You just completed what felt like the toughest workout of your life. Sprinting, weights, hills, and now you’re starved. You’re also rushing to get showered and back to work and have approximately zero minutes to figure out what you’re going to eat. You get back to your desk and reach for anything in sight, hoping that the cookie you wolf down doesn’t reverse all the hard work you just put out on the treadmill.
Poor refueling can be the difference between a sore evening and a sore week.
Your critical refuel window is between 30 and 60 minutes after you sweat it out and should contain a mix of both carbohydrates and protein. Recovery snacks, with the ideal carb-to-protein ratio being 4-to-1, have the sole purpose of replenishing lost glycogen (energy) stores, preventing further muscle breakdown and starting the muscle rebuild and repair process.
Here are 4 refueling options that you can prepare in advance and take on-the-go, or eat in the comfort of your home after a hard workout and a hot shower.
- Fruit + nut: Pair a low-glycemic fruit like an apple with 1 tablespoon nut butter. Or pack a trail mix that includes ¼ cup dried fruit, ½ cup raw nuts, about 15 gluten-free pretzels.
- Smoothie: A smoothie is a fantastic way to refuel thanks to their ease of digestion. Try my favorite Chocolate Covered Strawberry Shake today!
- Sports Drink. Drinks can be convenient, but make sure they’re clean. Avoid added flavors, dyes or processed sugars such as maltodextrin. My favorite recovery drink is Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator, which delivers 4-to-1 carb-to protein ratio as well as providing soft-tissue repair, immune system support, inflammation, and hydration.
- Green Juice and an on-the-go nut butter pack. Green juice is great for recovery. It will help regenerate cells, and restore lost electrolytes.. Try a simple kale, apple, lemon ginger blend. The nut butter will be your source of protein, to keep you full until you reach for a complete meal.
Once you’ve had your recovery snack down you’ll be able to rest, recharge and spend more time thinking about eating a complete meal. Aim for 10-25 grams of protein paired with complex carbs, and healthy fats. Pack it all in in a simple one bowl meal!
How do you refuel? Tweet us @foodierunnergrl @classpass #refuel and share!
Now that you know about how to snack after working out, request an invite to join ClassPass!
Post contributed by Kim McDevitt, MPH RD. As a registered dietitian and Regional Educator with Vega, Kim has a passion for teaching the power of nutrient dense, plant-based foods. Specializing in sports nutrition to enhance athletic performance. Kim focuses on realistic and approachable ways to improve your health, by guiding you through educated dietary choices within an active lifestyle. Connect with Kim and Vega on Twitter.