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Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It promotes better sleep, longer-lasting energy, and overall wellness. Being sure to get to the gym as part of your routine is a vital part in staying fit.
Of course, another major component of wellness is diet, which goes hand in hand with exercise. When you want to feel your best, you have to prioritize not just regular exercise but healthy eating, too. Those meals that surround our workout can significantly impact our performance and recovery. With this in mind, it is a good idea to plan out a few healthy foods to satisfy that bump in appetite that often follows a solid workout.
Here are six great options for that post-gym snack to help refuel your body.
After a workout, your body is depleted of carbohydrates, which fruits are a great natural source of. Also, with how much protein is in a banana, you can help your body towards becoming stronger and leaner. Fruits are also a great on-the-go option because they require little to no preparation and create minimal mess. You can chow down an apple or a cup of blueberries on the commute home from the gym without stinking up the bus or your car. When possible, try to select local fresh produce for maximum health benefits.
2. Peanut Butter
Full of natural protein, peanut butter is also high in calories and healthy fats, which are great for a recovering body. Not only is peanut butter delicious, but it is also a very versatile snack. That rare food that goes just as well sweet as it does savory, peanut butter can be added to fruits, veggies, or breads to create a heartier snack. Be sure to pick natural peanut butters without added sugars for the most benefit and the best recovery.
3. Vegetables and Hummus
Delicious, healthy, and refreshing, a crisp and crunchy carrot dipped in protein-rich hummus is a fantastic post-workout snack. Oftentimes after a workout, you don’t want anything too heavy, so water-rich vegetables like carrots, cucumber, and celery are a great place to turn. Store-bought hummus often comes in many fun and interesting flavors, or try your hand at creating your own blended chickpea snack at home, which allows you to add your favorite spices or garden herbs.
4. Hard-Boiled Egg
Super simple and inexpensive, hard-boiled eggs are a go-to choice for a protein-based natural snack. This is a smart choice when you want to do your snack prep in advance since hard-boiled eggs will last in the fridge for up to a week. Bring along some of your favorite heart-healthy seasonings to create a more flavorful and interesting snack.
Rehydrating is very important after a tough workout, and of course water should be the first thing you reach for. However, when you want something a bit more substantial, a glass of whole milk is a filling source of vitamins, minerals, and calcium. Also, if you are looking to mix it up, you can always reach for flavored milks (chocolate, strawberry, etc.) for a fun sweet treat while still packing in the nutrients.
One of the simplest yet most filling and healthy snacks is a handful of nuts. A few stellar options are almonds, pistachios, and walnuts, each of which offer their own benefits and unique delicious tastes. Have fun trying out different varieties or mixing them with other simple snacks like dried fruits and candies. Just be sure to monitor portions; it can be difficult to stop eating once you start snacking on a handful of delicious nuts.