What to eat after a workout is one of the most common questions that I’m asked. And it’s a really important one, because your workout depends on more than just the number of push-ups you do or the time spent in classes.
If you’re not careful about what you’re eating before or after your workouts, you:
- have less fun while you’re workout out (because your energy is low or your belly hurts)
- have a longer recovery time (and more sore)
- not see the positive muscle gains from your workout (from not consuming enough protein and carbs)
- gain weight! (because you’re super hungry and end up binging later in the day).
Today I want to show you how you can avoid all of these issues and have a fun, productive exercise session. I’m going to show you what to eat after your workouts and tell you why certain ingredients and nutrients are important.
Plus, I’m going to show you my Banana Coconut Recovery Muffins Recipe. I specifically designed this recipe to be the perfect post-workout snack.
Here are the things you want from your post-workout meal:
A high amount of high quality protein
Most people have heard that eating protein after a workout is important. That’s because when you exercise, you’re essentially ripping and tearing your muscles, and you need that protein to rebuild (and gain more muscle) after you workout.
My Banana Walnut Recovery Muffins are full of protein-rich sources like hemp and chickpea flour to build a complete protein for your muscle recovery!
What most people don’t know is that building muscle is not just about the protein. It’s also about having adequate carbohydrates to fuel that muscle building.
After a workout, your metabolism is running faster than normal, and you’re burning lots of calories. The preferred source of those calories is carbohydrates, but if they’re not around, your body will start to burn protein and fat as well.
If you start burning protein for energy, you won’t have enough to start repairing and building your muscle, and you won’t see progress from your workouts. So within an hour of your workout, you want a mixture of carbs and protein so you keep building muscle, while supporting your body’s energy needs.
My Banana Coconut Recover Muffins use bananas, low-glycemic coconut sugar, and oats to provide needed carbohydrates to fuel your body!
Fast energy from MCTs
As mentioned above, your body is in fuel-burning mode right after a workout, so you need to give your body what it’s asking for! MCT stands for medium-chained triglycerides. MCTs are fat molecules, but they’re smaller than most other fats that we usually eat. Because of their small size, we digest and absorb them a lot faster than other fats. That means quick energy that’s good for you!
My Banana Coconut Recovery Muffins use coconut from two sources: coconut oil and coconut flakes. Coconuts are rich in MCTs, and provide you with the fast energy you need right after a workout.
Nitric Oxide boost
Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, meaning that it helps relax our blood vessels. Relaxed blood vessels means we get more nutrient and oxygen-rich blood to our muscles. That helps us be less sore, deliver quality energy to our muscles, and speed up our recovery!
My Banana Coconut Recovery Muffins use chopped walnuts for a delicious delivery of nitric oxide-boosting food!
Besides these important factors, these muffins are vegan, gluten free, and deliver a powerful punch of omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, fiber, and deliciousness!
Whip up a batch, and pop in a mini muffin directly after your workout to give your body the fast energy it needs for optimal recovery. They’ll keep you satisfied for hours after your workout until you get to your next meal. Just don’t forget to hydrate!!
The recipe is below, but if you’d like a PDF version of this recipe that you can print out – enter your email below!
- 2 tbsp flax seed, ground
- 6 tbsp water
- 1 cup oat flour (or ground oats)
- ¾ cup chickpea/garbanzo flour
- ¾ cup ground coconut flakes
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp hemp hearts
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3 mashed bananas
- 6 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Mix ground flax seeds with water in a small bowl.
- Mix ground oats, chickpea, coconut flakes, coconut sugar, salt,
- baking powder, and hemp hearts together.
- In another bowl, combine melted coconut oil with banana.
- Add coconut oil/banana to the dry flours, and mix until combined.
- Add chopped walnuts and gently mix.
- Pour into muffin tins, bake for 30 min or until firm.
- Let muffins cool in tins.
- Store in sealed container or freeze for later use!
Samantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.