People have different reasons for working out. Some want to stay lean, some want to get yoked, and others simply want to burn calories and lose weight. If you want to be serious about your workout goals, though, you have to eat the right recovery foods. Eating the wrong foods after your exercise routine can negate all the effort you exert.
After a workout, people want to satiate their hunger with whatever’s in sight. This is because the body signals the brain that it needs food, but it doesn’t say what foods are best. It is at that moment when you need to step in and select the right foods so your body can grow stronger and recover more quickly. Eating the wrong foods can prevent muscle gain, increase muscle soreness, prevent weight loss, and lead to nutritional deficiencies. Finally, it is paramount to avoid sugars, refined grains, and unhealthy fats. Avoid the following foods after a workout to ensure healthy recovery.
High-Fat Fast Food:
It can be tempting to visit the nearest drive thru after your workout, but you have to resist the corndogs, cheeseburgers, fries, chicken sandwiches, milkshakes, and nachos. These items can erase all the progress you made during your workout. High-fat fast foods actually slow the digestive process, and you don’t want this to happen after a workout. Instead, you should focus on replenishing glycogen stores and reducing the amount of fat your body stores.
Donuts Or Pastries:
Runners or cyclists like to indulge in the post-workout donut or pastry, but these high-sugar and high-fat treats are some of the worst things to put in your body post exercise. When you finish working out, the body begins to repair itself for the next training session. The goal should be to eat complex carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores. Because donuts are high in fat and sugar, they work to slow digestion, impairing the body’s ability to turn carbs into glycogen. Focus on low-fat complex carbs and whole grains because those foods improve digestion and prepare your body for the next workout.
You will undoubtedly be thirsty when you finish working out, but don’t just reach for any beverage. All sodas and sugary fruit drinks are loaded with sugars and artificial flavors and dyes. If your goal is to lose weight, sugary sodas and juices slow the metabolism, inhibiting your body’s ability to burn fat. If you need to replenish electrolytes, opt for a tasty glass of water and a fresh banana, which is loaded with potassium. You can also choose high-quality coconut water for more electrolytes.
Processed Protein Bars:
Too often are packaged protein bars loaded with processed ingredients, excess sugars, and artificial flavors. Artificial flavors and sugars both upset the digestive process and can have a laxative effect. If you don’t experience that side effect, you can experience bloating, indigestion, and gas. Please avoid any protein bar with these three ingredients: aspartame, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium. If you enjoy protein bars, opt for bars that contain high-quality and natural ingredients. The only ingredients you should see on the ingredient list are: nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or cacao.
After you lose all that sodium through your sweat, it can be tempting to replenish it with salty foods. Crunchy chips or pretzels are highly processed and devoid of necessary minerals that help the body recover. Most Americans have too much acid in the body, so losing salt isn’t the worst thing for you. Additionally, eating too much salt after your workout can increase blood pressure and increase your risk of heart disease.