Whether you’re working out for overall better fitness or if you’re trying to add some bulk and definition to your frame, there are some things to consider beyond your weekly gym routines. Gentlemen, there’s no doubt about it. The fuel you put into your bodies can impact your success in the gym.
That’s because your physique isn’t simply a matter of stretching, building, and sculpting muscle, but one that incorporates overall health. What you eat matters, because your body uses those nutrients to build muscle, burn fat, and improve the appearance of skin, teeth, and hair. While you may not think that the last consideration is important, let me tell you, it is.
You can improve your success simply by adding any of the top 27 best post-workout meals and super foods which contain nutrients and energy-rich caloric loads. You’ll keep your body working to better itself even long after you’ve hit the showers. While it is by no means everything you should be eating, incorporating these foods into your diet will give you an extra boost when it comes to boosting your look, your health, and even your mood.
While it isn’t the only source of essential Omega-3 fatty acids, it is a great and easy to purchase source. Additionally, it’s a fantastic source of selenium, a trace mineral your body absorbs with water. Packing an antioxidant punch, it aids your body in preventing damage caused by free radicals and also helps you process protein in your diet — for better muscles, hair, teeth, eyesight, and all-around great health.
2. Whole Wheat
Whether as crackers, toast, or pita bread, whole wheat is a great post workout carbohydrate boost for your system. This will help keep your blood glucose levels stable, rather than crashing as your body converts glucose into necessary energy for maintenance tasks in the wake of a workout. It also contains selenium and a host of other nutrients absorbed from the soil in which the wheat is grown, so eat up guys.
3. Egg Whites
If you’re one of the tiny fraction of the population who’s sensitive to dietary cholesterol, you can still derive much of the nutritive value offered by eggs by consuming egg whites. They’re high in protein, clocking in at 4 g per egg white, and naturally low calorie foods—around 16 calories a pop.
Whole grain cereals — meaning things like oatmeal, not sugar-frosted everything — are powerhouses of phytonutrients, plant proteins, both soluble and insoluble fiber, and complex carbohydrates. They help maintain stable blood glucose, support an elevated metabolism, maintain heart and cell health, and they also prevent constipation. Chronic constipation leads to toxin reassertion from waste. A workout produces plenty of metabolic waste products. Do the math, boys.
5. Fruit Smoothies or Dried Fruit (Oranges)
Fruits are a great way to boost your health. Sterols and other nutrients are what provide fruits with their bright colors. They are also a sweet, energy packed treat laced with vitamins like A, C, K, and trace minerals. Find ways to incorporate plenty of fruit into your post-workout regimen. Oranges, with their high compliment of vitamin C aid in cell regeneration.
6. Milk (Plain or Chocolate)
While some authorities will push the skim issue, the truth is, you need the fat in milk to help balance out the metabolism of the lactose (a natural sugar) and also to aid in calcium absorption. Consider the bioavailability of the nutrients you consume—just because they’re in there, doesn’t mean your body is using them. You aren’t drinking gallons of milk every day. If fats concern you, limit your intake.
Commonly misidentified as a grain, this fruitlet contains twice as much protein as other grains with which it is compared. It is loaded with fiber, iron, and other essential nutrients to keep your body building muscle and burning fat.
8. Orange Juice
This incredibly refreshing post-workout beverage is perfect just as it is. Go for the varieties with pulp, so you can add a punch of fiber to this wonderful juice.
9. White Rice
It’s a carbohydrate powerhouse and often an acceptable substitute for other grains in instances of dietary sensitivity. You might also consider trying brown rice, since the germ and bran have not been stripped via processing and provide extra health benefits.
Commonly mistaken as a vegetable, this grain is dense in insoluble fiber, vitamin C and folic acid. The latter two nutrients are essential in the building and maintenance of healthy tissues.
Lens shaped, these form the basis of many ancient diets for good reason. They are packed with protein, B vitamins, and zinc. What that means for you is excellent post-workout fuel for building healthy muscle and maintaining a healthy immune system so your energy levels don’t flag when you need stamina most.
These tiny almond-shaped seeds are excellent sources of botanical Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. These must be obtained through your diet, and are essential in maintaining healthy bones, hair, and skin. As well, they help to regulate metabolism.
Much like yoghurt, this is a cultured milk product that is fermented. It packs a protein punch as well as bringing a host of good bacteria that will amp up your body’s ability to process food for energy.
These starchy fruits bring a wealth of potassium, manganese and other nutrients to your diet. Potassium helps your muscles contract and your body to maintain a healthy fluid balance. Be aware that potassium needs the right amount of sodium to work effectively.
In addition to a huge helping of Omega-3s, salmon brings a bonus of vitamin D, B vitamins, selenium, and phosphorus to your diet. Phosphorus helps maintain hormone balances, regulates excretion and protein formation, energy extraction, and cell repair. It is often an overlooked mineral.
These tiny miracles bring a host of phytosterols, antioxidants, and nutrients. They help regulate healthy cell growth and body system functions, which will keep you in peak performing shape no matter how rigorous your gym routine. Indigenous populations of North America used these fruits extensively to supplement their diets and stave off ill health.
Holy garbanzo beans, Batman! Made from chickpeas, hummus is a protein packed snack guaranteed to satisfy. It’s also naturally low in fat and packed with phytonutrients your body needs to heal and maintain itself in that post-workout glow. Chickpeas help to maintain healthy blood glucose levels and prevent the buildup of LDL cholesterol in the blood. Tahini, or sesame paste, is also high in protein and full of calcium complimented by moderate amounts of healthy fats. Olive oil is a perfect source of tocopherol—vitamin E—that is essential to cardiovascular, muscle, and connective tissue health as well as essential to the process of mopping up after a workout.
18. Tree Nuts
Because they are seeds, these foods are all packed with nutrients, proteins, and healthy fats. Consider almond or cashew butter with veggies or just the plain whole nuts. Any way you incorporate these wonders into your diet will be the right way.
And that’s how the Romans created an Empire—with broccoli. This cruciferous vegetable related to the cabbage packs an antioxidant punch worthy of a centurion. Not only does it help to fight cancer, it also boosts energy and metabolic efficiency, so you’ll build muscle with Caesar Speed.
Get out your grass skirts, guys. This tropical delight brings a host of important nutrients in addition to vitamin C, such as bromelain and salicylic acid that help maintain healthy blood, circulation, and muscle function.
This is a tasty alternative to chicken and offers a boatload of benefits. Lower in calories than skinless chicken, skinless duck breast contains high levels of excellent quality protein, vitamin B3, iron, and selenium.
22. Sweet Potatoes
These New World wonders offer you an almost unsurpassed load of beta-carotene—the primary nutrient your body uses to make vitamin A. Put a little butter on your sweeties, because your body needs the fat to convert the beta-carotene efficiently.
It’s like buttah! These fruits are filled with extremely healthy fats that your body needs to create healthy muscle, skin, and other cells, as well as to maintain ordinary body processes. That’s what gives them their creamy texture. Try replacing butter on your toast with these gems for a delicious treat or whip up some guacamole.
24. Pork Steaks
Leaner cuts of pork contain less fat than chicken. Pork Steaks or pork tenderloin is the way to go for a tasty and lazy gourmet dinner. Try experimenting in the kitchen with this high protein, low-fat meat. Create a stunning meal with sweet potatoes, salad, and rice pilaf. Impress the ladies. Impress yourself.
There’s a reason it was Popeye’s secret weapon. A single cup of cooked spinach contains 1100 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin K, and is no slouch when it comes to vitamin A, most of the B vitamins, folate, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, phosphorus, selenium, choline, fiber, Omega-3s, vitamin E, and tryptophan to name just a few of the heavy hitters. While it can be eaten raw quite easily, gently wilting it for a minute (steaming it) will leech away much of its compliment of oxalic acid, a less than desirable compound found in members of the chenopod family.
It’s a bird! It’s a fruit! It’s delicious! This unassuming, fuzzy fruit packs a tropical punch of vitamin C and potassium, helping your body bounce back quickly from workout fatigue. It’s a delicious and refreshing addition to fruit bowls, smoothies, and also great on its own. There’s nothing quite so delicious as cool fruit after a workout and a shower. Help your body gear down from the adrenaline-saturated workout high with these tiny fruits.
27. Grilled Chicken
This tasty, low-fat meat is high in protein. It’s easy to buy, easy to freeze what you won’t use right away, and a cinch to grill with delicious spices. You can pre-cook a couple of chicken for use on salads, sandwiches, or as the main feature of an amazing dinner. Keep in mind that while grilling is great, there’s nothing complicated about using your oven, too. Baked chicken makes a great addition to any salad, rice dish, or with sweet potatoes and veggies.