Whether you’re new to our Cherry Hill gym, or you’re already involved with one of our personal trainers in South Jersey, you should know that what you use to replenish your muscles is important. Your body needs the right fuel to recover, and many exercisers make the mistake of eating the wrong things in the hours that follow a workout.
So how do you find the right post-workout meal?
- Consider what you’ve done to your body. If you’ve been doing high-intensity cardio, you’ve likely dehydrated yourself and lost a good amount of nutrients through your sweat. If you’ve just finished a lift, you’ve broken down your muscle fibers and probably stressed your ligaments a bit.
- Regardless of which activities you’ve completed, it’s important to get rehydrated. Make sure you’re drinking water after your workout and with your next meal.
- After high-intensity cardio, consider a piece of fruit. The natural sugars and water content will help your body replenish electrolytes and other important nutrients.
- After a lift, go for a high protein-packed meal. Fish, eggs, chicken and beef along with some carbs (rice, bread, quinoa, noodles) will help muscles recover with new amino acids being introduced to your system.
- A big part of figuring out what you want as a post-workout meal is figuring out what you like to eat. Not a fan of cauliflower? Don’t put it in your meal. Like cheese? See if you can allow a small amount or find a similar tasting substitute.
- It needs to be filling, but not too heavy. If a meal is too light, you’ll be hungry afterward and more likely to binge snack. If it’s too heavy, you’ll become lethargic. Think like Goldilocks and find the portion that’s just right.
- When are you planning on eating your post-workout meal? Is it dinner after work? Is it lunch on your break? Breakfast on the way to the office? Make sure your meal is appropriate for where and how you plan on eating it. You don’t have to eat an omelette that you cooked the night before for dinner and you don’t want to try to dump tuna into a salad on the way into work.
Like all things, finding your post-workout meal takes practice. Don’t be afraid to experiment or even bend the rules.
At our six South Jersey gyms, a nutritionist is always on site to help you find the perfect post-workout meal or an entire meal plan.