After a good sweat, there’s nothing better than kicking back with a delicious post-workout snack to relax and recharge. Whether you’re a smoothie gal or prefer something heartier, consider adding one of the following ingredients for a nutritional boost to speed recovery and support muscle repair.
Turmeric. After an intense workout, the body can be inflamed and filled with lactic acid. To come back into balance, consider eating turmeric. This bright orange root contains curcumin an antioxidant with demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties. Found in the spice aisle, turmeric can be sprinkled on vegetables or meat or added to a smoothie.
Dates. Potassium stores can also be depleted after working out. Without enough potassium you may experience weakness, tiredness and leg or muscle cramps. No thanks! While bananas are the food most associated with high levels of potassium, dates also deliver on this front. In fact, one date offers 167 mg. of this key nutrient. Not only that, dates are also high in fiber which supports satiation and healthy digestion.
Popcorn. Who doesn’t love a bowl of popcorn? If you need another reason to indulge, here are two. As a whole grain, popcorn is rich in fiber and antioxidants. And because it’s a carbohydrate, it’s also a good source of glycogen, the body’s favorite energy source. After a workout, glycogen stores can be low leading to feelings of fatigue. Enjoy popcorn to get your bounce back.
Peanut Butter. After working your muscles, it’s key to feed them to help them rebuild. Protein is the best way to do that. While peanut butter is one of our favorite protein sources with 4 grams per tablespoon, really any nut butter will deliver. Smear it on fruit or toast or add a spoonful to a smoothie. Here’s one of our favorite recipes.
Sweet Potatoes. You really can’t go wrong with a sweet potato. They’re delicious and nutritionally dense. These vibrant tubers are packed with vitamins and nutrients including vitamins B6, C, D, iron, magnesium, and potassium. They’re also an excellent source of fiber and a medium sweet potato contains approximately 2 grams protein.
Almonds. Almonds are another great source of protein. A handful of almonds (roughly 22 nuts) packs 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. Almonds are also especially convenient since they don’t require temperature-controlled storage. Keep some in a gym bag for an easy and nutritious snack right after your workout. Eating a handful before a meal can also help curb hunger cravings and prevent overeating.