Abs are made in the kitchen. While working out is very important to a healthy body, what’s even more important is your nutrition. After working your muscles, you have to feed them. In order to truly see progress in the gym and in your fitness, you have to get your nutrition in check. Within an hour after working out, make sure to consume a healthy snack, one with carbs and protein, to help refuel and reenergize your tired muscles. Here are some clean options everyone can enjoy:
Chocolate Milk: According to Ingrid Nelson, a personal trainer in our nation’s capital, “Chocolate milk has a lot of benefits for muscle recovery. It helps replenish the muscle tissue and actually gives you a shorter recovery time.” The tasty childhood drink contains a nearly perfect ratio of carbs to proteins that will give your muscles exactly what they need.
Banana with Almond Butter: Bananas are easy grab-and-go snacks as they come in their own natural casings. Almond butter combines fats and proteins in a tasty spread that will keep your belly satiated and your muscles satisfied. Need help on choosing a clean almond butter? This list showcases some of the cleanest, tastiest brands around.
Image by Ryan McGuire
Ezekiel Bread with a Slice of Cheese: The cheese has the protein and fats your body needs post-workout, while Ezekiel Bread, which is a sprouted-grain, offers a host of benefits, including an increased nutrient profile, a high fiber content, and a healthy serving of complex carbohydrates.
Greek Yogurt with Fruit: Protein in the form of Greek Yogurt? Check! Simple carbohydrate in the form of fruit? Check! Perfect and easy post-workout snack? Check! Plus, the probiotics in the yogurt and fiber in the fruit will both contribute to better digestive health.
Smoothie: Smoothies deserve the hype. They can be made to satisfy any taste bud and are perfect to drink on your way to work from the gym. A simple guide to smoothie-making:
Step 1 – Choose a base: Milk, Almond Milk, Soy Milk, Coconut Milk, etc.
Step 2 – Choose a fruit: Blueberries, Strawberries, Watermelon, Bananas, etc.
Step 3 – Choose a protein powder: Whey Protein, Vegan Protein, Egg-White Protein, etc.
Step 4 – Choose a green: Kale, Spinach, Avocado, etc.
And voilà, you’ve got yourself a refreshing smoothie.
Sandwich: Pack one in your gym bag to eat right after your workout. Keep it simple. Pair Ezekiel Bread with a lean protein like turkey and garnish with some hummus or avocado.
Image by Patryk Dziejma
Bars: No time to prep your snack? Worry not. There are plenty of commercially produced bars that can serve as a great snack post-gym. Check labels to make sure the bar you’re buying doesn’t contain tons of added sugars. These bars are sports-nutritionist and registered-dietitian approved.