A crucial part of any effective fitness regime is the diet that accompanies it.
In fact, the foods you eat can directly influence weight loss and building muscle, so what you eat before and after a workout is crucial.
The main nutrients that provide energy to your body are carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein. So when you exercise, your metabolism uses these nutrients as fuel to build muscle mass and burn fat.
When you're physically active, the main sources of energy for your body are complex carbs and protein. And after an intensive workout, there's a 45-minute window, during which the body uses this energy to replenish its glycogen and rebuild muscle.
And the most effective way to do this is through consuming a protein-rich meal or snack.
Read on to discover the best post workout protein foods and which type is the best for you.
Greek Yogurt and Cottage Cheese
Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are excellent sources of protein. In fact, Greek yogurt contains twice the amount of protein of regular yogurt. Cottage cheese is another protein-packed food that you can eat after a strenuous workout.
However, when buying, pay special attention to the ingredients on the packaging. There are many brands claiming their yogurt is authentic, but if you look carefully, you may find it's loaded with sugar, additives, and thickeners.
So look for brands that produce organic, pure Greek yogurt with high protein content.
If you're looking to build some serious muscle, protein shakes are the way to go for bulking.
Shakes come in various flavors and are a quick and easy replacement for a protein-rich meal when you're strapped for time.
You can also combine them with nuts, fruits or milk of your choice.
One of nature's true superfoods, eggs, are a nutrient powerhouse. They contain all 9 essential amino acids and are packed with protein, especially when hard-boiled state.
You can also eat them scrambled, poached or runny, or combine them with veggies, meat, or avocado.
Some of the best post workout protein comes from lean chicken meat. If properly prepared, you can enjoy a serving full of healthy protein without packing too many calories.
Combine it with a green leafy salad, grilled vegetables, brown rice or quinoa for added energy. You can also prepare a wrap or a sandwich before you go to the gym, so you have a ready meal after your workout.
Salmon and Tuna
Salmon and tuna are two of the healthiest fish on the market. Besides being protein-rich, they also contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and A, magnesium, and phosphorus.
They're easy to cook and go well with any vegetable salad, legumes, rice or homemade soup.
The Best Post Workout Protein Foods: Final Thoughts
Besides your pre-workout meal, you should also pay attention to what you eat after a good exercise. Of all nutrients, protein is the best way for your body to burn fat and gain muscle.
We covered some of the best post workout protein sources out there like lean meats, fish, dairy products, protein shakes and eggs.
Do you have a favorite protein post-workout meal recipe? Share it with us in the comments below!