No matter your exercise regime, it’s important to refuel your body right. Eating well post-workout will help prevent dips in energy, assist in recovery and help you train 100% at your next session.
Once you finish a tough workout your body is in recovery mode, so quality protein, carbs and good fats should be at the top of the menu.
Here are 5 plant-based foods that can help fuel your recovery:
More than just a ‘trendy’ health food, quinoa (pronounced “keen-whah”) is another great whole grain to add to your post-workout meal.
Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids making it a high-quality source of protein. Protein is important for muscle growth, repair and recovery after a workout.
Quinoa is also a good source of carbohydrates which are important for replenishing the body’s glycogen or energy stores, and preventing a slump later in the day.
Add quinoa to anything from brekkie bowls to salads for a boost of high quality protein and carbs, as well as iron.
2. Nuts & seeds
Nuts and seeds are nutritional powerhouses that are a great on-the-go snack if you are rushed for time after your workout. They provide protein for muscle recovery, essential omega-3 fatty acids to fight inflammation, electrolytes for hydration, and zinc to boost immunity. A healthy handful of nuts is perfect to sprinkle on breakfast cereal, salads or in smoothies.
3. Sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of good quality carbohydrates, which is important for re-fuelling your muscles after a hard workout. The humble root replenishes energy levels and is a good source of fibre to keep you feeling fuller for longer and contains carotenoids, which help aid cell repair. Roast extra at dinnertime so you have some handy to add to salads and omelettes.
Think hummus and veggie sticks. Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and mixed beans are excellent sources of protein and carbs, to help your body function at its peak post-workout. They also have a low glycaemic index, which will help keep hunger at bay and keep you from mindlessly snacking later on.
Help support your joints by adding a serve of avocado to your post-workout feed. Avocados are an excellent source of good fat, which is essential for joints; it’s also rich in B vitamins to help jump-start your metabolism. If you are looking to trim down, the healthy fats can also help keep your appetite under control. An easy addition to smoothies or a late brekkie.
Another great on-the-go option is a plant-based protein drink. Pea, rice and hemp proteins are rich in protein, to help muscle recovery after your workout.
Hydration is also key, so make sure you get plenty of fluids after you finish your workout.