11 Post-Workout Foods To Maximise Muscle Repair And Restore Energy Levels

by Claudia Tan
FOOD  |  January 19, 2018
  • Work hard, eat right.
    1 / 12 Work hard, eat right.

    While it is true that losing weight involves maintaining an overall caloric deficit, we must not neglect our post-workout foods. Completing the workout for the day is half the battle won, the other half involves eating right. Refuelling is essential for muscle repair and restoration of energy, which are essential in optimising your weight and metabolism. Here are 11 low-calorie post-workout foods that are jam-packed with nutrients to restore your depleted energy reserves.

    Photos: 123rf.com

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  •   Steamed sweet potatoes
    2 / 12 Steamed sweet potatoes

    Sweet potatoes are essentially a bundle of nutrients. With more nutrients and lower calories than a regular potato, it contains fibre, vitamin C and potassium to boost metabolism and muscle repair. Being a complex carbohydrate, it will effectively restore your glycogen levels after your workout to ensure that you are all set for the day. The best part? Bake, grill, mash – there are plenty of ways to prepare it so you will not get bored of this dish.  

    (Also read: The Many Benefits of Sweet Potatoes)

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  • Quinoa with steamed vegetables
    3 / 12 Quinoa with steamed vegetables

    Ditch that carbophobia attitude with quinoa – a popular wholegrain superfood. Skipping carbs entirely would leave you feeling drained and lethargic after your workout. But with complex carbs like quinoa, you can be assured energy all day as your body takes more time to break down such carbohydrates. This will allow you to avoid that mid-afternoon energy slump that causes you to reach for snacks. Spice it up with steamed veggies and there you have it – a healthy and hearty low-calorie meal.

    (Also read: Whole Grains: Why Are They Important And How Are They Good For You?)

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  •  Greek yogurt with a handful of granola and berries
    4 / 12 Greek yogurt with a handful of granola and berries

    Contrary to popular belief, we do not have to rely on meat for protein. Greek yogurt is sufficient to give us a protein boost after a workout while keeping the calorie count low. Packed with probiotics, it is also great for the digestive system. With the addition of fibre from granola and fruits, it will keep you full till your next meal.

    (Also read: How To Make Yogurt)

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  • Eggs and whole grain toast
    5 / 12 Eggs and whole grain toast

    Eggs and toast are a classic we can’t miss. Eggs are rich in nutrients and are regarded as a wholesome source of protein as it contains nine essential amino acids – all important for muscle repair. Whole grain bread is also a better alternative to white bread as it contains key nutrients such as vitamins, protein and fibre. Serve the egg poached, scrambled or as a sunny side up over your toast.

     

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  •  Protein and fibre packed sandwiches or wrap
    6 / 12 Protein and fibre packed sandwiches or wrap

    The straightforward way to replenish what you have lost after a vigorous workout. Sandwiches or wraps consisting of lean meat like grilled chicken and ham with cheese can be a rich source of protein to maintain your muscle mass. Whole grain bread and wraps are also better options as they not only have more nutrients but also provide you with energy that will last. Top it up with tomatoes and lettuce to fulfil your daily intake of vitamins and fibre. This simple to-go meal is perfect for when you are pressed for time after your workout.

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  •   Peanut butter and banana
    7 / 12 Peanut butter and banana

    One tablespoon of peanut butter coupled with a medium-sized banana adds up to no more than 300 calories. The fat content in peanut butter is also a quick way to meet your body’s fat requirement, which are essential to absorb vitamins. And of course, bananas have plenty of protein, potassium and carbohydrates for you to refuel quickly. You can always pre-make these so that you can reach for it right away after your workout.

    (Also read: Make Peanut Butter Your New Favourite Healthy Food! Here’s Why)

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  •  Salmon with a side of vegetables
    8 / 12 Salmon with a side of vegetables

    Not all fats are bad for you. Associated with benefits like regulating cholesterol and improving cardiovascular health, omega-3 fatty acids can be found abundantly in fatty fish like salmon. Furthermore, there is no lack of protein in salmon for quick recovery. If you need something more filling, throw in some brown rice and it should keep your stomach satisfied for a while.

    (Also read: More Reasons to Love the Superfood Salmon)

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  • Nuts
    9 / 12 Nuts

    If you don’t have time to prep a full post-workout meal, grab a handful of nuts to quickly replenish your carbohydrate and protein levels. Aside from fibre to decrease cholesterol, it also packs a powerful punch of minerals like magnesium and calcium which are crucial for energy production. This is a fuss-free way to quickly replenish your energy, but remember it should not replace a proper meal!

    (Also read: 8 Nuts That Are Good For You)

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  • Chia seed pudding
    10 / 12 Chia seed pudding

    The fibre found in chia seeds aids in weight loss as they keep you full for longer to prevent snacking and binging. Like eggs, chia seeds contain nine essential amino acids to speed up muscle repair and recovery after a workout. This refreshing dessert-like food is guaranteed to fill you up without sabotaging your diet plan.

    (Also read: Recipe: Make This Overnight Chia Seed Pudding In Minutes For Dessert Or Breakfast On-The-Go)

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  • Oats
    11 / 12 Oats

    Complex carbs are always a good choice to keep you satisfied for longer periods of time. Additionally, oats are also rich in iron – essential for your red blood cells to transport oxygen for optimum workout performance. The presence of vitamin B will also quickly replenish energy through conversion of carbohydrates. Top it up with some fruits or honey for a more tasty and satisfying meal.

    (Also read: 5 Delicious Ways To Add Oats Into Your Diet (Instead Of Boring Oat Porridge))

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  • Smoothie
    12 / 12 Smoothie

    For those who have trouble eating right after your workout, try having a smoothie that will be easy on your stomach. Rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, it is a quick way to replenish what you lost after a hard workout. On top of that, it will aid in reducing muscle soreness. Yummy and refreshing- a great way to end your workout!

    (Also read: Easy-peasy Healthy Smoothie Recipes)

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