Think what you eat after your gym workout doesn’t matter? Think again! There is a window of opportunity – typically 30 to 60 minutes after working out where your body is begging for nutrients. During this time there is an increase in enzyme activity that makes the body more efficient at storing glucose for energy and building protein in fatigued muscles.

Regardless of what time of day you choose to exercise – whether you spend it climbing a Stairmaster, doing strength training, or participating in a group exercise class – following up your Future Fitness  workout with a snack or meal that combines protein and carbohydrates can help you refuel and recharge. The protein helps your muscles recover and carbohydrates help replenish energy sources.

Want some recommendations? Check out some of Future Fitness Centers’ suggestions for quick and easy, post workout foods:

In the Morning:

Pair Up Pilates with a Protein Packed Fruit Smoothie.
Easily digested and quickly absorbed, a fruit smoothie is a quick and convenient way to satisfy your body after working out. Dairy products like skim milk and low fat yogurt work double duty, delivering both carbs and protein, while bananas offer potassium and magnesium ― both are powerful electrolytes that encourage healthy muscle function. Add to it any of your favorite fruits – mangoes, melons, or berries for some extra carb boosting energy.

Gear Up After a Group Exercise Class with Grab and Go Granola.
When there’s no time to spare, granola is a great “grab and go” option that can be easily tossed into your gym bag. Oats, honey, dried fruits, and flax provide the carbohydrates. Nuts offer protein and iron. Toss it in some low fat yogurt (for extra protein), or enjoy it on its own – just remember to watch how much you consume. This high-energy food can be both fat and calorie dense.

Back Up Boot Camp with a Spinach and Egg Breakfast Burrito.
When it comes to providing protein, eggs are head of the class. Eggs also contain zinc, which aids in metabolism and immunity, and vitamin B12, which supports cell production. Spinach is loaded with iron and phytoecdysteroids, plant-based enzymes which are believed to speed human muscle growth. Wrap it up in a low fat multigrain flour tortilla, and breakfast burritos make great, portable, post-workout breakfasts.

At Lunch:

Kickbo X Mix It with Hummus and Pita.
Looking for a great meat-free protein option? Made from chickpeas or garbanzo beans, hummus is an excellent source of both protein and carbohydrates. Add to it a whole-grain pita for a perfect post-workout punch.

Tabatacise, then Tuna Fish and Crackers.
Low in fat, but packed with protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, tuna is a fantastic way to beat post workout hunger in a hurry. Whole grain crackers provide a crunchy source of carbohydrates. To keep things light, skip the mayo and opt for a splash of lemon juice, salt, and pepper instead.

For Dinner:

Follow Up Fusion with a Chicken Stir Fry.
Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein and other important nutrients like niacin. Because of its high glycemic index (GI), parboiled, converted, and instant “white” rice are best used in pre- and post-workout meals to ensure that you get fast fueling and refueling. Steamed vegetables provide additional flavor and nutrients.

Try the 3 S’s – Spinning, Salmon and Sweet Potatoes!
Combine salmon for its protein and omega-3’s with a sweet potato for it ability to deliver vitamin-rich slow-burning carbs. Add to it spinach or a salad, and you’ve got a practically perfect post-workout meal!