The Best Post Workout Recovery Food and Drinks

November 12, 2020

Have you ever wondered why an athlete’s diet is so strict? It’s because food is so important to our fitness journey. We burn up so much energy when we exercise that it’s vital to replenish and rehydrate after a workout in order to facilitate proper growth and recovery.

 

Why should we eat after a workout?

 

Food helps the body to replenish the nutrients lost during exercise to optimise recovery and regeneration of muscle. This physiological recovery involves the following processes…

 

  • Refueling glycogen – Our muscles use up stored glycogen (carbohydrates) during exercise. Food can help this refilling process work faster.
  • Replacing fluid and electrolytes lost during sweating
  • Synthesising proteins for repair and in the making of “new muscle”
  • Supporting the immune system in adapting to the challenges imposed by exercise

 

When to eat after a workout?

 

Within 30-45 minutes of finishing a training session or race, you should consume something light, such as fresh fruit to restore glucose levels. Apples are one of the healthiest options to quickly energise the body and brain! Rich in fibre, vitamin C and a powerful antioxidant called quercetin, apples are the ultimate performance food.

 

The first 45-60 minutes post-exercise, and up to 2 hours after, is also the optimal time for carbohydrate and protein uptake. Studies have found that muscles are more receptive to carbohydrates during the first 2 hours after exercise. A little protein enhances this process to increase the rate of muscle glycogen storage, as well as helping to boost muscle repair and regeneration. A good ratio to aim for is 4:1 carbohydrate: protein.

 

Trek flapjacks are a great example of a balanced carb to protein ratio snack with around 20g of carbohydrates to 9g protein. Our new POWER bars on the other hand are high in protein, with a more equal amount of carbs to protein for the ultimate, post workout energy boost. 

 

Protein after workout

 

The estimated daily protein requirements of athletes are 1.2-1.7g per kg body weight. This is relatively easy to achieve for plant-based eaters as there are some great sources of vegan protein that are high in essential fats, fibre and minerals. From raw green vegetables to fresh fruits, beans, seeds, pulses, nuts, and wholegrains like buckwheat, barley and oats there are a whole range of post-work out snacks to choose from.

 

For the ultimate post-workout snack try our new TREK POWER bars. High in protein and made with 100% natural ingredients they come in two delicious flavours of Millionaire Shortbread and Peanut Butter crunch, all covered in a healthy chocolate alternative, perfect for taking to the gym.

 

What to eat after a workout?

 

Quinoa and Wild Rice – Great gluten-free carbohydrates, rich in protein, minerals and B vitamins for energy production.

 

Root Vegetables – Sweet potato, squash and pumpkins are the perfect, easy-to-digest recovery foods, full of antioxidant nutrients and fibre.

 

Watercress – A “superfood” leafy green, that is bursting with nutritious vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Calcium and Folate. It can make the perfect salad base, or be used as a side to soups and stir-fries.

 

Avocado – Containing natural healthy fats and vitamin E for great skin, avocado is the perfect salad ingredient, as well as used as a “spread” on rice cakes or oatcakes.

 

Hempseeds – One of few plant foods with good amounts of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, crucial to sports performance and recovery.

 

Banana – Eating a humble banana after a workout has many health benefits including being a good, healthy carb which restores the body’s levels of glycogen. It’s also packed full of potassium to replenish the potassium used up during exercise. 

 

Trek Bars – We have an incredible range of Trek snacks that are made from the finest plant based ingredients to deliver balanced, long lasting and sustainable energy. You can choose any one of our healthy vegan snacks : protein flapjacks, protein nut bars, protein energy bars and POWER bar, for the ultimate post workout treat.

 

What to drink after workout?

 

Post workout drinks are essential for rehydration which helps recovery. The NHS recommends drinking 6-8 glasses of water on a normal day. On an active day, you would need to drink up to a litre and a half of fluid for every kilogram of body weight you lose from sweating. Liquid meals are a great source of rehydration due to being high in nutrition, easily digested and highly alkalising. These can include..

 

Smoothies – Made with fresh fruits, raw leafy greens & vegetables such as cucumber and celery, smoothies can help with tissue repair to build muscles, whilst also aiding weight loss by filling the body with calories at the right time after a workout.

 

Vegan Protein Shakes – Combat fatigue after an intense workout by helping the body to heal, which makes your muscles stronger over time. Add high-protein seeds such as shelled hemp seeds, flaxseeds or sunflower seeds, for an effective homemade protein shake.

 

Vegetable broth – Made with a little added sea salt, or sea vegetables that are high in all electrolyte minerals can effectively help you to rehydrate and replace electrolytes lost during sweating. 

 

Coconut Water – Although any water is great for rehydration, coconut water is good for post-workout recovery as it has high levels of potassium and magnesium, as well as being rich in nutrients, antioxidants and great for your skin.

 

There we have it! Some of the best post workout food and drinks to aid recovery. Don’t forget to grab our new Trek POWER bars to eat after your next exercise session! All our products are vegan friendly and high in protein so be sure to check them out as well.