Hi there! My name is Danielle and I blog and run my nutrition coaching business over at http://danielleprestejohn.com. It is my goal as a weight loss specialist to empower the women I work with to eat right, stay active, and learn to love their bodies. One thing that was crucial in learning to do this for myself was CrossFit. CrossFit has taught be how to stay healthy, love my body for what it can do-and not how it looks, and to push myself beyond where I ever thought possible.
Today I want to talk to you about something that has become a fundamental part of my nutrition, my post workout meals. Refueling after a workout is key in order for your body to recover and repair properly. Some general rules of thumb I consider when choosing a post workout meal are, consuming a good balance of protein and carbohydrates, limiting fats, and aiming to consume something within 15-40 minutes of completing my workouts. I also make sure to consume fish oil daily to lower inflammation and aid in recovery. Now that you know my guidelines for a healthy post workout meal, I want to share some of my favorite options with you:
1. Whey protein and water. Simple and effective. This is literally what I have every day after a WOD in my car on my ride home from the gym. Whey protein is the best protein to use because it is quickly absorbed in your body. A liquid works best as well to speed up digestion. Look for a protein brand that is limited in added ingredients. I love Stronger, Faster, Healthier whey protein (I use their fish oil too!).
2. ½ sweet potato topped with raisins and cinnamon. This is a great take-along option to bring with you for your post workout meal. Roast a few sweet potatoes to have on hand for the week, and then pack up ½ of a sweet potato with you. Top with cinnamon and raisins for an extra nutritional boost. The cinnamon is great for balancing blood sugar, and the raisins help to bring your body back into an acid/alkaline balance, important after a workout. Be sure to add protein to this meal. Whey protein would pair well with this, as would lean chicken breast or egg whites.
3. Hard-boiled egg whites and rice cakes with “protein frosting”.
Egg whites are a great source of protein. While I am usually all about the yolks (they hold all the nutrients), they also contain the fat, which you want to avoid after a workout. These are easy to prep ahead and convenient to pack. Pairing them with the rice cakes will give you a quick digesting carbohydrate, which is what you want to aim for post workout. By topping them with protein frosting, which is literally just whey protein thinned with a splash of water, you are boosting your protein intake.
4. Egg white, banana pancake.
I love bananas post workout because they are high in sugar and digest quickly in your body. Post workout is the ideal time to consume higher glycemic foods so there is no need to worry about the sugar content. Make your pancake by combining 2-3 egg whites with a banana, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a splash of vanilla extract in a blender. Pour onto a skillet and cook as you would a pancake. Quick, easy, and delicious.
If you are home shortly after your workout you can make a smoothie instead of just the whey protein and water. I love combining whey protein, coconut water, ½ a frozen banana, a few frozen cherries, and a handful of spinach to my smoothies. The coconut water helps to boost and balance depleted electrolyte levels post workout, the protein aids in muscle recovery and repair, and the fruit rebuilds energy stores that have been depleted. This is a great option after a longer workout.
So there you have it! My favorite post workout meals. Looking for a little extra nutritional guidance? Sign up for my newsletter to get all my latest updates. Now you tell me…
What’s your favorite post workout meal?