in order to properly build muscle and lose fat you must consume two key components immediately following your workout: protein and carbohydrates!
Some people, especially women who want to loseÂ a few pounds, fail to eat anything after they finish working out--huge mistake! It's important to refuel your body, especially with carbs since it's the number one thing you burn during a workout. The harder and more intense your workout, the more carbs your body tends to burn since they are stored in your muscles as gylcogen.
Most of us, like myself, who follow a clean diet, aim for a protein shake and an apple or an orange to boost are energy levels. But according to an article written in Men's Fitness, certain kinds of "junk" foods can be eaten post-workout and still produce the same benefits.
PB&J bagel: Not quite "clean eating," but according to celebrity fitness trainer Jay Cardiello, the bagel contains "dense carbohydrates to help refuel muscles for recovery," and the sugar found in the jelly creates an insulin to help "spike"Â nutrientsÂ into your muscles. So for those of you who are bread-lovers, this might be the best option for you. (For extra fiber, make sure to use whole-wheat bread.)
Ice cream: Who would have thought ice cream provided any type ofÂ nutrients, especially post-workout? Turns out the sugars helps build muscle and preventÂ proteinÂ breakdown with the "powerful insulin spike" they provide. I willÂ definitelyÂ have to try this out! Simple recipe I might consider:Â 1/2 cup vanilla low-carb ice cream, 1 scoop chocolate protein, 1 cup almond milk, and a few ice cubes. Sounds mouthwatering!
Chocolate milk: Milk itself contains protein, while the sugary chocolate helps add extra carbohydrates. What most people don't know is that "cowâ€™s milk contains about 80% casein protein and 20% whey proteinÂ in addition to a whopping 20 to 25 grams of carbohydrates, which makes it ideal for recovery." I try to stay away from anything too sugary, and if you're not careful, you can end up consuming any where from 25-35g of sugar! So make sure to choose other alternatives. Chocolate protein powder with unsweetend almond milk helps satisfy my sugar cravings.
Kids' sugary cereals: Ok, when I saw this on the list it made me feel 99% less guilty for eating my protein shake with fruit loops (I had a craving attack at the moment!). Turns out the sugar found in cereals guarantees "a surge in your insulin level and fill your muscle glycogen stores quickly." This means that your body will recover quickly and continue to develop muscle growth.
FOR MORE HEALTH TIPS:
So next time you find yourself craving something sweet or cold, save it for a post-workout snack to receive the same nutrients and benefits guilt-free! But I would suggest you keep these options at a minimum and that it doesn't become a daily ritual.
Remember to always live fit! - AC