Workouts feel amazing and get your endorphins flowing, so the post-workout period is blissful. But many exercises deplete your body of energy, so you need to refuel in order to keep your energy level steady all day long.
However, eating the wrong stuff after a workouts can undo all the goodtthings you just did for your body and put you right back into feeling tired. Following are the worst foods to avoid after a workout.
1. Low-Carb Meals
Despite popular opinions, carbs are not the enemy, especially after a workout. Our bodies actually need carbohydrates as a source of ready fuel, and exercises burn through your supply. Your post workout meal needs to replace the used carbs during exercise.
But not all carbs are the same. Highly processed sources of carbs, like anything made with the white flour (pasta, bread, crackers), spike your blood sugar levels and then rapidly burn away. A better choice for post–workout carbs is fruits.
Kiwi, strawberries, bananas, and blueberries are good sources of carbs because those carbs are delivered with enough fiber to modulate the rate at which the natural sugars can hit your bloodstream. This means sustained energy level throughout the day. Plus, fruits are also full of antioxidants and nutrients to keep your body strong.
2. Salty Processed Foods
It is natural to crave salt after workouts, because we lose some with sweat. Sodium works in partnership with potassium to support kidneys and help manage blood pressure; potassium with water are also lost during exercises.
So this explains why we might want to get some of sports drink after a workout, but there are many other healthier ways of regain lost electrolytes. For example banana and handful of some nuts, along with a glass of water, will put your electrolytes back in balance without processed sugar and chemical additives.
However, it’s important to note that unless you have exercised vigorously for more than 1 hour, you won’t have depleted your electrolytes completely.
3. Sugary Shakes
There are a lot of protein shakes advertised as healthy, but many of them contain too much sugar. Others contain absurd levels of chemicals, fillers, and other bulking agents.
You can still enjoy using a quick shake after a workouts. It can be fast and easy way to replenish your body. It’s just vital that you choose a brand that is low in sugar and free from all problematic additives.
4. Processed Energy Bars
Energy bars can help when you need to rush out the door. But there is same problem with a lot of brands of energy bars as do protein shakes they have too much sugar and too many unpronounceable ingredients.
If convenience is your priority, handful of nuts ora banana is just as easy and completely natural. But if you need something that can help take a beating in your gym bag, good low-sugar energy bars.
5. Sports Drinks
Most fitness minded people do not need energy drinks to be more healthy. Unless you are truly going hard all day and daily, regular water is perfectly adequate for hydration.
Sports drinks make you feel good because they’re high in sugar, but that rush is just temporary. The so called electrolyte balancing ingredient is the sodium, which you do lose when you sweat. But most of us already take in a lot sodium throughout the day, so there’s no need to chug a bunch more after workouts.
If you are really concerned about electrolytes, raw coconut water is a good option that won’t spike your blood sugar levels.
6. Fried Foods
When your workout leaves you feeling a little bit famished, fried foods can fill you up pretty quickly. But they also slow your digestion system, making you feel a bit sluggish rather than reinvigorated. The high level of trans fats do no favors for your body, clogging up arteries and also increasing your risks of heart diseases.
Instead, look for a post workout good meal that contains micro-nutrients and other nourishing ingredients that both protect and fuel the body. Chicken or fish that has been steamed or baked rather than fried, along with a whole grilled vegetables, grain rice, or baked sweet potato, makes a filling meal that will boost your energy.
Caffeineis a good energy booster prior to a workout, but you might want to hold off on another cup of coffee for a few hours after exercicing. Caffeine can be quit dehydrating, and the post-workout period requires attention to returning lost fluids to the body.
Another issue with drinking caffeine after a workout is that it raises the body’s cortisol level which is stressful for the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that’s critical to healthy functions, but too much of it increases inflammation as well as, and that can lead to cardiovascular problems and hormonal imbalances.
Even if you don’t feel very hungry after your working out, it’s important to eat something. Your body has just done hard work and expended all of its stored energy, so eating some healthy foods extends the benefits by providing what it needs to rebuild muscle and keep all of the body’s systems working optimally.
In the end, post-workout nutritions are about rehydrating and restocking your body with the nutrients needed to recover. Not eating can lead your body to break down muscle tissue in order to find energy, which is the exact opposite of what you want from working out. So the best rule of thumb is to rely on fresh vegetables and fruits, lean sources of protein, and whole grains.