You just crossed the finish line of a half marathon race, you are walking out of the gym after a great spin class, or maybe you just sprinted across home plate to bring in the winning run of your softball game – time to celebrate your hard work with some post workout hot wings and French fries, right?
We are often tempted to indulge in foods we know are not so good for us on days we have hard workouts. Our post workout meals should be healthy, well rounded meals. The meal should replenish our carbohydrate stores in our muscles, as well as help repair damaged muscles and build new muscle.
A good example of a post workout meal could be an omelet (lean ham, green bell peppers, onions, low fat cheese) with whole wheat toast and fruit.
If you are going out with the team to a restaurant afterwards, aim for items like a grilled chicken sandwich with a side salad or a small lean steak (sirloin or strip steak) with a baked potato (easy on the butter and sour cream) and steamed broccoli.
It is best to refuel your body shortly after your workout, so if your dinner reservations are not for a couple hours, have a snack after your workout. Try a low fat chocolate milk or yogurt with granola for a quick refuel while waiting for dinner time! Do be sure to still have a healthy, well rounded meal even after a healthful snack!
-Kaitlin Slone, RDN, LDN