Have you heard the hype about consuming protein after your workouts? Have you jumped on the band wagon, or perhaps thought “do I even need to be on this band wagon?”
Consuming a post-workout snack consisting of protein and carbohydrate could be the little extra that your body is missing. These are a few reasons why consuming a post-workout snack with protein will level up your workout and recovery game:
- Tissue Growth and Repair – eating protein within the first 30-45min following your workout will jump-start your recovery process, your body will begin healing all those tissues damaged during your workout and begin muscle growth while the blood is still flowing freely to those working tissues. Post-workout your body breaks down protein a lot faster than the normal rate so in order to maintain a steady supply of protein to your body, you need to consume it. The pay off? Reduced muscle soreness the next day!
- Increased Satiety – “But I’m never hungry after I workout” of course not, your body is more worried about recovering than refueling, but you don’t need to eat a lot to get the process started. You’re not eating to satisfy hunger at this point, you’re eating for fuel and repair. As a bonus though, you will be less likely to be famished and searching for anything in sight to eat an hour after your workout.
- Fat Burning – Who doesn’t want to do more of that? When glucose (sugar) in the blood stream is low as it typically is after a workout, eating protein will stimulate the release of glucagon, a hormone that causes the liver to begin breaking down stored glucose for fuel. It also helps to free up fatty acids being stored in the body to be used as fuel.
How much do I need post-workout? All you need is 30g of carbohydrate and anywhere from 5-15g of protein. For someone who weighs around 150lbs, 10g of protein is great.
Here are 10 post-workout snack ideas:
1) 1 cup steamed edamame (in the shells) and an apple
2) 1 boiled egg chopped up on a piece of whole grain toast (add salt and pepper to taste)
3) Ants on a log – 1 stalk of celery spread with nut butter and craisins or another dried fruit sprinkled on top
4) Mini Bean Burrito (could easily prep and freeze a few of these!), use 6″ wrap, add a half cup of black beans (drained and rinsed), 1T salsa, sprinkle of cheese, roll up and grill or pan fry
5) Babybel cheese and piece of fruit
6) 250ml Chocolate Milk
7) Protein smoothie: 1/2 cup nut milk, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 1/2 cup berries, 1/2 banana
8) Sliced apple dipped or spread with nut butter
9) 1/2 a protein bar
10) 1/2 cup of greek yogurt, 1/2T of nut butter, dash of cinnamon and 2T slivered almonds