If you've just spent an hour in the gym you're probably having a serious case of the munchies right about now. Feeling peckish after a workout is your body's way of telling you to recharge your energy levels so you really shouldn't skip a meal.
It's a myth that eating straight after exercise is like replacing the calories you've just burnt off - your body is way more complicated than that!
A meal with quality carbohydrates, protein and some good fats (avocado and nuts), like a chicken salad with olive oil, would be a good choice to help your body repair muscles and re-energise.
However, most of us reach for snack-tastic foods that are nothing but empty calories. If you're ready to change your ways here are five common foods that you really need to avoid after a workout...your body will thank you for it.
Even if you're chowing down on brown wholemeal bread it's not enough to recharge your batteries after the gym. It's made of simple starch that quickly turns into sugar when it hits your stomach, so it doesn't provide any real nutritional benefit.
The best thing to do is avoid white bread completely and have one slice of brown with a fuller-for-longer topping like peanut butter or bananas.
Your cereal box may say it's low in fat (which may be true) but if you take a closer look at the salt and sugar content it's probably quite high. Some cereals have been proven to contain more sugar than a chocolate bar! Instead, stick to natural yoghurt with granola or swap your cereal for a fresh fruit salad.
3. Fried Eggs
Normally, eggs are good for you because they're full of protein and choline which is good for heart health. But when eggs are thrown in a frying pan with loads of fatty oil the sat-fat levels go through the roof. Stick to boiled or scrambled eggs for a healthier option.
Croissants may be tempting after a pre-work session, but they're high in saturated fat which won't help your muscles recover from the strain of the treadmill. Refined flour, sugar and fat is just going to make you feel bloated and hungry again in the space of 30 minutes.
Stick to wholegrains like porridge and peanut butter on a slice of wholemeal toast.
It's important to check what is actually going in to the smoothie you're drinking. Some places will throw whole fruit pieces into a blender so you can trust that what you're getting is natural, but others will use fruit juices from concentrate that massively up the sugar content.
Always avoid frozen yoghurt and ice cream and, if in doubt, hold fire and have a black coffee, green tea or a glass of lemon water when you get to your next pit stop.
What are your favourite post workout snacks?
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