We all know the feeling of a hard cardio workout – the endorphins are flowing, the heart is pounding, and the sweat is pouring. But what we put into our bodies after a cardio session is just as important as what we did in the gym.
It’s important to refuel your body after a cardio workout. The right foods will help your body to recover and repair and give you the energy you need to keep going.
So, what should you eat after cardio? This article will give you some ideas.
Why Post-Cardio Nutrition Is Important
Your body needs the energy to repair itself after a workout. Without the proper nutrients, your body will not be able to perform at its best.
Post-cardio nutrition is also essential for maintaining your weight. If you do not eat after a workout, your body will start to break down muscles for energy. This can lead to weight gain.
Granting that you are working out to lose weight, you still need to eat after your workout. If you do not, you will not see the results you want. Eating the right foods will help your body to recover and repair and give you the energy you need to keep going.
What To Eat After Cardio: Top 18 Choices Recommended
There are a few different options, but some of the best choices include:
1. Complex carbohydrates
Complex carbs are a great source of energy. They’re also slowly absorbed so they won’t cause a sugar crash like simple carbs.
Some good complex carb options include oatmeal, whole-grain bread, and brown rice.
Protein is essential for repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue. It’s also a good source of energy.
Some good protein options include lean meats, fish, eggs, and dairy.
3. Healthy fats
Healthy fats are an essential part of any diet. They help keep you full and satisfied and provide essential nutrients.
Some good healthy fat options include avocados, nuts, and seeds.
4. Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They’re also a great source of complex carbs and fiber.
Some good fruit and vegetable options include apples, oranges, bananas, leafy greens, and tomatoes.
5. On-the-Go Alternatives
If you don’t have time to sit down and eat a meal, some on-the-go options can help.
Some good on-the-go options include protein bars, energy bars, and fruit bars.
6. Post-Workout Supplements
There are a few different post-workout supplements that can be helpful. Creatine and protein powders are two of the most popular options.
Water is the most important nutrient of all. It’s essential for hydration and helps flush out toxins and waste products.
Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout.
Coffee is a great way to get an energy boost. It’s also a good source of antioxidants.
Just be sure to limit your intake to 2 cups daily.
Tea is an excellent alternative to coffee. It’s packed with antioxidants and has some health benefits.
Green tea, in particular, is a good choice. It’s been shown to improve fat burning and increase metabolism.
10. Coconut water
Coconut water is a good choice for hydration. It’s also a good source of electrolytes.
Many athletes drink coconut water after a workout for its electrolyte content.
Coconut water is a little sweeter than regular water, so it’s not for everyone.
Some people don’t like the taste of coconut water after a while.
11. Chocolate Milk
chocolate milk can be a good option to drink after a cardio workout as it contains a good balance of carbohydrates and protein to support recovery.
The carbohydrates in chocolate milk can help replenish glycogen stores, while the protein can help repair and rebuild muscle.
12. Protein shakes
Protein shakes are a convenient way to get extra protein into your diet. They can be flavored with water or milk, and they come in a variety of flavors.
For athletes, protein shakes can be a convenient way to get extra protein before or after a workout.
Protein shakes are also a good choice for people trying to gain muscle mass.
13. Meal replacement shakes
Meal replacement shakes are a good option if you don’t have time for a complete meal. They contain a balance of protein, carbs, and healthy fats.
Of course, you should still try to eat an authentic meal. Meal replacement shakes are just a convenient option for busy people.
Meal replacement shakes come in various flavors, so you can find one you like.
Soup is an excellent option if you want something warm and comforting. It’s also a good source of hydration.
Never mind that soup is an excellent source of hydration; it’s also packed with nutrients.
Soup is a good choice if you’re trying to lose weight because it’s filling and low in calories.
Soup is also a good option if you’re feeling under the weather. Again, the warmth and the nutrients can help you feel better.
15. Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is a good source of protein and calcium. It’s also high in probiotics, which are suitable for gut health.
16. Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is a good source of protein and calcium. It’s also low in calories and fat.
Post-Cardio Helpful Tips
A few things to consider when choosing what to eat after cardio. First, you’ll want to replenish your energy stores with some carbohydrates. Complex carbs such as oatmeal or whole grain bread are a good choice.
You’ll also want to include some protein in your post-workout meal. Protein helps to repair and rebuild muscle tissue that’s been broken down during exercise. Good protein sources include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products.
Finally, don’t forget to rehydrate with plenty of fluids. Of course, water is the best choice, but you can also drink sports drinks to replenish lost electrolytes.
Final Thoughts on What To Eat After Cardio
Cardio workouts are a great way to increase your heart rate and burn calories. However, it’s important to refuel your body afterwards with the right foods.
Complex carbs, protein, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, and water are all great choices. Choose foods you enjoy that will give you the energy you need to keep going.
Experiment and find what works best for you. Finally, and most importantly, listen to your body. It will tell you what it needs.