When you get home from the gym, one of two things happen: you either aren't hungry or you want to eat everything in sight. Neither is especially healthy, but your body really does need a post workout boost. Here are a few suggestions to fill you up and give your body what it needs.
Although all of our dietary needs are different, there are still a few general rules to go by. First, your body needs fluids. For the most part, those who break a sweat during an hour of exercise will lose up to four cups of water, so start drinking the second you get home. Drinking while you're at the gym is great, but you probably won't be taking in enough to help your body recover as easily as it should. Remember — more water equals less hurting.
Next, you're looking for carbs. Your body just spent a ton and it needs to refuel. Aim for around 30 carbs. Here are a few suggestions:
• Spicy Lentil Wraps with Tahini Sauce
• 4-Ingredient Banana Oat Bars
• Boiled Egg, Seared Asparagus & Pickled Onion
Third, Protein is important but not quite as much as carbs. If you're doing some serious weight-lifting or body building then that might be a different story, but for the average gym goer your mark for protein should be around 10 grams. Check out these suggestions:
• How to Hard-Boil an Egg
• Chez Panisse Herbed Almonds
• Cottage Cheese with Peaches
Your goal is to eat within 30 minutes to two hours after returning home. That's when your body is primed for food intake and ready to process what put into it. Fats don't do your body much good during this time, so stay clear if you can and don't forget to eat something before you hit the gym (at least an hour ahead) to avoid becoming dizzy and light headed.
Related: The 10 Foods That Most Affect Weight Gain & Loss
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(Image: Faith Durand, Flickr member mariachily licensed for use by Creative Commons)