PostWorkout

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Eating after a workout should never be optional; in fact, it’s almost as important as the workout itself. Here’s why you should always grab a post-workout snack, the best time to eat it, and the perfect recovery snacks that make the cut.

Why You Should Eat After a Workout

Chowing down after a workout is a no-brainer if you’re famished after an exhausting session, but sometimes, you just don’t feel hungry once you’ve finished a hard sweat session (this is especially true the more you work out). If you’re ever tempted to skip out on your snack, it’s important to remember why eating after training is so important. After a grueling session, your body needs to replenish its depleted stores of glycogen, electrolytes, and fluids. It also needs to repair damaged muscle tissue and build new tissue for a toned, strong body. This is where your post-workout snack or meal comes in.

When Should You Eat?

Replenishing your body’s energy stores should be one of your first priorities once you’ve finished your workout. That’s because timing is everything; you’ll recover faster and build more metabolism-boosting muscle if you eat a snack within 15 minutes to an hour of your workout to ensure your body has what it needs to restore energy levels. Even better, eating the right snack immediately after exercise means that you’re not canceling out your workout – instead of storing the calories as fat, you’ll be replenishing lost energy stores and rebuilding muscle. More muscle equals more calories burned, so make it a point to eat your snack within two hours and have a larger meal afterward.

What Should You Eat?

The license to eat after you exercise is not a cue to dig into a piece of chocolate cake on your way back from the gym. If you’re exercising to maintain or lose weight, you’ll need to be careful about your post-workout snack calories. The wrong post-workout snack – like a high-calorie option or a sports drink after a normal-length workout – will just add unwanted calories to your day. Instead, go for a snack that’s under 150 calories and that has 10 to 20 grams of protein and 30 to 40 grams of carbohydrates if you’ve been working out for an hour or more. If your workout was just a quick session, recovery becomes less important. Either way, if you can’t stomach eating a snack, choose a high-quality protein recovery drink instead.

Here are some great ideas for a post-workout snack:

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POPSUGAR Fitness

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When you need a quick post-workout snack, something with protein and carbs, look no further. Made with only three ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, these protein balls couldn’t be easier to whip up. At 47 calories per ball, a three-piece serving is 141 calories and offers 8.1 grams of protein and 24 grams of carbs. Yet a serving is also low in sugar – just 5.1 grams.

Made with plant-based protein powder, they’re vegan, and they can also be made gluten-free if you use gluten-free oats. If nuts are off-limits, you’ll be happy to know there are no almonds, peanuts, or the like. They’re subtly sweet, oh so soft, and doughy, and because they’re made with such few simple ingredients, this snack is also gentle on the stomach.

Of course, feel free to jazz up this basic recipe by mixing in a little dried fruit, chopped almonds, or dark chocolate chips – if you do, just add a little extra banana to maintain the pliable consistency.

Vegan Banana-Oat Protein Balls

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats

1 serving vegan vanilla protein powder


1 large banana

Directions

  1. Pour rolled oats and protein powder into a food processor. Turn on for a minute until the oats are slightly chopped but not completely smooth.
  2. Add the banana, and turn on until a coarse yet pliable dough forms.
  3. Roll into 12 balls, and place in a reusable container.
  4. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Below is the nutritional info for one protein ball:

Source: Calorie Count


Nutrition

Calories per serving
47

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POPSUGAR Fitness

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Feeling like you hit the gym pretty regularly but aren’t seeing results? One of these post-workout habits may be sabotaging your weight-loss results.

  1. You reward yourself too much: The workout’s done, the sweaty clothes are off, and you’ve been eyeing that piece of cake for a while. While occasional indulgences are smart – and necessary – using your workout as an excuse to help yourself to junk food is not going to get you the results you’re after, so don’t use the fact that you’ve just burned 300 calories as an excuse to indulge in twice that much.
  2. You skip the stretch: You may think of the cooldown as a waste of time, but regularly skipping your post-workout stretches will put you at risk for injuries that will sideline your weight-loss progress by keeping you out of the gym.
  3. You recover with a sports drink: Sugary sports drinks can replenish electrolytes, but if you’ve just finished a short workout, the extra calories are probably unnecessary. Save the sports drinks or coconut water for intense workouts lasting more than an hour or for workouts in hot weather.
  4. You use it as an excuse: Monday’s boot camp class was so hard, so you can be forgiven for nursing your sore muscles until the start of next week, right? Not the best idea if you want to see pounds dropping on the scale. Make sure you get at least 300 minutes of vigorous exercise every week in order to stay on the right weight-loss track.
  5. You wait too long to eat: Refueling soon after a workout is crucial because it’s what helps you rebuild muscle after a workout. Since the more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism, make sure you fit a snack of carbs and protein into your post-workout ritual.
  6. You don’t schedule the next one: You should pat yourself on the back for finishing this workout, but don’t let your self-congratulations get in the way of scheduling your next workout. You’ll only see progress if you make exercise a consistent part of your week.

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POPSUGAR Fitness

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Keep burning fat long after you’ve untied your shoes, showered, and settled in at your desk with this easy trick from Shape.

You know that your metabolism gets a big boost during exercise. That’s why you burn more calories by running than by sitting. But there are ways to trick your metabolism into running strong all day long, even hours after you exercise. Metabolism consists of hormones and enzymes that convert food into fuel. This fuel provides the energy the body needs to do daily tasks like thinking, all the way through to more active tasks like biking or yoga. When your metabolism is working at its peak – such as when you’re running at your race pace on a treadmill – you are creating and using energy more efficiently. As your body plows through those calories, you’ll lose weight faster and streamline your journey to a fitter physique.

RELATED: Six Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Bodyweight Workout

So how do you keep your metabolism cranking after you’ve untied your shoes, showered, and settled in at your desk? It’s all about those first moments after your workout, says Paul Arciero, EdD, a professor of exercise and nutrition at Skidmore College and director of the school’s Human Nutrition and Metabolism Lab. “The best trick to keep your metabolism high after you work out is eating 20 to 30 grams of protein, preferably whey,” he says.

RELATED: The Best Breakfast to Rev Your Metabolism All Day

Protein takes more energy for your body to digest and absorb than other types of food: you may burn 25 percent of the protein calories you consume just by eating. After eating protein, your body will stay in overdrive, which means you’ll process more calories more quickly in the minutes and hours to come. Also, protein helps your body build more muscle, and the more lean body mass you have, the higher your metabolism burns. Whey protein is one of the most easily absorbed types of protein, which is why Arciero is such an advocate of the stuff.

RELATED: 11 Ways to Rev Up Your Metabolism

Of course, what you do during your workout can also affect how well your body burns calories later in the day. Arciero suggests sprint workouts to really maximize your post-workout metabolic boost. Intervals – such as alternating one minute all out and one minute of recovery – send your metabolism soaring as you exercise and keep it running strong for hours afterward, too. Follow an interval fitness session with a protein-rich snack, such as a whey protein smoothie, for the ultimate metabolism jump start.

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POPSUGAR Fitness

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fat reduction
POPSUGAR Health and fitness

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It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s important to eat after you work out. It’s protein and carbs that are going to help replenish all the energy you put out, and that’s also what’s going to help those muscles repair and recover. Of course, this doesn’t mean go out and gorge on chocolate cake or a five-course dinner. It’s important to fuel the body without taking in more calories than just burned. If you’re not sure what the perfect post-workout snack looks like, you’ve come to the right place.

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FitSugar

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It takes a lot of time and energy to get a workout in, especially if you have a busy schedule. Don’t make these postworkout mistakes that may undo the good you’ve done, or worse – result in illness or injury.

View Slideshow ›


weight loss
FitSugar

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It takes a lot of time and energy to get a workout in, especially if you have a busy schedule. Don’t make these postworkout mistakes that may undo the good you’ve done, or worse – result in illness or injury.

View Slideshow ›


weight loss
FitSugar

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How To Lose Weight Quickly: High Intensity Exercise and Its Post-Workout Effect

www.getleanin12.com Discover how to burn fat for up to 48 hours after your workout with high-intensity, 12 minute, fast weight loss exercise. Lose weight and save time all at once!

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