You probably know the best foods to eat after a workout, but do you know the worst foods to eat after a workout? I know that getting in a good exercise session can leave you feeling like you need and deserve a reward. I’m here to tell you that the reward should never be food. You don’t want to totally undo all the hard work you just finished, right? So forgo these worst foods to eat after a workout when you leave the gym and you can continue feeling virtuous all day long.
Yes, a workout can leave you feeling thirsty and tired, so a good dose of sugar can be something you really crave. I’m no different, believe me. However, soda is loaded with calories and is one of the worst foods to eat after a workout (or drink, as the case may be). A jumbo size from the gas station can easily cancel out all the calories you just burned on the treadmill. Soda is also too high in sugar, which can give you a temporary energy spike, but you’ll feel worse when the effects wear off.
The lure of the closest fast food place is often hard to avoid after you hit the gym. However, you should skip it at all costs. That’s because, much like soda, it’s just too high in calories to be beneficial. Not only do you undo all your work, but a fatty meal slows your digestion, leaving you sluggish and cranky, which can lead to the very fat storage you’re trying to eliminate.
If you’re sure I can’t be credible, I promise there is science to back this one up. While vegetables are definitely low in calories and perfect for satisfying your nutrient needs while helping you maintain a healthy weight, they just don’t have enough to refuel your body after a workout. Carbs and protein are what you need after you exercise, so nibbling on veggies isn’t giving your body the chance to recover properly. Keep the veggies for meals, but skip them immediately after you exercise.
I almost always reach for potato chips when I have a serious salt craving, but they’re not good for me then, nor are they ideal after a workout. You don’t lose enough salt in a typical workout to need dramatic replenishment. You can likely get the sodium you need from your protein and carbs. Plus, too much salt can deplete your potassium supplies, which your body needs after exercise for recovery.
Again, pizza is way too high in calories to be a good post-workout choice. Not only that, but it’s very high in fat and salt, both of which can hinder adequate recovery after exercise, as I mentioned in the foods above.
I know you’re thinking carbs, but pastries are the wrong kind of carbs. They’re super processed and loaded with fat and calories, not to mention tons of sugar. Stay away from Danishes, doughnuts, muffins and the like after you exercise. Your body will thank you and you won’t totally undo your hard work.
Sure, you can get some carbs and protein from a huge plate of nachos on your way home from the gym, but are they really doing your health any good? I love nachos as much as, if not more that, the next person, but they are too high in fat, salt and calories to be any good after you exercise.
What’s your favorite post workout snack? Nuts with string cheese, yogurt with granola and chocolate milk are ideal, according to the experts.
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