I’ve been asked several times what post workout snacks do I reach for. Well the answer is not as clear cut as it may seem.
Before we even talk about post workout snacks we need to ask ourselves this question:
Do you really know what a ‘healthy’ snack is? Even healthy snacks contain calories so you need to be aware of what you are eating, especially if your goal is to lose weight. Here are some healthy snack ideas which you could try.
I’ve heard that as a general rule eating protein within 20 – 40 minutes post workout is beneficial. Here are some High-Protein Snacks you could try, however, as you will see below there is also more to post workout snacks than we realise.
Now, I’m not an expert so I decided to ask my Personal Trainer, Nikki Wakerley her thoughts on what she would recommend for a post workout snack. Nikki, has over 15 years experience as a personal trainer and has a wealth of knowledge not just about exercise but about living a healthy lifestyle.
My main takeaway from my interview with her was that with post workout snacks there is a general rule of thumb but in reality to achieve results and because we are all different,ONE WORKOUT SNACK DOES NOT FIT ALL.Click To Tweet
It is more than just grabbing a snack, it is knowing:
- why you need it,
- the type of food,
- what your lifestyle and training goals are
- having a chat to a nutritionist.
Why are post workout snacks important?
It’s best to have a post workout snack for a couple of reasons.
Not many people train on a full stomach and should have eaten a couple of hours before exercising to allow the body to digest the food. Therefore, after exercise has commenced, the body is in need of refueling/nourishment/meal/snack to keep the metabolism working effectively and energy levels balanced. Its best to eat every 3-4hours.
When exercising (and depending on the type of exercise and intensity), the body will mostly use stored glycogen that resides in the muscles (once those stores are depleted the body will recruit fat from the fat cells). It’s advised to replenish these glycogen stores, within 30 minutes of the workout, to stop the body from converting the muscle into energy, wasting/decreasing your muscle mass.
What type of food do we need post work out?
The type of food will particular to your training goals.
I would always recommend natural foods, nothing processed. Eating something is better than not eating at all. Don’t starve the body and allow it use its primitive instinct, you’ll end up putting on more fat.
You say each person’s requirement for a post work out snack AND TIMING OF EATING THE SNACK is different why?
For the people who are trying to build muscle, it is essential they eat/drink a snack immediately after their workout to prevent the body converting muscle into energy therefore wasting/decreasing the muscle mass. A high GI snack would be best for these types of athletes, e.g. Banana, watermelon, protein shakes with carbohydrates.
For those that have excess fat, it would be OK to delay the snack, the compromise is to waste a little muscle but burn a few extra calories. This method should only be used when there is excessive fat and the fat loss is the main objective.
What questions should a person ask their nutritionist?
The very first question to should ask a nutritionist is, ‘am I eating a balanced diet’?
Taking in a food diary will help the practitioner understand what nutrients are being consumed. In my experience most people eat well, but get the timing all wrong. Get advice from your nutritionist when and how much you should eat at each meal time. I am an very active person and will have 5-6 meals each day.
Nikki’s points to remember….
Remember, you really are what you eat!
You eat fatty, processed, lab created foods, you’ll feel fatty and processed.
Eat natural, healthy, colorful foods, you’ll feel energized and glow with health.