What do you need after having a log run or hardcore cardio? Rest and something nice to feed the body as a ‘prize’. But check yourself before you wreck yourself. You need food post-workout to restore your energy, build muscle and boost your metabolism, but the wrong kind can undo the hard work you just put in. Meals that are hard to digest, full of sugar or loaded with saturated fat can do serious damage, right at the moment when your body needs to repair itself most.
Researchers at Cheap Medicine Shop to curate a list of worst food items to eat after having a workout. Let’s have a look at them-
1. Smoothies From Pre-Made Mixes
Pre-made smoothies have been made wildly convenient to prepare, especially if you are low on time and are whipping something up after an at-home workout. However, they usually contain a lot of added sugars. Your body burns through complex carbs and then fat. Drinking sugary drinks or snacks stops the fat burning process. You should make your own smoothies from scratch with a protein base. Drink slowly and mindfully while enjoying every sip.
Maybe you want the caffeine, maybe you want the bubbles, or maybe you just find it refreshing but repeat after us: Never ever drink soda after a workout. Your body needs to hydrate, and soda won’t do that for you. It does the opposite of what called ‘hydration’. Plus, soda may make you bloated as well.
Also Read: Beginner's guide to work out with kids
Sigh. Are we really going to tell you that you can’t have chocolate after all your hard work? Yep! At least not immediately after. Avoid chocolate bars if you’re trying to lean down. Remember that training will have sped up your metabolism; use that to your advantage by keeping your diet super clean with whole foods. But if you really can’t kick that craving, melt two tablespoons of coconut oil with one teaspoon of raw cacao powder, a pinch of cinnamon, and a smidge of Stevia to make a sugar-free chocolate sauce that you can pour over a bowl of fresh berries.
4. Energy Bars
Energy bars definitely do not fit in this list, thanks to the fact that they are supposed to give you, well, energy? Not so much. These might have a lot of protein, which is seemingly great for repairing and building your muscles post-workout. But in reality, most of the bars on the market are mostly sugar and no more nutritionally-sound than a candy bar. And I’m not talking about natural sugar, either; many bars contain refined white sugar and high fructose corn syrup, making them a nightmare for your blood sugar. Get your protein from a whole food source like eggs and pass on the processed packaged bars.
5. Heavy Proteins
Just like spicy foods, skip anything that is hard to digest like a thick, juicy steak. If you’re bulking up, you want to add a high carb ratio like tuna and rice; but if you are leaning out, you want to avoid carbs and drink a protein shake to retain the muscles.
6. Sports Drinks
These are classically marketed as the perfect hydration replenishment post-workout because of their electrolytes—so what could be so bad? The high sugar content in sports drinks makes them unnecessary post-workout when your body doesn’t need the extra glucose running through your bloodstream. “If you feel drained and in need of glucose replacement, reach for coconut water or a healthy smoothie. A syrupy sports drink will just cause your blood sugar to spike violently when you don’t need it.
7. Raw Veggies
Skipping raw veggies after a workout may seem confusing since they usually are a great choice. But it’s not the nutritional value that is the problem. The problem is how filling raw veggies can be when your body needs serious replenishment. After a tough workout, you need calories, high-quality carbohydrates, and protein. If you fill up on raw veggies that take a lot of volume in the stomach and make you feel full very quickly, you won’t be getting the number of nutrients or calories you need post-workout.
8. Fried Eggs
While we are talking about eggs, they are not beneficial in all forms. They are a wonderful way to get your protein after a workout, as long as you eat them raw or hard-boiled. If you hit a diner or greasy spoon after your workout, don’t order your eggs over-easy or sunny-side-up. You’re guaranteed to get them drenched in saturated fats—something you want to keep out of your diet right after a big sweat session.
9. Protein Shakes
Many meal replacement drinks on the market are filled with junk that will actually hinder your post-workout success. Avoid labels with chemical sugars like aspartame, artificial flavors, and colors. If real food can’t be an option, go for ones with basic ingredients. There are a number of good and bad protein shakes, entirely depending on their composition and usage.
Now that you have a checklist of what not to eat after a workout, it’s time to plan meals accordingly. Stay fit, stay healthy!
Tags: Best food after workout, What to eat after a workout to lose weight, What to eat after a workout to build muscle
Annie is the oldest writer at Cheap Medicine Shop and is the subject and publishing expert. She has a graduate degree in medicines along with a diploma in creative writing.