Clean Eating: Post-workout Snacks

Continuing my education of learning to eat cleaner, today I have a great guest post from Jessica at Spiffy Eats & Giggle Water. I’m happy to say that I’ve been working out pretty consistently this month, as I hope you have, too. So these post-workout snack tips will help us all!

IMG_6092I cannot be the only one who has gone on a nice, long jog and thought to myself, “I did so well, now time to refuel. Margaritas, cheese dip and tacos to the rescue!” And the next day felt like complete crap! Am I alone here?

After working on my fitness so hard, it can be really tempting to put highly processed, fatty foods in my body. Don’t get me wrong, we all know I love healthy fats, which are essential to our health (avocados, salmon, cashews, etc.) but there is a time and place. Research shows that post-workout is simply not the right time for fats. “Since fat slows down transit through the stomach, eating fat during the post-workout period may slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and proteins.” (bodybuilding.com) I like to limit any highly processed foods for occasional splurges or social engagements. Regardless of splurging preferences, the hour after completing a workout is not the right time for fat.

Large amounts of glycogen are burned during exercise. Prime time to refuel glycogen is during the post-workout phase. If we neglect to refuel with the proper carbs and protein during this time, we are more likely to feel worn out, tired or sluggish. I would rather eat some good food and feel better the next day!

I am not claiming to be the ultimate expert in nutrition, but am simply sharing some helpful concepts that I personally use based on my knowledge as a Certified Personal Trainer. Your specific sport may have differing recommendations as well. Again, I am sharing what works for me after walks, jogs, Spinning®, runs or light weight-lifting. Within an hour after a workout, I stick with:

  • <2 g fat total
  • .2-.4 g protein per 1 kg body weight
  • .8-1.2 g carbs per 1 kg body weight

At my current weight, 136 pounds (61 kg), I aim to consume between 12-16 grams of protein and 48-55 grams of carbs within an hour of completing a workout, to allow my body optimum recovery. I like this formula because it is specific to my body. Some articles I have read claim that everyone should consume the same amount of calories after a workout. Hello!!! All of our bodies are different and unique. I prefer a formula that incorporates my exact body mass into the equation.

Examples:

Egg_on_white_background

steel cut oats

3 egg whites (12 grams protein) and 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp steel cut oats (50.4 g carbs) — I mix the egg whites in with the dry cereal and water, and then cook as directed.

red-apple-83085_640tuna can 2 apples (50 g carb) and 1 can tuna (10 g protein) — I like to chop the apples up and add them to the tuna, or slice the apples thin and put the tuna on top.

black beans

1 cup unsalted black beans (41 g carb 15 g protein) <1 g fat — This one is great because it requires zero prep work. Heat them on the stovetop and eat up!

Banana_(white_background)

2 bananas (54 g carbs) and 2 oz organic/all natural turkey (10 g protein) — I like to freeze my bananas and then put them through my Champion Juicer or in the blender with a little water for an ice cream-type texture. And there’s nothing wrong with some turkey on the side.

Recovering properly is a very important part of your overall health and fitness. I hope I have encouraged you to try one of these snack ideas after your next workout, and keep those margarita cravings at bay! (At least until a few hours after the workout. Ha!)

Read Jessica’s last guest post  — a delicious clean eating dip recipe!

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