Here’s a common exercise dilemma:
Have you ever stepped off of the treadmill, ecstatic over the number of calories that you burned, only to realize that you are extremely hungry? Most of us can relate to this exercise dilemma, the internal conflict between having a snack and negating the effects of your workout. While it may seem as though eating after you exercise erases all of your hard work, experts suggest that your body actually needs food after physical activity. “After a tough workout, it’s best to eat a snack within 30-60 minutes that contains both carbohydrate and protein. Protein starts the muscle repair and recovery process, while carbohydrate helps restock those energy stores that were used during your sweat sesh,” explains Chrissy Carroll, RD a triathlon coach from Snacking in Sneakers. Surprisingly, there are many ways to satisfy the munchies—sans guilt. Here are the best post-workout snack ideas, that won’t reverse the effects of your exercise.
Eggs and toast
Although eggs and toast are often confined within the “breakfast” category of our minds, this combo is a great post-workout snack for any hour of the day. According to Kelly Jones, RD, a Philadelphia-based sports dietitian, “it’s important post-workout to eat a combination of carbohydrates and protein.” Cue the spotlight on a plate of fluffy, yellow eggs and crispy toast.
While you may be hesitant to chase your calorie-burning cardio with bread, Jones stresses that “carbohydrates stored in the muscles (glycogen) are the main energy source for moderate to intense exercise and must be replenished so they are available for your next workout, and for muscle recovery.” As for the protein, “eggs are a simple and wonderful complete protein source, providing all the necessary post-workout amino acids,” certified nutrition coach Candice Seti, PsyD, explains. “If you want the best bang for your buck, make sure that you don’t discard the yolk. The golden center harbors half the protein and the vitamin D and important omega-3 fatty acids,” says Dr. Seti. Although it may feel like you’re eating breakfast at absurd hours of the day, eggs and toast make for the perfect post-workout snack.