One of the best priorities in life should be living healthy. This means getting yourself checked by a doctor on a regular basis, consuming the right amount of nutrients in your diet, and getting into shape. Experts recommend getting at least three sessions of exercise in a week, lasting around 30 minutes for each. Jogging, weightlifting or even playing your favorite sport can all enhance your lifestyle as well as your health.
What You Eat Is Essential to a Healthy Lifestyle
There are ways to take it up a notch if you’re really trying to get the body you desire. Although exercising is a great method to achieve that, it is not enough. Contrary to popular belief, exercising is not the be all and end all of keeping fit. In fact, most trainers use the 80-20 rule. It means that 20% of your healthy lifestyle should be based on your exercise patterns and the remaining 80% is based on what goes into your body. You can actually get a better body composition through diet alone.
The diet then is an important part of living healthily. It can drastically change your body and its performance. The food you eat affects how your energy level will be throughout the day and how you perform during a workout. The recovery meal is especially important after exercising.
Here is how you can maximize your workout using a recovery meal
After a gruelling workout session, your muscles are probably aching from all the strain they went through and your energy source is depleted. Feeling like this is normal post-workout. As you work out, your body loses its glycogen stores and muscles get miniscule tears. The best way to repair and re-fuel is through a recovery meal, which is a plate of food filled with nutrients that help with all your aches and can help you gain more muscle and energy instead of fat. Replacing what you lost during the exercise is essential to being healthy. Eating a recovery meal helps you lessen the protein breakdown in the muscles, increase muscle growth, regain glycogen stores, and speed up the recovery time. Re-fueling your body is not just eating the right food, though. A post-workout meal is time-sensitive. For the food or snacks to take effect, you need to eat right after working out. Do not wait until an hour after the workout to consume the meal.
Recovering After an Intense Workout
Eat good food after an intense workout. The best food to eat after a heart-pumping workout is natural food. These are items that have barely undergone processing or any treatment which can contain unhealthy preservatives. Think of it as eating fresh from the market. There are three important food groups that your recovery meal needs to have: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats (the good kind). So, grab your reusable bags and head to the nearest farmer’s market to do some essential grocery shopping.
Carbohydrate-rich foods that are great for a recovery meal include:
- Sweet potatoes, purple and yellow
- Fruits such as bananas, apples, pineapples, and berries
- Oatmeal (best if plain and gluten free)
Proteins you should include in your diet are:
- Protein powder that is animal or plant based
- Egg whites
- Yogurt, preferably Greek
- Fish such as tuna and salmon
- Chicken breast
- Natural protein bars
Fatty foods are not all that bad. There is such a thing as healthy fats. Food that are rich in these include:
- Nuts such as almonds
- Trail mix with fruits and nuts (you can add chocolate, too, if you prefer)
- Butters that are nut-based
Tailoring Recovery Meals for Your System
Exercising can happen at any time of the day. This is why recovery meals are not limited to only one kind of food for a particular time. Instead, you can tailor your recovery meals based on what part of the day you like sweating it out. You can also combine the natural foods to better suit your time of workout.
Many enjoy waking up early and jogging in a cold breeze. Early birds can get their body refuelled by consuming carbohydrates and proteins. These are things like bread, eggs, and potatoes. Bread and potatoes are great for firing up the energy levels, and eggs provide the protein to repair torn muscles. Fruits are also a great option to keep the body fresh and full of antioxidants to fight off inflammation.
You can make fried egg with avocado toast, oatmeal with fruits and nuts, whole wheat bread, cereals and milk (skimmed), and yogurt with berries and nuts.
If you prefer working out before lunch, a green salad with quinoa and beans is a great recovery meal. The greens act as antioxidants, and the quinoa and beans provide the carbohydrates.
A rice meal can also help with recovering your glycogen stores and healing the muscles. Order up a plate of salmon or chicken breast with a cup of rice or sweet potato. Do not forget the veggies on the side, too!
You can also have a recovery meal after lunch. For example, a tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread is a superfood. If that is too much, grab some dips! You can consume pita bread and hummus while enjoying flavourful dip options. You can also opt to eat some nutrient-heavy fruits.
Fancy an evening stroll? A fast-cooked dish is the best recovery meal for you since your workout was probably after a hard day of work. Cook up some stir fry with shrimp or chicken to cover the nutrients you lost. You can even make a simple pasta dish to soothe your cravings for a heartier meal.
Recovery Meals for the Best Version of Yourself
Post-workout meals do not have to be boring or expensive. They can be fun, simple, or as complicated as you like. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the best route to the best version of yourself. Make sure to incorporate all recovery food needed for your body to be ready for your next workout session!