THE KEY THOUGH CHALLENGE DAY 7 - 7 WHOLE FOODS THAT WORK BETTER THAN SUPPLEMENTS
These days, there are tons of post-workout supplements to choose from—but do you really need a fancy sports drink? A stuffy published earlier this year in PLOS One suggests that you don't: Researchers compared the effects of bananas, a sugary sports drink, and plain old water as workout recovery nutrition. Bananas—a whole food—came out on top.
To the nutrition community, this wasn't a huge surprise: Whole foods are often overlooked since many sports supplements are convenient and specifically formulated for recovery after exercise, but many people don't require specialized supplements. They can get the nutrients they need from whole foods alone.
Plus, real food provides extra value: Whole foods have the added benefit of providing additional nutrients like antioxidants and other essential vitamins and minerals. They're often less expensive and are likely more satisfying too.
In short, whole foods are the way to go. Here are the Top 7 foods for workout recovery.
Greek yogurt is an ideal post-workout snack because it contains a mix of carbohydrates and protein. Ingesting 20 to 25g of protein after a workout will aid in muscle protein synthesis, and consuming carbohydrate in combination with protein can further aid in this process.
A HANDFUL OF BERRIES
Berries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory properties and may help in the recovery process after an intense exercise bout. Berries are also a natural source of carbohydrates, making them ideal for a post-workout snack when paired with protein. Add them to your Greek yogurt for a perfect mix of protein and carbs.
Those little drinkable yogurt bottles in the dairy aisle shouldn't go ignored. Not only is kefir convenient, but it's also a good source of protein and probiotics.
Probiotics support gastrointestinal function by promoting a balance in gut bacteria. A healthy gut microbiome is also supportive of a healthy immune system, which is especially important during intense training.
Cherries are a good source of antioxidants, which play a role in recovery after exercise by reducing oxidative stress. Cherries are also a source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins A and C. Combine with the protein of your choice for a complete post-workout meal.
If you're ready to switch things up from yogurt, give cottage cheese a try. Cottage cheese, like yogurt, contains leucine, an amino acid known to enhance muscle protein synthesis. Top with berries also.
HARD BOILED EGGS
Simple and easy to transport, hard-boiled eggs are the ultimate workout recovery snack. Eggs are a good source of protein and contain vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a role in managing inflammation in the body.
BAKED SWEET POTATO
Sweet potatoes are also a great source of beta-carotene. Bake and serve as a side with cinnamon, cut into fries and bake with savory spices, or cube, steam, and add to a smoothie for a creamy carbohydrate boost. Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber which can help to fill you up post-workout while also replacing glycogen stores.
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