Eating the right kind of food after an intense workout is crucial in order to optimize your results, and replace the amino acids and glycogen lost during your workout.
To trigger the muscle building process and protein synthesis, you need a quick dose of fast digesting carbohydrates and protein. Although we can always use a quick protein shake or eat some chicken, we can’t always rely on plain protein shakes, chicken and rice.
After completing your grueling and intense workout session, it’s time to give your body some materials for recovery, and these 5 post-workout meals will get the job done. Get your hands dirty in the kitchen and refuel with these five recipes.
1. Meal No. 1: Protein Pancakes
How to make them: Mix five egg whites, 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1/8 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Cook on a preheated griddle on medium to low heat, until it bubbles then flip and cool another 30-60 seconds. Top with fresh berries or banana slices.
Benefits: These pancakes are loaded with protein and a sufficient amount of carbs, perfect for those looking to replenish the needed macro-nutrients after a workout. The slow digesting proteins help the body in supplying a steady stream of amino acids to stay anabolic.
Calories: 421 | Protein: 35 g | Fat: 6 g | Carbs: 39 g
2. Meal No. 2: Beef and Squash with Marinara
How To: For those experiencing aching post-workout hunger, this one is for you. Cook up eight ounces of lean grass-fed beef with salt and pepper to taste. Cook one whole butternut squash for 30-45 minutes until soft. Mix them together in the pan when done and add four ounces of your favorite marinara sauce.
Benefits: If you are training hard chances are your appetite is up as well. The extra fat from the beef helps keep you satisfied and full of calories. The starchiness of the squash digests slowly and helps keep hunger at a lock down.
Calories: 554| Protein: 60 g | Fat: 18 g | Carbs: 38 grams
3. Meal No. 3: Tuna and crackers
How To: Take a can of tuna and add a handful (1/2 cup) of crushed up whole grain crackers. For flavor, add pepper, a dab of extra virgin olive oil, mustard, and chopped up pickles.
Benefits: This one is perfect for those working out on their lunch break at work, or those who have to endure an epic commute home from the gym. The crackers add some needed carbs, helping to spike your insulin levels to drive nutrients into your muscles.
Calories: 379 | Protein: 41 g | Fat: 13 g | Carbs: 24 g
4. Meal No.4: Nigh-Protein Oats
How To: Add ½ cup of rolled oats, 1-2 scoops of your favorite whey protein powder, ½ cup of frozen or dried fruit, and slivered almonds. Add ½ cup of water or skim milk and let it sit overnight in the fridge. Add cinnamon or stevia to add more flavors.
Benefits: This dish is best for morning trainers. Oats have been a bodybuilding staple forever, and by adding some fruit, natural sweetener and almonds, you gain a whole new appreciation for oatmeal. The balance of carbs and protein make it great for those looking to build mass and those watching the lean out.
Calories: 422 | Protein: 31 g | Fat: 12.5 g | Carbs: 48 g
5. Meal No.5: Egg Scramble
How To: Scramble four whole eggs with two added egg whites. Add one cup of chopped mixed veggies. Spinach, onions, mushrooms and red bell peppers are good additions.
Benefits: Plain egg whites can get boring, so keep the yolks for the extra omega-3 fats, vitamins and minerals. Make them taste good with some bacon and increase nutrient density and texture with the veggies. This post-workout is perfect for those on low calories and carbs, but need the protein to retain muscle and fat to decrease hunger.
Calories: 520 | Protein: 37 g | Fat: 23 g | Carbs: 29 g