Last Updated: 5th October 2016
After a trip to the gym, you want to replenish the energy you’ve lost. You want something quick and easy to throw together that doesn’t completely destroy all the hard work. Sometimes you need something that will give you the energy throughout the rest of the day.
Don’t worry! There are lots of easy post-workout meals to try. Some of them you can cook when you get back from the gym and others are great for storing until after your workout. Whether you need something quick and simple for work or something to get home to, you will not miss out. Here are six incredibly easy post-workout meals just for you.
The Difference Between Men And Women
Why are these meals specifically for women? The truth is men need a lot more protein after a workout than women due to the way their bodies are made up. They’ll need more calories because they burn a lot more during their workout. If you followed post-workout meals for men, you’d end up eating far too many calories and it would make the session at the gym a wasted effort.
That doesn’t mean you can’t choose some delicious sounding meals for men. You just need to know how to adapt them to suit your needs. This is why it’s worth focusing on meals just for women first and then build up to adapting others.
Post-workout meals and pre-workout meals are very different. You need a different set of food groups after your workout than you will beforehand. Before your workout, you’ll want to get meals that will give you the bursts of energy for during your gym session. After your workout, you’ll need something that will replenish energy and help with the repairing of tissues and muscles.
You’ll also need to replenish fluids to avoid the build-up of lactic acid. Lactic acid leads to cramping, and can be extremely painful after your workout. Another benefit of the right food and drink is that you’ll help your metabolism, so you continue to burn calories at the optimum rate.
Some of the best foods to eat after a workout include eggs, chickpeas, quinoa and multi-grain bread. All of these are full of starchy carbs and protein that will help to rebuild the muscles and boost the metabolism.
You should eat them 30-60 minutes after your workout. This prevents cramping by eating too soon but also means that your body gets the fuel when it really needs it. If you know you’re not going to be able to get home and make something in time, you need something that you can take with you.
Food Or Drink: Which Is Best?
Do you need to eat a meal or is a protein shake good enough? There’s nothing wrong with drinking rather than eating something. In fact, green smoothies are extremely beneficial as a post-workout drink, especially if a bit of protein powder is added to it. You just need to make sure you get the ingredients that your body desperately needs.
For those who are in a rush after their workout, a shake may be better and easier than an actual meal. It will also depend on when you workout and whether you should have a meal at this time. You don’t want to replace your main meals with shakes.
So, what are the best meal ideas for post-workout?
Here are six incredibly easy options.
Protein Powder In Green Smoothies
Image Source: Mom Knows Best
As mentioned, green smoothies are excellent for the post-workout recovery. They’re even better when you add a little protein powder. You won’t need as much of this as a woman, but you can still benefit from it as a way to add some protein back into your body.
There are different flavours too, meaning you can create a great tasting green smoothie. Make sure the protein whey also includes carbohydrates for your body to get really on with repairing.
Green vegetables are full of nutrients that your body can lose during the workout. Vitamins like A and C and minerals like iron and magnesium will help with the overall repairing of the muscles. Try mixing some kale with banana and add your protein whey powder to create a post-workout drink.
You can also add some seeds if you want to add some superfoods and consider using milk or natural yoghurt to create a creamy texture while getting the calcium your bones will need.
The benefit of a protein shake is that you can take it to the gym with you. It’s also there ready for as soon as you finish your workout.
Scrambled Eggs With Tomatoes, Mushrooms And Multi-Grain Bread
Eggs are excellent for a post-workout meal. They are full of protein and are simple to make. You can also eat them hot or cold, great for if you need to grab something quickly on the go or want something when you get back in the house.
Try scrambled eggs with mixed vegetables and some multi-grain bread. Tomatoes and mushrooms work extremely well and are very easy just to chop and mix together with the eggs so they cook together instantly. You can even put them all together in a zip-lock bag to take to your work and make them all in the microwave, giving you something hot as soon as you’ve finished your morning workout.
The multi-grain bread will give you the carbs you need, as well as other minerals and vitamins. You’ll also get plenty of vitamin C from your tomatoes.
If you really want to take this meal one step further, have some orange juice on the side. You could even make your own at home. The orange juice is full of vitamin C to aid with the repairing of tissue and refreshing for after your workout. Try frozen juice in your gym bag. It will defrost while you’re in the gym and keep your egg and veggie mixture cool until you get to work to heat it up!
Banana And Yoghurt
This may sound a little boring to start, but you’re welcome to add some nuts and seeds for a little extra taste and nutrients. Bananas are excellent for your post-workout repair. They are full of protein, fibre, carbohydrates and potassium, without all the cholesterol and bad fats. Your body will get all the nutrients it needs with just the one meal.
Yoghurt is also a great source of calcium. Choose natural Greek yoghurt to reduce the sugars and fats that you consume in them, as you’ll get plenty of natural sugars from the bananas.
If you don’t really want yoghurt, you can switch for cottage cheese. Not only do you get the calcium with this, but also extra protein. There’s also a little bit of a different taste, which may make it seem like a little less boring. You can even make your own banana cheesecake with the cottage cheese by adding a digestive biscuit, some nuts and seeds or some granola for that crunch.
Seeds and nuts are definitely ingredients to consider adding. They are superfoods, and will give your body the healthy fats it needs on a daily basis. You’ll also get that little extra protein to help with the muscle and tissue repair.
The benefit of this meal is that you can make it up before you go. Pop it in a cool bag so prevent the yoghurt or cottage cheese going clumpy, especially if the changing rooms in your gym tend to be hot. It’s one of those meals that you can eat on your lunch break or as soon as you get in from the gym.
Tuna And Crackers/ Rye Bread
Tuna is an excellent option for your post-workout meal thanks to all the protein and omega 3 in it. You can also make it up before you go, so it’s ready for when you’ve finished. Tuna never gets boring with a number of ingredients you can mix it with.
One of the options is to mix it with some quark, with some herbs, lemon and spring onions. You then just pop it on crackers or rye bed to enjoy as a snack. Crackers are great for carbohydrates to get really all the nutrients you need.
Try to avoid the mayonnaise when using tuna. While it is a great way to add some moisture and help the fish cling together as a topping, it isn’t the healthiest option out there. The only beneficial option is if you make your own and know exactly which ingredients have gone in.
For those who don’t really want crackers or rye bread, you could opt for quinoa instead. This is a whole-grain and another option full of starchy carbohydrates. Couscous is another option and excellent mixed with tuna, some lemon juice and herbs.
Chicken Or Turkey Wraps
Chicken and turkey are both excellent sources of protein. They have minimal fat and make great post-workout meals. This is especially the case if you’re looking for something to eat after a lunchtime workout. You need something that will help you last through the day but won’t take an hour to prepare.
Chicken or turkey wraps will definitely work out, and you can add as much salad as you want to them. Try spinach in place of lettuce, so you get some dark leafy green nutrients. Tomatoes will also help you get some vitamin C, and you could consider peppers and cucumber. Avoid the mayonnaise, but try a bit of cottage cheese and lemon juice so it doesn’t seem too dry.
Tortilla wraps are much better for you than bread, especially when you opt for the whole grain options. They are thinner but still have the carbohydrates you’ll need.
The benefit of chicken and turkey wraps is you can make them up for your lunch. You can also keep your ingredients separate and just make them up within five minutes as soon as you get back in from your workout. Just make sure your chicken or turkey is cooked through, and don’t reheat it once you’ve let it cool. Grilling your meat is much better than frying since you won’t as the extra fats locked in.
Sweet Potato With Cottage Cheese
The last one on the list offers a little extra protein, and will need some cooking beforehand unless you have a microwave to hand after your workout. It’s a great lunch, so you have something that will really last you for the rest of the day.
Sweet potatoes give that little extra sweet taste to make you feel like you’re getting a treat after your workout. They’re also full of starchy carbs to help your muscles repair afterwards and give you the energy you need to continue the rest of the day.
Rather than topping with butter, try some cottage cheese instead. You can mix this with some spring onions and lemon juice to add to the cottage cheese for a little bit of flavouring. Cottage cheese is great for your post-workout meal for all the reasons mentioned above.
If you’re not interested in cottage cheese, you could try tuna instead. Just, again, watch out for the mayonnaise and consider quark for a healthier alternative instead. Cream cheese could be considered, but watch out for the ingredients used to make it.
Eating after your workout is essential. You get the nutrients your body needs to replenish those lost and repair the tissues. Your metabolism will also get the help, so you keep it working at the optimum level. This ensures your workout helps you tone your muscles and lose weight.
There’s no need to worry about cooking for hours to create the healthiest post-workout meal. Whether you’re going straight home or need something at work, you can make most meals and take them with you. The above are just six ideas with a few alternatives thrown into really create something that you will enjoy. Don’t forget to add a few superfoods to replenish the protein really and give your muscles and tissues the post-workout help they will need.
Filling up after working out helps you maintain the balance in getting fit. Eating healthy together with working out is the best combination to a better body. The results will do wonders not only on your physical attributes but also in your life.