Today’s question comes from Nicole in Houston, Texas. She asks:
“What is the best thing to eat after an intense workout?”
The purpose of a workout drink or meal is to get recovery nutrients into your body quickly so you can repair the muscle you just broke down.
But sadly, most people equate post workout drinks/meals with unhealthy protein- mainly some sort of dairy product. The Dairy Council, FDA and public relation folks have done a really good job at convincing people that they need milk after a workout. What they don’t want you to know is that a plastic bottle of milk contains steroids (natural and synthetic), hormones, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, fertilizers, antibiotics, veterinary medications, synthetic preservatives, additives, and (possibly most disturbing) white blood cells (aka pus). You can read more about dairy here by my friend Julianna.
Instead of reaching for a bottle of shelf stable milk (Muscle Milk, EAS, GNC) Chocolate Milk or whey powders, here are 4 real foods for you to eat or drink!
Recovery Meal 1
When choosing what to eat or drink after a workout, always opt for a pure plant-based protein along with inflammation superpowers. This includes turmeric. Yup, the spice! This herb is a superspice and I personally consume it daily. A sample post run meal might include a bowl of sauteed kale in coconut oil, ½ cup cooked lentils, ¼ cooked brown rice, a generous sprinkling of organic turmeric powder and kelp (to reduce gas). You can also add coconut aminos or a little sea salt (not table salt) and nutritional yeast.
Recovery Meal 2
On the go and not near a kitchen? I recommend a scoop of Vega Recovery plant-based powder mixed with a scoop of Amazing Grass or Garden of Life protein powder (plant-based), a teaspoon of spirulina powder and water. Combine all together in a blender bottle. You can add some ice if you would like and also add some nut milk (hemp is my personal favorite and recommendation). Just use a little less water. All of these contain minerals, vitamins and nutrients that your body is craving for recovery. Ingredients like glucosamine, maca, L-arginine, spirulina all help to reduce inflammation, support your immune system and speed up the recovery process. Sounds fantastic right? Right!
Recovery Meal 3
The smoothie. Who doesn’t love a fantastic smoothie? And the proper smoothie can be the perfect recovery drink. But not any smoothie will do! Make your own at home. Invest in a VitaMix or even a simple blender will do the trick.
A green smoothie is one of the best things you can drink after a workout! Make organic greens the base (spinach, kale), add a few organic fruits (strawberries, banana, peaches, tart cherries, blueberries, acai), a scoop of plant-based protein powder, a little spirulina powder and water. Like chocolate? Add a little raw cacao powder (not cocoa) to your smoothie. And you have yourself a wonderful, delicious, nutritious drink!
Recovery Meal 4
This last one is a personal favorite. A quinoa salad bowl. Quinoa is a pseudo seed and packed with nutrients. Add fresh, organic, raw salad greens. Chopped kale, micro greens, shredded red cabbage, sliced cucumbers & carrots and mix together with avocado (smash avocado with a litle coconut oil and sea salt) dressing. Top with hemp hearts and turmeric powder. Hemp hearts are contain all the amino acids plus protein and other essential nutrients.
Here are four things to remember when eating or drinking after a workout:
A) Fresh, organic veggies
B) A pure source of plant-based, not dairy
C) Turmeric and spirulina powder
D) Water, not commercial sports drinks
Bottom line: If you are currently justifying eating junk food after you just worked out, you aren’t giving your health, muscles, joints and immune system the nutrients it is begging for. When you make the switch from processed, artificial junk to real food, you will notice that you feel stronger, recover faster and don’t get as sick as often. Commit right now to giving your body the nutrients it needs to recover and stay well!
What is your current recovery drink or meal of choice? What will you be consuming from now on? How do you eat for health?
Thanks, Nicole for submitting your question. We hope you enjoy the goodies that were sent to you!