Friday, February 18, 2011

Re-energizing after a workout

The other day I was shopping in the mall, when suddenly I began to feel a little light headed. I checked my watch - it wasn't even 11 AM, and I'd only had breakfast two hours ago, so I hadn't accidentally skipped a meal. I felt a headache, too, and bought a 1L bottle of water thinking that I may be dehydrated. It helped a little, but not enough.

After about fifteen minutes, it hit me - I had done a post-breakfast cardio workout of medium intensity, burning around 500 calories, and I hadn't had anything other than my usual yogurt from breakfast. My energy was flagging - fast - and I need something to pick it back up. I wanted something healthy, and not too high-calorie (after all, I didn't want to negate the effects of my workout!) I opted for four crackers with peanut butter.

That said, I thought it might be useful to compile a list of options to have on hand to grab after a workout to avoid a low blood sugar moment like mine.

This website and this one were the best summaries of nutritional requirements I could find after about 90 seconds of Googling. Basically, you need to make sure to keep hydrated both during and after your workout (check - I keep a case of water in our gym area). A snack should have both carbs and protein, though a shake or drink is an acceptable alternative to food.

Unfortunately, most of the suggestions you can find online aren't exactly gluten friendly. (Though I do like Men's Fitness' suggestion of turkey, cheese and apple slices - since apple with peanut butter can get a bit boring, this could really hit the spot).

Here are some protein suggestions:
  • Peanut butter (2 Tbsp)
  • hummus (2 Tbsp)
  • deli meats (a few slices)
  • cheese (2 oz)
  • yogurt (6 oz)
  • cottage cheese (if you can stomach it; I can't)
  • nuts (1/4 cup)
  • hard boiled egg (1)
  • tuna (again, if you're a fan - I don't do mayo)
  • skim milk (1/2 cup)
  • edamame (1 serving)

Here are some carb suggestions:
  • crackers (preferably whole grain - 4-6)
  • rice cakes (2-4)
  • fruit - apples, grapes, bananas, pears (1)
  • baby carrots (a small handful)
  • oatmeal (make sure it's gluten free) (1 package)
Suggestions containing both:
  • latte (12 oz)

So how to put them together? Try peanut butter on rice cakes with a sliced banana. Or have some oatmeal and a yogurt. Or cheese and grapes or crackers. Or one of my favorites, carrot sticks and hummus. Or treat yourself to a nice, skim milk latte.

What are your favorite recovery snacks?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I got this recipe from a naturopathic dr when she took me off gluten.
I cup filtered water
1/4 cup organic coconut milk, light
1 cup fruit
few drops stevia to sweeten
2 Tbsp nutibiotic vanilla rice protein
2 Tbsp ground flax seed
1 Tbsp flax seed oil, optional
(flax oil helped with a skin problem)
I continue to drink this as its a great meal replacer, especially breakfast. Karen