4 Foods to AVOID after a Workout
Thinking about rewarding yourself after a great workout with a bucket of fries and a cheesy hamburger? THINK again. What you eat after your workout may affect you more than you think.
As you know, your body stores excess energy in the form of glycogen and protein. When you work out, your body burns fuel from foods that you have recently digested, and then, it breaks down the stored glycogen. Within a few hours after your workout, your muscles start to use available protein to rebuild. So, it is especially important that your body absorbs both carbs and protein within 45 minutes after your workout. That is the most notably, post-workout window that you’ve probably heard about.
Foods to Avoid After your workout:
1.) Raw vegetables. An unlikely food that you may suspect to avoid post-workout, however, raw carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, and celery have minimal calories. These foods may be a great healthy low-calorie snack but, not a post-workout recovery food by itself. SOLUTION: make it a substantial meal by combining it with a healthy protein like a chicken breast, or a protein-packed yogurt or hummus dip.
2.) Salty snacks are not the best foods to fuel and reload those depleted muscles after a tough workout. A bag of potato chips or pretzels can lower your levels of potassium, which is of greater importance to your recovery phase than salt. Known as an essential mineral which assists in cell function, potassium is a more important electrolyte than sodium. Because your body loses electrolytes during a workout, YOU really don’t need is to deplete your body of more potassium with a salty chip binge.
3.) Sugary Treats. Believe it or not, milk chocolate which is high in sugar and calories, offers virtually nothing of what you need in order to recharge after training. The negative caloric effects of chocolate are far more damaging to your fitness results than the quick burst of energy you may get from scarfing down a Snickers bar or Reese’s. However, dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao), has healthy antioxidants that fight free radicals and can act as anti-inflammatory, which can help you recover post-workout. MAKE SURE you eat it in moderation.
Another sugary treat to avoid post-workout are sweetened beverages—including sugary sports drinks. Whether it’s soda, or fructose filled fruit juices, drinking sugary drinks after intense exercise is counterproductive for anyone seeking to lose weight, because it tends to slow down the metabolism. ONLY drink sports drinks if your workout required you to sweat profusely to replace the electrolytes that you had lost. However, to quench your thirst, re-hydrate and replenish electrolytes, go with plain water and eat a potassium-rich banana.
4.) Fatty Foods may be tempting after a gut-wrenching training but, resist the urge for french fries, cheeseburgers, chili dogs and nachos. These foods may satisfy the spikes in your appetite, but they can also wipe out the fitness progress you made while exercising. Those fatty foods slow down digestion, which is the exact opposite of what you want to happen after working up a sweat. The main goal after exercise is to replenish your body’s glycogen and reduce, NOT add to, the amount of fat your body stores. And yes, even stay away from pizza as a post-workout food. This favorite fan food is considered another no-go for an after-workout meal, especially if topped with fatty sausage or pepperoni. Dripping with grease, just one slice can instantly cancel out the gains made during your sweaty routine. Instead, go for a whole-wheat muffin with low-fat cheese if you’re craving a cheesy snack.