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After a good cardio workout you need something to help resort your energy. Protein is a great option, but that doesn’t mean you need to rely on protein bars. There are a number of delicious snacks that offer a great source of protein and are easy to find in your local grocery store. Here are just five awesome post-cardio snacks.

Peanut butter

peanuts great food for post workout

Peanut butter is an awesome post-cardio snack. You can put peanut butter on whole wheat crackers, graham crackers, apple slices, 12 grain bread or even eat it straight from the spoon. Either way, peanut butter packs 8 grams of protein per serving.

Is peanut butter healthy? Five facts for muscle building and weight loss.
In the morning as an addition to muesli, at lunchtime on a sandwich, in the evening as a delicious dip for chopped fruit. And because it tastes so delicious, you can also spoon your peanut butter straight from the jar as a snack between meals. Peanut butter is just as addictive as chocolate. And it makes you twice as happy. Not because the tryptophan content is higher than in the delicate melting from cocoa beans. No, it’s more because you can snack on the creamy spread from the USA without any regrets. After all, peanut butter is healthy, right? Here are five exciting facts.

1. peanut butter is a protein bomb
Nothing comes from nothing, especially if you want to build muscle. Sure, training is essential, but it’s only half the battle. It has been known for a long time how appropriate coordinated sports nutrition is for the formation of muscle mass. Your workout ultimately shapes your muscles. First, however, you have to create the basis for this with your nutrition.

Muscles increase in volume when you strain them to the breaking point. These good tears in the muscle fibers become noticeable the day after training as muscle soreness. Your organism repairs the slight damages by incorporating amino acids into the tissue. As a result, the muscle strengthens again but does not shrink again. And where does your metabolism get these amino acids? That’s right, from protein-rich foods. Peanut butter is high on the list of the most protein-rich foods.

2. the potassium it contains fills your glycogen stores.
From a biological perspective, potassium is one of the electrolytes. Along with magnesium and calcium, it fulfills important tasks in metabolism and is therefore essential for survival. The specific functions of the mineral include:

– the regulation of the water balance
– the regulation of blood pressure
– the maintenance of the elasticity of your blood vessels- as well as the elasticity of your muscles

Therefore, a potassium deficiency inevitably leads to muscle weakness and a general lack of drive. Most important for athletes, however, is that the production of ATP for your muscles would not be possible without the electrolyte. Muscles need fuel in the form of glucose. Only with potassium can your muscles store glucose in the tissue and produce ATP from it.

3. thanks to arginine, you become more efficient
It is pretty similar to the semi-essential amino acid arginine. Semi-essential? It means that your organism produces it partly by itself and that you can take it in with your food. Did you know that nuts, especially peanuts, are the best source of arginine? Especially in the metabolism, arginine takes over numerous essential functions, for example:

– Formation of collagen and protein
– Detoxification of the body via urea
– Production of growth hormones
– Strengthening of the immune system- Promotion of blood circulation

The last point is particularly relevant for increased performance. Increased blood circulation transports more oxygen to the brain and your organs. This boosts your reaction time and your ability to think.

4. magnesium strengthens your bones
Calcium and vitamin D are considered the most critical building blocks for strong bones. Scientists are convinced that an additional magnesium intake increases the effect of both substances. Therefore, it is crucial to have the right balance of minerals. Studies have shown that a magnesium deficiency leads to a reduction in the calcium concentration in the bones. You don’t have to worry about this by reaching for peanut butter every day.

5. Vitamin E strengthens your immune system and nerves.
When was the last time you were sick? If peanut butter is on your daily menu, you may not even remember because the vitamin E it contains is a natural booster for your immune system. In addition, nothing can get you out of your mind in a hurry. The power food for your cells makes you fit and strengthens nerves. So why is trail mix considered an adequate nerve food? Because picking the little nuts out of the bag has a calming effect? Maybe, but the main reason is different: nuts contain a lot of vitamin E, the result of which is similar to a calming tablet.

Related: Top healthy breakfast ideas to start you morning off right


best post workout foods

Smoothies are another wonderful option. A smoothie made with low-fat or fat-free yogurt, ice and your favorite fruit is a great option after an intense workout. You may even want to add additional protein powder. You can also opt for almond milk in place of the yogurt. Almond milk is low in fat and calories, but offers a great source of protein.

We’ve rounded up the best DIY recovery smoothies for any workout and your healthy diet. So whether it’s for weight loss or building muscle mass, you’ll find the perfect recipes here:

You’ve run, biked, done bodyweight exercises, or lifted weights-you’ve worked out until your muscles burned. Now it’s time to replenish those stores. Forgo processed energy drinks full of artificial colors and unhealthy ingredients-prepare your own fresh, natural, and nutrient-rich sports drink.

Enriched with only healthy ingredients, homemade sports drinks support post-workout recovery and prevent post-exercise cravings. So whether you want to build muscle or lose fat, there are tasty thirst-quenchers for every type of fitness:

For muscle building
Protein is essential to stimulate muscle growth and make you stronger after your strength program. However, you can do without the protein powder with the right ingredients for a healthy diet. Instead, natural protein sources like nut butter, raw cashews, Greek yogurt, and chia seeds are used. These foods will fill you up and replenish your energy stores. Timing is most important here: make sure you get your protein shot two hours after your workout so the protein can help your muscles regenerate. Generally, we consume protein most often at dinner, which is why you should also treat yourself to a fortifying smoothie for breakfast for more energy.

What happens in the body directly after training?
Intensive training units demand a lot from the body. The result is depleted energy stores, destroyed muscle structures, and the minor muscle injuries, which can later become noticeable as muscle soreness.

The body repairs the damage caused in the subsequent regeneration phase and adds another “buffer” to be better equipped for the next intensive load. This effect is also called super-compensation, and it is the basis of all training.

To optimally support the body in this phase, you should eat and drink something shortly after the end of the workout. Immediately after a strenuous exercise, the body is in an excellent position to utilize nutrients supplied through food.

You can think of it as the brain thinking, “Damn, that was hard – I should take whatever I can get now to repair any damage as quickly as possible.”

If you take advantage of your body’s increased “recovery readiness” right after a workout, you’ll be more quickly recovered and ready for the next strenuous training session. That’s why you should get into the habit of going to the kitchen first for something to eat and drink after a workout instead of the bathroom – your roommates might resent you for this, but sometimes as a runner, you have to think of yourself first.

Eating and drinking after training – this is what you should pay attention to

The timing
Depending on the source, the optimal time window for the recovery snack is in the first 15, 30, or 60 minutes after a hard training session. To be safe, the sooner, the better.

By the way, you’ve completed a “hard” training session when you’ve gone beyond your comfort zone while running and were flat at the end. After slow and short recovery runs or after runs in the basic endurance range, a special post-workout snack is just as important as four Powerbars and two bottles of Gatorade on a Sunday walk.

Related: 10 top fat burning juicing recipes for busy people

Trail mix

trail best food for after workout

Trail mix is another great option after a cardio workout. You can package individual servings of store-bought trail mix or you can make your own. There are number of high protein nuts and seeds including almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and pecans. You can also add dried fruit for a sweet, low-fat taste.

Energy supplier, concentration aid, practical snack. These are why trail mix is still popular centuries after its creation. The secret lies in the composition of nutrients: vitamins, minerals, starch, fiber, and unsaturated fatty acids provide abundant energy and support critical bodily functions.

Initially, the trail mix consisted only of almonds and raisins. The name, which dates back to the 17th century, refers to wealthy students, one of the few population segments who could afford the expensive snack. The almond was also said to have a soothing effect for symptoms of alcohol consumption.

In the U.S., trail mix is celebrated on August 31 with “National Trail Mix Day.” However, as the mix is known primarily as an efficient energy supplier, particularly favored by hikers, the name “trail mix” was coined in English-speaking countries.

Today’s trail mix usually contains roasted peanuts, cashews, almonds, and raisins. Walnuts, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds are also used in some combinations. The nuts and kernels have a lot of unsaturated fatty acids, which are converted by the body into energy, which is essential, especially when doing sports or concentrating on work or studies. In addition, the protein they contain supports muscle building and regeneration after physical activity.

Multiple sugars provide steady energy.

Dextrose or foods that contain a lot of refined sugar are often consumed before special efforts, be it exams, essential work tasks, or tournaments. However, since this simple sugar, glucose, can only be converted into energy in the body with the help of insulin, a high intake leads to a high increase in insulin in the blood. This reduces the ability to concentrate.

Glucose is also found in raisins but is only required by the body in small quantities. In contrast, the polysaccharides in starchy foods such as nuts are slowly broken down with the help of the dietary fiber they also provide and gradually released into the bloodstream. This causes blood sugar levels to rise more slowly but remain at an elevated level for longer.

Trail mix as a source of nutrients

On average, 100 grams of peanuts and other nuts contain about 15% of the recommended daily dietary fiber intake. Their starch content is also relatively high. In addition, walnuts provide calcium, B vitamins, and folic acid, suitable for nerves, skin, and hair. Almonds contain exceptionally high potassium levels, which act against high blood pressure and thus benefit the cardiovascular system. The tryptophan in cashews is essential for the production of serotonin, which makes you happy. And sunflower seeds provide many other vital nutrients such as zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins A and B.

Raisins and other dried fruits contain vitamin A and B, iron, calcium, sodium or potassium, and fiber. However, both nuts and dried fruit should be enjoyed in moderation: The high-calorie nuts are very high in fat. Although they contain mostly “good” unsaturated fatty acids, a dose of 60 grams of fat per day should not be exceeded. The high sugar content in dried fruit should also not be underestimated.

Fruit salad

fruit salad great post workout food

Fresh fruits are a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals. You could create a fruit salads using a variety of superfoods including blueberries, oranges, and kiwis. You could then toss in some strawberries and any other fruit you enjoy.

Apples contain the natural pigment creacitin, which is positive for oxygen uptake and can thus positively influence performance increases in the endurance area. Also, muscle regeneration, which is essential for adequate growth, can be improved by Kreacitin. In addition, an apple contains numerous essential amino acids, for example, L-arginine (approx. 7 mg per 100 g) or L-glutamine (approx. 12 mg per 100 g).

The banana is an excellent energy supplier and has been eaten for decades by athletes before or during sports. Bananas are rich in minerals such as magnesium or calcium and also contain muscle-building amino acids such as L-arginine (approx. 55 mg per 100 g) or the amino acids of the BCAA group L-isoleucine (approx. 37 mg per 100 g) or L-leucine (approx. 87 mg per 100 g). In addition, the complex carbohydrates contained in the banana provide the energy as mentioned earlier and make the banana an excellent fruit before your workout.

The pineapple is particularly interesting when defining your muscles because the pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain, which has a diuretic effect. This leads to dehydration in the body, which positively influences the visibility of the muscles or the muscle division. Among other things, this supports the achievement of a “six-pack”.

Melons, especially watermelons, are incredibly low in calories and have a low energy density (about 39 calories per 100 grams). Due to the high water content, melons are perfect thirst quenchers, especially in summer, and generally an ideal snack during a diet or definition phase. The watermelon also contains numerous vitamins and minerals such as calcium, potassium, and iron.

Conclusion: Fruit and muscle building belong together!

You can support your training and make your diet rich with the right fruit. Of course, fruits can also be supplemented: How about a mixed fruit salad with curd cheese and honey, for example? The important thing is to add variety to your diet and include seasonal fruits and vegetables!

Low-fat chocolate milk

Last, but not least, one of the most recommended post-cardio snacks is low-fat chocolate milk. Low-fat chocolate milk offers a great balance of nutrients that aid in recovery. More importantly, chocolate milk is a lot less expensive than protein shakes and powders. Best of all, it’s easy. All you have to do is grab a bottle from the refrigerator and enjoy. If you don’t like chocolate, you can also get low-fat strawberry, vanilla or even banana flavored milk.

There are a number of snacks that offer a quick boost of energy after an intense workout. Whether you want a quick bottle of chocolate milk or a delicious bowl of fruit salad, these snacks can help you recover. Best of all, they are a lot less expensive than those fancy drinks, bars, and powders on the market.

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The top 5 amazing post-cardio snacks for heart health and muscle repair
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