If you’re like me, you are often on the go during your day. As soon as you exercise, you have to move quickly to your next appointment or commitment. Sometimes, I forget to fuel my body after a workout because I am moving so fast. But it is important to take time to eat and drink after a workout because your body needs to refuel and recover. You need to put protein and carbohydrates back into your body within a certain time frame (45 minutes is optimal) so your muscles can absorb the added nutrients and recover. What you drink is important too because your body loses water when you workout. Below, I’ll share what I eat and drink after I exercise.
Well, of course! But you would be surprised by the number of people who don’t do this. Drinking water before and during a workout is critical because it prevents dehydration. If you’re dehydrated, you won’t have the energy, strength, and endurance to give your all during your workout. Following the workout, you need to drink more water to replace the water your body loses through sweat. Pure water is fine, but some people prefer to drink alkaline water for its extra hydration benefits. Whatever you choose, drink at least 8 oz (but more if you can) within 30 minutes of your workout. Here’s what I do: I typically drink 30 ounces 1.5 hours before I teach a fitness class, and I drink another 30 ounces afterwards.
Coconut water is excellent for replacing electrolytes after a more than average workout. I always drink some after teaching my spin class. It has huge amounts of potassium – more than a single banana – and magnesium. Since I started drinking coconut water I’ve found that my muscles recover faster and are less sore. It is also lower in sodium compared to sports drinks.
I like to keep my shake recipes pretty simple and uncomplicated so I can remember the ingredients and quickly make them! One ingredient that is consistent within all of my shake recipes is a vegetable. Adding vegetables to a shake is a great way to sneak in an extra vegetable serving during the day (and if you have kids, you are probably good at hiding a vegetable in something they eat)! Here’s my go-to shake recipe:
1 cup torn organic kale (or spinach) leaves
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup frozen organic blueberries
1 scoop vegan protein powder
This shake is jam-packed with goodness. The protein powder provides protein and carbohydrates to help repair and rebuild my muscles. The blueberries provide natural fiber and antioxidants. Kale provides vitamin C and calcium. The almond milk provides protein and vitamin E (which is great for your skin). These are just a few reasons why this is my go-to shake.
Protein bars are so convenient, and I like to always have one in my purse so I have no excuse for eating something post workout. The only problem is many are laden with added sugar and mysterious ingredients. Lately, I’ve been eating RXBars because they are made with no more than 7 ingredients, and the ingredients are simple and whole. My favorite flavors are Maple Sea Salt, Blueberry, and Chocolate Sea Salt.
In conclusion, don’t forget to eat something after you exercise. Take time to plan what you’ll eat so you won’t be tempted to eat something high in calories and sugar (you don’t want to waste your workout, right?). Eat within 45 minutes of your workout because this is the optimal time for your muscles to absorb the nutrients. Last, always hydrate because you’ve got to add back what your body sweated out. Your body will thank you!
Mrs. Traylor is a Fitness Instructor, NASM Certified Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach, AFPA Certified Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness Specialist, wife, and momma who provides actionable advice for positive lifestyle changes with fitness, nutrition, and wellness. Read about Wendy’s inspiring entrepreneurial journey, and subscribe to Wendy’s newsletter here!