During exercise your energy levels decrease, and your glycogen stores rapidly deplete in your muscles, causing them to tire. It’s important to have a good post-workout meal to replenish the stores that have been used during your workout. A meal comprising of the right macronutrients can set your body up for optimum recovery.
Post-workout nutrition is just as important as your pre-workout nutrition. Ideally, your post-workout meal should be rich in carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates contribute to replenishing your muscle glycogen stores, whilst lean protein helps to maintain protein levels in the body so that protein synthesis can take place, important for maintaining and building muscle.
Foods like sweet potatoes, rice cakes, oatmeal, eggs, chicken and tuna are all ideal ingredients to help replenish your energy stores post-workout and keep your body in an anabolic state. Your post-workout meal can be kept pretty simple, as long as you stick to the key macronutrients. However, if you are looking for something a little bit more exciting than your standard chicken, rice and vegetables, give this ‘hummus-crusted chicken’ recipe a go after your workout.
- Chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup of hummus (this can be homemade or shop bought)
- Olive oil
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 courgette (chopped)
- 1 yellow squash (chopped)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 2 lemons
- You should preheat your oven to gas mark 7, and prepare a large oven/baking dish with cooking spray. This recipe can be cooked in just one dish.
- The vegetables need to be seasoned with salt and pepper and tossed in some olive oil before placing then on the bottom of the dish – in an even layer.
- The chicken also needs to be seasoned with salt and pepper before coated evenly with hummus, and placed on top of the vegetables.
- The entire dish should then be seasoned with the paprika, and the lemons should be squeezed over the chicken before cooking for around 25-30 minutes. Make sure the chicken is cooked right through and the vegetables are tender. Serve piping hot.
Of course, some of you might not have the time to prep and make something like this between gym sessions, due to work commitments and the stresses of everyday life. Normal chicken and vegetables work just as well, and you can even meal prep the evening before so that you can eat immediately after your workout.
Don’t forget to drink water
Water is vital before, during and after your workout to keep your body hydrated. During exercise your body loses water through sweat and this needs to be replenished to aid recovery.