Have you ever felt lethargic for most of the day after a vigorous workout, asking yourself, “Why exactly is it that I workout?”  Over the years the most common question asked to me once someone has started to workout consistently with me is, "What should I eat after my workout?"  At about this time in their program, they have started to really add some muscle to their bodies and therefore are seeing the need now more than ever for proper nutrients to sustain this much needed growth. Rather your body is telling you that you are hungry and needing to eat for a better reason than boredom, or maybe after you workout the last thing you want to do is eat, it is extremely important to give your body the right nutrients, in the right amount, at the right time.
I have always recommended whole foods over supplements.  I have also always told my clients that they are to consume a small meal consisting of proteins, carbohydrates and fats within 30 minutes to an hour after their workout:  The carbohydrate intake will help to replenish the glucose burned out of your muscles during vigorous exercise.  By supplying your body with some protein after your workout, you are providing your muscles with amino acids that are necessary for assistance in muscle repair. In a end, the insulin from the carbohydrates helps to drive the protein to the muscles.  Where does fat fit into this?  It really does not, except that there should be a small amount of fat in each of the small meals you consume for overall satiety. Remember that I have already talked about how eating 5-6 small meals a day instead of 2-3 large meals is much easier on the metabolism if your goal is to lose weight.  That concept still applies here as you stock up your refrigerator and pantry with these handy After Your Workout Mini Meals…Not so hungry after your workout choose a smaller portion of the macro nutrients.  Starving after your workout, go for a bit (not a lot, but a bit) more.  Read the labels on these items and discover how much a portion size is.  Remember though, the key is to really listen to your body.  I believe in the long run, that is the overall success to not over eat.
  • Whole Wheat Thin Bread w/Turkey Sandwich
  • Low-Fat Greek Yogurt w/Grape Nuts
  • ¼ Cup of Connie’s Energy Mix and Low Calorie Gatorade 
  • Oatmeal with Peanut Butter and Blueberries
  • ½ Cantaloupe with Low Fat Cottage Cheese
  • Egg White Omelet w/Toast
  • Whole Wheat Pancakes w/Scrambled Egg Whites
  • Whole Wheat Rice Cake w/Peanut Butter
  • Hummus and Carrots
  • Celery Sticks w/Peanut Butter
  • Whole Wheat English Muffin w/Low-Fat Veggie Cream Cheese – Add a couple slices of Rotisserie Chicken for extra protein
  • Banana and Almonds
  • Cherries and Sugar Free Vanilla Almond Milk
  • Whole Wheat Crackers w/Cheese
  • Slice of Whole Wheat Bread with a Hard Boiled Egg – Add some I Can’t believe Its Not Butter spray for taste – w/Strawberries sprinkled with Cinnamon
  • Whole Wheat Tortilla Shell w/Tuna mixed with Fat-Free Mayonnaise and a touch of mustard w/Orange Slices sprinkled w/Cinnamon
  • Whole Wheat Rice Cake topped with hummus and cucumber slices
  • Minestrone Soup w/Orange Juice
  • No-Sugar Applesauce topped with Almond Slices
  • Apple w/Low-Fat String Cheese
  • Small Sweet Potato w/Almond Butter sprinkled w/Cinnamon
    ***Because Almonds contain a higher level of fat content does not make this protein additive “Bad for You.”  The fat in Almond Nut Butter is unsaturated, which is heart healthy***
  • Turkey Jerky w/Pear Slices
  • ½ Whole Wheat Bagel topped with marinara sauce, low-fat melted cheese, and sliced Turkey Pepperoni Slices
  • Tuna and Cottage Cheese w/Pretzels
  • Something Sweet - Low-Fat Graham Crackers w/Hazelnut Spread and sliced Bananas
  • Low-Fat Ham Slices wrapped around Low-Fat Cheese slices w/Pineapple Chunks
  • Kale Smoothie – In a blender, puree 1 medium banana, 1 cup chopped Kale, and I cup Sugar Free Almond Milk – Add a dash of cinnamon
  • Minty Pea With Pretzel Chips – Mash ½ cup frozen peas with 1 tablespoon fresh mint and 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice w/15 pretzel chips (Real Simple - Charlyne Mattox)
  • 2 Tomato Halves topped w/2 Tablespoons of Goat Cheese Spread, sprinkled w/Fresh Herbs
  • Baked Sweet Potato Fries with a Dip (Real Simple Charlayne Mattox) – Cook 14 frozen sweet potato fries: Mix together 2 tablespoons plain lo-fat Greek Yogurt w/1/2 teaspoon Chipotles in Adobo Sauce for dipping
  • Water – Water – Water – Water w/Every Meal or Snack

I almost forgot the most important part of your after workout recovery especially for my vigorous cardiovascular crazed clients (Love You Guys By The Way). Start with weighing yourself before your workout and again afterwards.  Drink 1 ounce of water for every 1 ounce of body weight lost during your workout.  One you are consistently drinking enough water before and during your workouts, knowing how much water is needed for adequate replacement should not be a problem, and you should not even have to worry about the tedious "Weighing In" part.