The Best Low-Calorie Post-Workout Snacks – Self

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Even though it’s perfectly fine to skip out on pre-workout snack if you’re not feeling it, eating after a sweat session is strongly recommended. Refueling after you exercise helps your body build muscle and replenish the energy you burned through during an intense workout. But if weight loss is one of your goals, eating more calories than you worked off can undo some of that effort.

“The purpose of a post-workout snack is to replenish glycogen stores (AKA energy stores) used during the workout and to give your body the protein it needs to repair existing muscle as well as build new muscle,” says Nora Minno, R.D., C.P.T., an NYC-based registered dietitian and personal trainer.

Here are fives guidelines for planning your perfect post-workout snack. Remember these are just tips, everyone will have different needs so experiment to see what works best for you.

1. Make sure you’re getting enough protein. “Keeping lean muscle mass high is important not only to maintain strength, but to maintain a healthy metabolism,” says Minno. And protein is what will help build and repair your muscles, she adds. Try to have your snack include 10 to 20 grams.

2. And include some carbohydrates, too. Carbs are important for replenishing your energy, says Minno.

3. Aim for a snack that’s between 150-200 calories. “It will be a bit more than your pre-workout snack, since you’re really focusing on refueling and replenishing,” Minno says.

4. Don’t wait for the sweat to dry. Eat your snack within 30 minutes of your workout, says Minno, so your body has something to rebuild muscle with. Pack your snack in your workout bag so you can refuel ASAP.

5. Rehydrate, rehydrate, rehydrate. Chances are, you’re getting your sweat on during your workout. And while hopefully you hydrated before and during your training session, you’ll want to make sure you stay hydrated post-workout, too, says Minno.

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About the Author: Eugene Berry