We’ve all been there - you just finished a great workout but after chatting with friends, getting the kids’ lunch put together, and finishing naptime rituals, all of a sudden it’s been hours since you’ve eaten and you’re STARVING!!! Most likely at this point in time, your main focus is survival from the hunger pains that are threatening to tear apart your stomach, not what exactly you are deciding to feed it with. Half a bag of chips later, you realize that all the hard work you put into exercise today was negated in 30 seconds of ravenous eating.
So how can we prevent these post-workout binges? One of the best strategies is to have healthy and energy boosting snacks readily available so they can be quickly eaten soon after your workout has ended. Preparation is the key to preventing the overeating that is likely to occur when your energy reserves have hit rock bottom.
But prevention is not the only reason to have these healthy snacks around. Good fuel, in the form of real food, is essential to getting the most out of your exercise routine. Your body craves good nutrition after a workout because that is what it needs to rebuild your energy reserves and your muscles, making you stronger. This is even more important for pregnant mamas because allowing your blood sugar level to drop too low can be harmful to both you and your baby.
Now we know WHY it’s important to refuel but WHAT to refuel with is the question! The body’s main source of energy comes from carbohydrates so it is important to restock these levels so that you don’t “crash” after your workout. A combination of both complex and simple carbs is best. You will also want to get some protein into this post-workout snack because protein helps rebuild the muscles that you have broken down in order to make them stronger. An example would be a piece of whole wheat toast (complex carb) with peanut butter (protein) and topped with a banana (simple carb).
So with that being said, what are your favorite post-workout snacks? Do you have a go-to that you like to keep in the diaper bag or on the counter for when you get home? Post them here to share with the rest of our Fit4Mom Grand Rapids community!