Tips for Creating Nutritious Post-Workout Meals

James Fowler Physical TherapyDiet & NutritionLeave a Comment

Sometime this week, you probably went for a run. Maybe it was this morning; maybe it was 3 days ago. However, you might still be feeling the effects. For those of us who do not work out on a regular basis, you’re feeling it even more this morning. There is a chance you even had the unfortunate event of twisting your ankle, or overworking a muscle to the point of discomfort. We’ve all been there.

When working out, muscle cramps and inflammation are an unfortunate side effect. However, there are certain foods that can not only strengthen your bones, but also prevent muscle cramps and alleviate inflammation.

Strengthen bones

Strong bones are important for a successful workout. The body needs calcium to avoid fractures and breaks. But in order for your body to absorb calcium, Vitamin D is required. See below for foods that are high in Vitamin D and Calcium so that you can keep on keepin’ on without lapses in your workout due to injury.

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Grapefruit
  • Broccoli
  • Oranges
  • Dairy products
  • Tofu
  • Nuts
  • Bread and anything made with fortified flour

Decrease Muscle Cramps

It is important to have a lot of potassium pre and post-workout. Potassium breaks down carbohydrates and helps build muscle – improving your workouts each week. It also helps conduct electrical signals to and from your muscles to keep them strong and functioning. Below are foods that help decrease those uncomfortable muscle cramps that occur after workout, or even from not moving or stretching enough each day.

  • Bananas
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • White beans
  • Broccoli
  • Pickle juice
  • Sodium rich foods

Fight Inflammation:

Occasionally, you might face a minor (or maybe even serious) injury. In this case, the affected area will swell up. This is a natural side effect. However, there are foods that help keep inflammation down which leads to a faster recovery.

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Tomatoes
  • Garlic and onions
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Nuts like almonds and walnuts
  • Fish like salmon and tuna

Here are six simple recipes that will keep you strong after a successful workout!

Banana Crème Pie Smoothie

Don’t worry; this smoothie is healthier than it sounds. A simple shake packed with banana’s, yogurt, milk and gram crackers gives a good source of calcium and protein. This shake is perfect for those morning workouts before your day begins.

Apple Green Ginger Smoothie

This flavorful smoothie is a triple wammy with ingredients that help strengthen bones, decrease muscle cramps and fight inflammation. Kale, berries, banana’s and ginger are all included.

Healthy Breakfast Burrito

See the recipe for an extremely simple breakfast burrito that requires no more than 10 minutes. This burrito is filled with nutrition to keep you going after your workout.

Roasted Broccoli Grilled Cheese

A unique take on a grilled cheese is tasteful and healthy. The broccoli gives you calcium and potassium needed to stay nourished post-exercise, while at the same time enjoying a classic grilled cheese.

Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This flavorful meal does take a decent amount of time, but is worth the wait. While you’re waiting, snack on veggies and hummus – a light and nutritious option.

Honey Garlic Salmon

Salmon is a great option for a post-work out dinner. It is filled with protein, calcium and Vitamin D, which help strengthen your bones. Not only that, but the garlic and honey add a unique taste!

These recipes are just a few ideas for how to make healthy but flavorful post-workout meals. The next time you go outside for a run, or to the gym to lift some weights, consider what you are eating after your workout. Maybe whip up a few of these recipes or create your own from the list of nutritious foods provided. Hopefully you’ll notice your own improvement!

References:

  • http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/healthy-bones/Pages/food-and-diet-for-strong-bones.aspx
  • http://highfive.co.uk/high5-faster-and-further/cramp

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