Question: Is a post workout meal really necessary? If so, what do you suggest?
A post workout meal is really important to help your body recover from the stress you placed on it during your strength workout.
Lifting heavy weights will stress the muscles causing the need for a recovery meal. This recovery process revs up your metabolism since the body is working to repair the stressed muscles. Yet, another reason to drop the light baby weights. Remember, a recovery meal is only necessary after a strength workout.
The sooner you eat after your workout the sooner the recovery process can begin. I recommend having your post meal within 30 to 60 minutes after your workout.
Some people rely on supplement shakes but I opt for whole foods instead although I have used supplements when in a pinch. I have two favorite go to foods post workout – each are less than 200 calories.
Post Workout Shake – containing one cup of unsweetened almond milk, one tablespoon of natural peanut or almond butter, and 1/4 cup of rolled oats. You can either blend this or just mix and consume. Ideally your meal will be in liquid form because your body can process and use it much faster since it requires less time to digest.
Post Workout Meal – if I’m not at home then I will grab something quick like a Larabar. At this time these are the only bars that I recommend. They are all natural with no additives and taste delicious. My favorite flavor is blueberry muffin. I also like the peanut butter and jelly flavor because it really reminds me of eating a sandwich.
Be sure to follow your post workout meal or shake with a healthy meal ranging from 300 to 400 calories within a few hours of your post workout meal/shake and, as always, drink plenty of water to rehydrate.
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