The Best Post Workout Foods & Supplements

If you’re a regular reader, then you may recall a recent post on the best pre-workout foods and supplements to consume before exercising. A lot of people seemed to enjoy that, and it gave you a few ideas to kickstart your workouts and attack them with more energy and alertness. Naturally, it got me thinking about another important aspect of working out: your post-workout routine. Taking care of yourself after exercise is just as - if not more - important than taking care of yourself beforehand. You should think of it as your recovery stage. This is where you give your body a chance to repair and refuel following a lot of hard work. With that in mind, you can improve post-workout recovery by consuming the right foods and supplements. As I said before, I’m not a nutrition expert by any stretch of the imagination. If you want professional advice, then speak to a nutritionist! However, I have done a lot of research and have found a few ideas that are proven to keep you fit and healthy after your workouts: 

Anyone with a slight bit of exercise experience will know that protein has to be at the top of your supplements list. You’ll notice that many of the foods, later on, are here because they’re an excellent source of protein. Your body needs this substance to grow muscle. In essence, it’s essential to help fuel the muscle cells and encourage them to repair and grow even stronger than before. If your body was devoid of all protein, then your muscles would basically waste away. It’s a very easy supplement to get your hands on as well - there are loads of great protein powders out there for everyone. Think about your fitness goals before you choose a product, some protein powders are called ‘mass gainers’ as they help you put on more weight. If you want to lose weight, then opt for one with few calories.

BCCA stands for Branched Chain Amino Acids. This is a crucial supplement that helps you recover a lot faster after a workout. Amino acids exist within the body to help with something called protein synthesis. Effectively, BCAAs work to improve the way your body produces and uses protein. For this reason, it’s an excellent thing to take alongside your protein shake after a workout. In fact, when consumed in powdered form, you can mix it in with your shake and get two supplements in one. There are lots of BCAA benefits to help you feel better after working out. Do you often feel really sore the next day? This is called delayed onset muscle soreness - DOMS -and taking a BCAA supplement is shown to help prevent it. Or, at least, reduce the soreness you feel.

This is another amino acid that you should definitely think about adding to your supplements roster. Again, it will speed up the recovery process by improving the way your body functions.
Glutamine will make your body use carbohydrates far more efficiently, providing you with the energy needed to avoid a huge comedown. It also helps you produce more muscle mass, which can increase the size and tone of your muscles. Again, you can take this in powdered or tablet form depending on your preference.

Lastly, we have two supplements in the form of cannabinoids. There is some controversy surrounding things like CBD and CBG because of where they come from. Yes, they derive from the cannabis plant, but they are not drugs at all. In fact, many professional athletes take these supplements while performing as they are safe and not banned by any athletic organizations. CBD is the more well-known, and it can help fight inflammation, provide a better night’s sleep, and make you feel more relaxed. The benefits of CBG are believed to be similar, but potentially even stronger! As such, these supplements are great at helping your body recover following a tough exercise session. Reducing inflammation stops muscle soreness, you feel more relaxed, and you can sleep deeper and for longer - giving your body more time to recover.

The thing about supplements is that they can’t and shouldn’t exist on their own. You should use them alongside a healthy diet composed of whole foods. Essentially, the purpose of supplements is to give your body a boost of things that you might struggle to get a lot of when you eat. So, here are some foods you should definitely start adding to your post-workout meals as well:

There have long been stories of people gulping down raw eggs after workouts. You don’t need to do this, but eggs themselves are an excellent post-workout food source. They contain lots of protein per egg, and the yolk is a wonderful source of essential vitamins, fats, and minerals. You get a good bit of iron from eggs, which a lot of women are deficient in. A good way to incorporate them into a post-workout meal is to either poach or boil them. These are the healthiest ways to cook eggs as you don't use oil!

Salmon - and lots of other types of fish - are the perfect thing to eat after workouts. Again, you get a good source of protein from salmon. However, it also contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential for your brain health, but they also work with your body to prevent muscle soreness. It’s very easy to implement salmon into a post-workout meal or to have it as a little snack between meals.

Sweet Potato
A killer nutritional mistake is to avoid carbs after a workout. Carbohydrates are a key source of energy for your body. After a workout, you will feel a natural lull as your body is tired. So, adding carbs to your meal is a great way to refuel yourself and continue attacking the day. This is essential if you work out during the day and still have things to do. Of course, some carb sources are healthier than others. Sweet potato is a great thing to have as it’s an excellent source of many vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Another benefit of sweet potatoes is that they support your immune system. After working out, it’s common for your immune system to suffer a little dip, so this helps correct that.

Nuts & Seeds
If you don’t eat a big meal straight after working out, then nuts can be your best friend. They are chocked full of protein, good fats, fiber, and lots of other minerals and vitamins. The high protein and fiber content means that they tend to fill you up quite quickly as well. This makes them an ideal post-workout snack as you’re biding your time between meals. Plus, you can easily bring them in a little bag or tub to snack on as you leave the gym. Seeds also fall into the same category, though they can be a bit harder to eat on their own. Still, a great benefit of nuts and seeds is that they can be used as toppings for so many other things! Sprinkle them on oatmeal, yogurt, or even salads.
So, there you have it: the best post-workout foods and supplements to consume. Pair these with the pre-workout ideas mentioned in my previous post, and you’ve got yourself a great nutritional plan! Taking care of your body both before and after exercise will help you improve performance and speed up your recovery. The only thing left to consider is how you should fuel your body during workouts!


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