Morning my health nuts!
Are my greetings getting too ridiculous?? Be honest, please.
Before I get too into my post, I just wanted to call attention to 3 things!
- I have started a Recipage located here. You’ll also find a link on my Recipes page and sidebar. Basically it’s searchable database of all my recipes that are categorized by ingredient, diet, cooking method and course. So please do check it out if you haven’t already!
- I finally started using Pinterest to it’s fullest potential. I had a personal account a while back but stopped using it, then I created one for my blog, but hadn’t been pinning that much. But now I am, and I make a much more interesting person to follow because of i t;) So feel free to follow me, I’d be honoured :). I’m also on twitter….just sayin’…Links are on my side bar—>
- I’m participating in Alex from Spoonful of Sugar Free‘s Sugar-Free Challenge! That means I won’t be eating any added sugar or sweetener for the next 10 days. All recipes posted here during the challenge will be completely sugar-free without added sweetener, including stevia! Although fruit is allowed so dates may make an appearance.
So instead of the usual “What I Ate Wednesday” this week, I thought I would instead post about my post-workout nutrition and some things I’ve been trying out! I think it totally fits in with the theme of “Sensible Snacking” Jenn has decided on for this month. It’s in your body’s best interest to fuel and “snack” properly when exercising and being sensible about it ensures your body recovers faster, can work harder and you’ll ultimately see greater improvements and be healthier!
So this is…
What I Ate Wednesday: Post-Workout Sensible Snacking!
Since I’ve stopped focusing so much on the calories-in/calories-out balance that seems to be a huge focus of health and weight loss these days, eating following exercise has been a no-brainer. You’re tired, legs feel like jelly and are just a little sweaty. Cold refreshing water and some re-energizing eats are top on my priority list. I didn’t put much thought into what I was eating until recently and it seriously has made a huge impact! I don’t get nearly as sore the next day and my muscles don’t feel super tired for the rest of the day. Most simply put- I bounce back from my workouts better thus improving all subsequent workouts. Sweet!
Some key things to consider about your post-workout snack/meal:
- Following exercise your body has trouble digesting due to lack of energy, so a smoothie is a good option- your blender has done some of the work for you. This also means that less blood and energy will have to be diverted to your stomach meaning more can be put into recovering from exercise (clearing lactic acid from the blood, removing other wastes, delivering nutrients, etc.)
- The meal should be a good balance of easily-digestible protein, omega-3 fatty acids, simple and complex carbohydrates and lots of vitamins and minerals. These all work synergistically to help restore glycogen stores (the muscles storage of glucose for fuel), repair soft-tissue damage and rehydrate the body.
- Choose alkalizing foods. The body produces lactic acid during exercise so eating acid containing foods will reduce the body’s ability deal with it and this leads to muscle stiffness and pain. It also creates fatigue! Acidic foods will also create nutritional stress which will divert energy from the exercise recovery process. I talked about this here.
- Should be within 1 hour of exercising.
Now onto the food!
First here are some products I’ve recently tried and loved for post-workout nutrition!
This is something I’ve been using a bit and I am really loving it. It’s Vega’s Recovery Accelerator. According to Vega this product “features a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein, a combination shown to increase muscle glycogen re-synthesis—a crucial component of post-workout recovery.” It also contains ingredients that work synergistically together to reduce recovery time and support the body in repairing tissue, reducing inflammation and replenish electrolytes. It doesn’t have a high protein content so it meant for immediately following exercise, followed by a higher protein meal or snack. Guys, this stuff is awesome, I notice a huge different when I use it. Unfortunately though it’s a little pricey so I don’t think I’ll buy it all the time. If you see it though, definitely try it out!
This is a North Coast Natural’s Raw Hemp Smoothie Powder in Chocolate. I got a sample of it when I ordered some other food items and loved the look of the nutrition stats!
I don’t know if you can read that but there’s hemp protein, a whole food fibre complex, spirulina, chia seeds, sprouted broccoli and probiotics. This blended up with a banana, frozen raspberries and some coconut water (for electrolytes) or just water made for a really quick, easy and delicious recovery smoothie that is easily digestible and packed with protein, omega 3’s carbohydrates and electrolytes. It is definitely one of the best hemp-centered protein powders I’ve tried. It’s gluten-free too! That being said, I like to play around with my own flavours and ingredients in smoothies and this powder’s flavour is over-powering and doesn’t allow for hand selected ingredients to create a performance-enhancing smoothie. I mean you could add your own stuff in a long with the powder, but then it’s just getting complicated which defeats the purpose of a smoothie mix right?
Now for a recipe!
Because I want to rely on post-workout fuel that focuses on things that are in my pantry (and are a little more economically friendly) I focused on the criteria listed above and created a delicious, super-recovery smoothie that is both refreshing, satiating, alkalizing and delicious!
The ingredients I included are: Sunwarrior Vanilla Protein Powder (or hemp seeds), coconut water, chia seeds, banana, goji berries, maca powder, spinach and spirulina.
You might notice some of these are similar to ingredients in the pre-workout snack I discussed the other day, but that’s because they are awesome :)
- Sunwarrior Protein Powder/hemp seeds: easily digestible raw protein that’s easy for your body to break down and aids in muscle repair
- Coconut water: full of electrolytes to help replenish your body
- Banana: simple and complex carbohydrates and electrolytes
- Goji berries (from last post): contain polysaccharides called lycium barbarum which are very effective detoxifiers and reduce inflammation in the body.. The help remove lactic acid created by our muscles during exercise and help the body adapt to stress. . Goji berries also have sesquiterpenoids which stimulate production of Human Growth Hormone, which helps build muscle!
- Maca (from last post): provides energy and promotes quick regeneration of fatigues muscle tissue and the adrenal glands. Therefore it will help muscles recover and improve strength!
- Spinach: high in chlorophyll which is an anti-inflammatory and aids in blood cleansing
- Spirulina: Rich in antioxidants to help eliminate free radicals (oxidants) produced during exercise. It’s high in vitamin A which is important for cell and tissue renewal (building muscle), high in the B vitamins which is important for glycogen storage (replenishes muscles’ stores of glucose which is important for the next workout), high in iron and B12 which is important for oxygen delivery and high in minerals like calcium, magnesium and sodium which are involved in muscle contraction and overall function
- You’ll also notice this is a blended meal which allows more of the body’s energy to be diverted to recovering!
And now for the recipe!
Post-Workout Recovery Smoothie (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Raw)
This smoothie has a great balance of protein, omega-3s and carbs and is packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. The banana and goji berries give it a great flavour and the coconut water adds sweetness without any added sugar. Drink after a workout for an easily-digestible post-workout meal!
Makes 1 smoothie.
- 1 banana, sliced and frozen
- 1 cup coconut water (or water)
- 1 large handful spinach
- 1 tbsp goji berries, soaked (I get them soaking before my workout and they are soft by the time I’m done)
- 1/2 scoop raw protein powder, OR your favourite protein powder (I use Sunwarrior Natural Warrior Blend) OR 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp maca powder
- 1/2 tsp spirulina
- a couple ice cubes if you like frostier smoothies
Blend it all up until smooth and enjoy!
This smoothie is widely variable too! Want a more fruity smoothie? Sub in some frozen berries for some or all of the banana. Change up the protein powder flavours or add in some nut butters. This smoothie is your canvas.
I’ve been drinking this, or variations of this smoothie like crazy lately. So how’s that for some serious “Sensible Post-Workout Snacking”?
That’s it for me today everyone! Have a lovely Wednesday!