What do you usually eat after exercise?
After any workout, I MUST eat. I am not the kind of person who can wait long for a meal or snack after exercising. Over the years, I have tried many different snack and meal options for after a workout. While what I choose ends up depending on the time of day or if there is any food already cooked, I usually go for a smoothie.
This smoothie is so easy to make and does not require any protein powders (nothing wrong with them, but I personally do not advocate their use). The protein comes from the milk, Greek yogurt, and hemp seeds*. Consuming protein after a workout is important for tissue recovery and growth, but in actuality most Americans overestimate the amount of protein they need. Remember that any excess protein consumed by the body will likely be converted to and stored as fat.
After any meal, you must replace the carbohydrate that your muscles used for the exercise. This is especially true for cardio activities. But you also want to make sure that the carbohydrates are accompanies by plenty of fiber in order to prevent a spike in blood glucose levels. Berries are relatively low in sugar and higher in fiber compared to other fruits, plus are nutrient-dense. Pairing these with half a banana for sweetness and a whole grain is the perfect combination of simple and complex carbohydrates.
*More on hemp seeds aka hemp hearts: they do come from the hemp plant but do not contain the active TCH compound. Hemp seeds contain fatty acids that help fight inflammation and can help protect your heart. Lastly, hemp seeds will provide the smoothie additional fiber and protein, in addition to magnesium, vitamin A, and iron. Read this WebMD article for more detailed information.
You can find hemp seeds in most major grocery stores (even Walmart) as an alternative to flax seeds.
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 3/4 cup of mixed frozen berries
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup milk of choice
- 1/3 cup of rolled oats
- 1-2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- sprinkle of cinnamon powder (optional)
Relatively inexpensive ingredients. Buy frozen berries that have not been sweetened.
- Add the banana, berries, yogurt, and milk to a blender.
- If you have a low-quality blender, add about 1/4 cup of water. Otherwise, blend until smooth.
- Top smoothie with cinnamon powder and hemp seeds. Enjoy!
The cinnamon powder adds flavor and is also an excellent anti-inflammatory spice. Omit if you don’t like.
FINAL NOTE: I SOMETIMES ADD NATURAL & UNSWEETENED PEANUT BUTTER TO THIS SMOOTHIE IF IT IS GOING TO SERVE AS A MEAL. THE ADDED PROTEIN AND FAT FROM THE PEANUT BUTTER IS GOING TO HELP WITH SATIETY. AND IT ENDS UP TASTING LIKE A PB&J.