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The best post workout foods

Congratulations- you’ve pulled on your trainers and made it to that gym class, or out for a run. We all know the benefits of regular exercise, not just for our bodies and long-term health, but for our mental health, too. But what's the best way to refuel your body after your workout, without undoing all your hard work?

What you eat after you exercise is almost as important as the workout itself. Eat the right foods and it will help you recover quicker, repair and build up muscle and replenish your energy stores ready for your next session- giving you the boost you need to reach your health and fitness goals.

The key is to choose nutrient-packed foods that are easy to digest-so you can start benefiting from those nutrients as quickly as possible. Proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats all help support and promote your body’s recovery post-exercise, and eating a combination of these food groups will not only provide you with a good variety of nutrients, it will enhance your performance the next time you work out. Drinking plenty of water after exercise is also important to help you replenish the fluids and electrolytes you sweat out and optimise your recovery.

Here’s a guide to what you should be tucking into after your next gym session and why, along with some healthy recipe ideas for satisfying snacks and meals for you to make at home. This article provides lifestyle advice only. For specific medical advice about diet or exercise you should always speak to your doctor or a medical professional.


What to eat after a workout


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Carbohydrates provide the body with energy and are stored in our muscles as glycogen. When you exercise these glycogen stores are used for fuel, so eating carb-rich foods afterwards will help replenish them and kick-start your recovery process. This is especially important after doing any kind of endurance training, such as running, swimming or cycling, when you typically use more energy than you would doing resistance work.

Look to foods like sweet potatoes, quinoa, potatoes, oats, whole grain pasta and rice, whole grain bread or fruits like pineapples, kiwis, berries or bananas to help you boost your energy stores.

Here are some deliciously healthy post workout snacks and meals to give you your carb fix, all of which are easy to make using your Kenwood products:

This vegan banana bread is a great low fat, high carb treat. Toast and top with some nut butter for a bonus hit of protein and healthy fats. Freezing individually wrapped slices means you’ll always have some healthy snacks to hand.

Serving up a carb and protein double whammy, these chocolate and peanut butter granola bars are quick and easy to make in your stand mixer and contain far less sugar than shop bought versions. Perfect for packing in your gym bag to enjoy after a class.

With the addition of antioxidant-rich butternut squash, eating these comforting butternut squash and quinoa hotcakes with coriander pesto will help reduce any inflammation and speed up recovery post exercise.

Quinoa is a real nutritional powerhouse that’s high in protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. Use your food processor to make this tasty citrus quinoa salad with seed crisps.


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Eating protein after exercise gives your body the amino acids it needs to help repair and build your muscles.

Protein-rich foods include eggs, Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese, salmon, chicken and tuna. And while there have traditionally been concerns that vegan diets can lack protein, there are plenty of versatile plant-based foods that boast a high amount of protein per serving, including tofu, seitan, lentils, beans, peas and quinoa.

Use your Kenwood products to make these protein-packed snacks and dishes:

Chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein, and these falafel with tahini sauce make an easy, satisfying snack or lunch.

Soaking the oats for this autumn bircher overnight will make them easier for your body to digest, while using your MultiPro food processor to quickly prep the rest of the ingredients the next morning makes this an easy healthy breakfast option. Serve with Greek yoghurt.

High in protein and rich in omega-3 fatty acids (which are thought to help reduce muscle soreness), salmon is a superfood that should be on every gym-goer’s menu, especially if you lift weights regularly. Using your Cooking Chef XL’s steamer basket will help preserve the nutrients as you cook this tasty, salmon quinoa and sweet potato burgers.

Made using lentil flour this flavour-filled lentil pasta is an excellent recovery meal and tastes delicious too. You can make the pasta in advance and whip up a pasta sauce with any leftover veg.

Served with a poached egg, these chickpea vegetable pancakes make a really filling breakfast, lunch or dinner. They are made using gram flour, so as well as being high in protein they are gluten-free too.


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Whatever your health goals are, fats play a vital role in your body’s recovery after exercising. A source of essential fatty acids, they also help your body absorb certain vitamins. However not all fats are created equal; think nuts and dried fruits over sugary snacks and fatty cuts of meat. And even healthy fats should only be eaten in small amounts-eating a snack or meal containing too much fat will make it harder for your body to absorb much needed nutrients.

Good sources of healthy fats include avocados, nuts, nut butters, seeds and dried fruit. A handful of nuts or trail mix, or slices of apple topped with nut butter are all healthy and convenient snack options. Or why not try one of these recipes, specially developed by our Kenwood chefs and guaranteed to satisfy any post-workout cravings:

For on-the-go goodness, grab some no-cook peanut butter energy balls. Made by blitzing nuts, oats, seeds, medjool dates and peanut butter together in your food processor, they will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge.

Avocado has joined the healthy eating A-list in recent years, due to the fact it’s an incredible source of healthy fats and fibre, along with a number of vitamins and minerals. If you’re looking to refuel with a filling breakfast after your workout, why not try these brunch crumpets, served with sliced avocado and crispy bacon, and topped with an egg.

Easy to throw together, this quick pesto pasta is the perfect meal for when you’re eager to fill up and fuel tired muscles after you’ve worked out. Pesto is made using pine nuts which are a great source of heart-friendly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, both of which help to improve cholesterol levels.

Preparation is key

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Fuelling your body with the right nutrients before and after your workout will maximise your performance and your recovery, and help you to see the benefits of the time you invest in keeping fit. Key to helping you make those healthy choices is planning ahead. There's no better way to fight off post-workout cravings than making sure your kitchen is full of healthy snack and meal options- and having a selection of homemade snacks that you can reach for on the way out of the gym will make you far less likely to grab a slice of pizza or chocolate bar on the way home.

You can find more healthy eating recipes to make with your Kenwood products here.