Eating after you have been exercising, especially if you have been weight training, is almost as important as the workout itself. When you eat after exercise, but eat the right things, full of protein, it can help your muscles to recover much more quickly, and will help to make sure that your exercise and hard work can be amplified and not wasted. Of course, it isn’t going to be possible to just go home and make yourself a large meal after the gym, nor is that necessary. But getting in ten to twenty grams of protein after training will help aid recovery, and ultimately, help you to achieve your goals more quickly. What are the best foods to be consuming, though? What should you stock up on to grab after your next session? Here are some really high-protein foods that would make a great post-workout snack.
Yogurt is a great choice when it comes to eating protein after a workout. Not all yogurt is created equal, though, as Greek yogurt really is the best choice in this instance. Greek yogurt has double the protein that regular yogurt has, with it varying between 17g to 20g, depending on the brand you use. You could eat it by itself, or mix it up with some cereal or fruit, to give you a good snack that has a good balance of protein, as well as carbohydrates. You could have berries with the yogurt for an antioxidant boost that can help you to fight soreness.
Whey protein powder
If you want something that is portable and easy to consume post-workout, such as on your way to work, then whey protein powder could be just the thing. Your body is able to digest a shake made from whey protein much more easily and faster than it could with solid food. So you can get a high-protein hit quickly and easily, as you could have it with you in your gym bag and drink it on the go, as many can be mixed with water. Per serving, depending on the brand you use, you could get up to 80g of protein. There are a few brands out there to choose from, but looking at a site like Muscle Rage could be a good place to start. If you’re at home or have more time to mix things up, you could make different flavor protein shakes, and add in things like spinach, chia seeds, or oats. If you’re vegan, then there are vegan protein powders too that contain plant-based protein.
Eggs are a great snack at any time of the day, but are a good choice after working out. For starters, they are really high in protein, as well as being a good way to get a variety of other nutrients into your diet. All of which can help your body to repair after a workout. As a rule, one egg will have around 6g of protein, which is 15% of the amount that is recommended daily, so a pretty good hit. Not only that though, eggs are a good source of amino acids which our bodies need in order to be able to absorb and digest protein. So they are an essential food in your diet for working out and trying to build muscle. Boiling up some eggs to have after a workout can be a quick and easy way to eat them, but of course, if you have time to cook, scrambled or poached, alongside fruit or other veggies can help to give you some carbs too (which all helps with glycogen stores in your body).
If you don’t know what kefir is, then read on because it can be a good way to get protein into your body. It is a fermented milk product, which naturally makes it a great source of protein, as well as having plenty of vitamins, and minerals in it, per serving. It is much like drinking milk, but the process allows the natural bacteria to ferment, making it good for gut health too, as well as giving it a thicker texture to milk, and a more tangy flavor. A cup of kefir tends to have around 12g of protein, but you’ll also get vitamin D and calcium.
If you are looking for a completely plant-based option for your protein, then quinoa is what you will want after the gym. Quinoa is an ancient superfood, and is packed full of protein, as well as other nutrients that can help you to build muscle and to stay satisfied. Per serving, quinoa has around 8g of protein, which is one of the highest when it comes to grains and plant-based protein. A lot of other grains aren’t a complete protein, which is what quinoa is, so it has all essential amino acids in there too. Protein isn’t the only thing of note with quinoa. It is vegan, gluten-free, and also has a low glycemic index food, which means it is good for monitoring blood sugar levels. You can fill up on quinoa easily, and it won’t leave you feeling hungry after working out.
You can also try general post-workout protein bars as these are super convenient and you don’t have to worry about any preparation beforehand. You can try these out from MyVegan which have a wide range of bars, cookies and shakes to enjoy.
As a rule, trail mix is a combination of things like nuts, pretzels, and other dry savory options (though you can get ones with chocolate chips or M&Ms in). So steer clear of the ones that have a high level of saturated fat, or have a lot of sugar in them. You can also get some with nuts and dried fruit, which are going to be your best options when it comes to post-workout protein. You can quite easily make your own trail mix to have in your bag, mixing up nuts like almonds and cashews, with dried mango and raisins, for example. Then you can keep the protein level high, but reduce the sugar and salt levels.
There are a variety of protein-rich foods that make a great choice after a workout. One is not better than the other, but mixing it up, and trying a few out, depending if you’re at home or on the go is a good idea.