This is a collaborative post.
After hours of exercise, the last thing you want to do is indulge in sweets or greasy take outs that will undo all the hard work you just put in at the gym. Post-workout foods are great, and you need them to restore your energy and rebuild your worn-out muscles, but you should take the healthy kind and not those loaded with trans and saturated fat. Workouts can take a lot out of you, and your body needs to bounce back after the intense strain. With this in mind, here are three post-workout snacks you should altogether avoid.
You may be tempted to reach out for a cold can of soda to quench your thirst after a workout, but you will be doing yourself more harm than good. You are better off drinking a glass of water because soda, which lacks any nutritional value, will only make you feel bloated. According to some studies, drinking soda after a workout can cause dehydration and interfere with kidney function. Carbonated drinks have large amounts of sugar and artificial sweeteners, which are linked to many health problems, including high blood sugar and cholesterol.
Fatty foods and heavy proteins
You should skip foods that are pretty hard to digest, like steak, but it all depends on your workout goals. For example, if you want to gain muscle, you should include healthy carbs like potatoes and plantains, but if you intend to lose weight, avoid carbs and eat more healthy proteins like fish to retain muscle. Fatty foods defeat the purpose of working out in the first place; you are only gaining the fat you just burnt at the gym. Fatty foods like a plate of bacon are packed with saturated fats that will slow down your metabolism, meaning your body is retaining more fat than it is burning.
Energy bars and sporty drinks
Energy bars promise all kinds of things, but they are just glorified candies with no nutritional value. Most of these energy bars contain refined white sugar and corn syrup that will only spike your blood sugar. Health experts recommend getting your protein from natural sources like fish and poultry instead of processed alternatives. The high sugar content in energy drinks makes them unsuitable for your health. Not only do these sporty drinks lack any nutrition, but they also contain high levels of fructose, artificial sweeteners, and caffeine. Although it is ok to drink sports drinks after long hours of working out to replace electrolytes and regain energy, do so in moderation. To be on the safer side, drink plain water or coconut water.
After a workout session, all your body wants to do is replenish and rebuild, so feed your body with what it needs to do so. There are many resources out there on fitness nutrition and hundreds of nutrition apps to get you started on a healthy diet. Before embarking on any diet, speak to a health care professional in person or an online gp to get their approval.