Unsure about what to eat after working out/training? Is a banana enough? Is it better to train/workout without eating? Should recovery be solely done with a focus on protein? Today, we offer you a reminder of the main rules to follow concerning nutrition when you are active physically. Bonus: a couple of recipe ideas to make for after working out/training!
Before working out/training
Before starting your training/workout, you should fill up your energy reserves. So that digestion does not interfere with physical activity, it is recommended that you eat at least two hours prior to working out/training.
What to eat?
- Complex carbohydrates (like pasta, rice or whole grain cereal)
- Lean protein, for muscles (chicken, turkey, eggs…)
- Fruits to hydrate and for their vitamins
- Water and natural fruit juice
If you are going to train or workout right after a meal, think about eating something light, like a fruit and yogurt, or an energy bar and juice.
After training/working out
Replenish the principal nutrients that you need after playing sports or conducting any kind of physical activity.
- Exercise and heat cause a greater loss of water. That is why the first thing to do is to drink some natural fruit juice, a smoothie or a milkshake to replenish the liquids and mineral salts lost.
- Your muscles need proteins to recover after an effort, but try to not have them come solely from animal sources. You can get proteins from dairy, like cheese or yogurt if it is for a snack or light lunch, or from vegetables, lean meat or fish if it is for a main meal.
- Carbohydrates are essential for replenishing glycogen stores. It is recommended to eat pasta, rice, cereal or potatoes. In addition to satiating yourself, you will avoid spikes of high blood sugar.
- Avoid eating sugars. Glucose is important, but will cause you to be hungry again soon after.
- Watch out for fats. In addition to making the food indigestible, it will give you too many calories. However, dry fruits are good and bring good fats to your heart.
Bonus: a couple of delicious and inescapable recipes for after your workout/training
- Rye bread toast with avocado puree.
On the avocado toast, you can add cherry tomatoes or scallion. The toast will provide cereals, proteins, good fats, omega 3 and vitamins A, B and C.
- Quinoa Paella, chicken and vegetables.
Cook the chicken as you like, same with the onions and the peppers. Cook the quinoa as you would rice. One portion of quinoa for every two portions of broth. The meal gives you complex carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins and minerals.
- Campagnarde salad.
The traditional campagnarde salad of potatoes, green pepper, chives, tomato and chopped lettuce, with a boiled egg or tuna for protein, vitamins and carbohydrates. It is a fresh meal and will be beneficial for your intestinal balance. In central Europe, it is eaten with mayonnaise or parsley.
- Salmon papillote.
Oily fish made papillote style is easy to make and very healthy. You can sprinkle parsley or add some pesto (made with basil, garlic, a pinch of parmesan and olive oil). You can also use trout, hake or tuna. You’ll receive plenty of proteins, vitamins, minerals and mono-unsaturated fats.
- Complete salad.
This salad is a complete dish and delicious. Toss arugula and lamb’s lettuce together, add cherry tomatoes, fresh cheese or feta and cubed cooked ham along with avocado and dry raisins. Season with balsamic vinegar from Modène (which you can have in a tiny bottle and add at the end). If you are vegetarian, replace the cheese and ham with tofu and add some quinoa or sunflower seeds. The salad will provide you with water, fibers, vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium, iron, carbohydrates and protein. Super simple!
To benefit from your favorite physical activity, create a healthy menu so you can recover quickly!
- Content validated by Dr. Trallero.
- Vitonica.com. Josemi del Castillo. Lcdo. Sciences Activité Physique et Sport (CCAFYDE). Aliments à consommer après l’entraînement.
- Revue Contigo Salud. Dra. Adriana Alvarado. Repas post-exercice.