Eating nourishing food after exercising is essential to replenishing all the energy your body burnt while working hard. But you don't want to just grab the first thing you find in your pantry. You'll want to choose foods that are high in bioavailable protein (meaning the protein is ultra-effectively metabolized, absorbed, and used in your body) to help rebuild muscle tissue and replete with simple carbohydrates that boost your energy. Does it already feel like we're asking you to complete an impossible task? We have seven recovery food combinations that are easy to make and taste great!
Eggs are the standard of bioavailability (egg protein is used as the scale by which bioavailability is measured); they also command all your favorite foods to stick together. Double the protein punch by adding some fresh, organic ham slices to eggs whisked in milk, then add veggies and spices to taste before you bake them in muffin tins. If you're craving something sweeter, try egg-white muffins mixed with jam and fruit. For extra energy, add oatmeal into that recipe.
Keep in mind the number of eggs you use per muffin tin mold truly depends on your fitness goals, as a moderate calorie deficit will lead to fat loss over time while a calculated calorie surplus can contribute to muscle gain.
When hard-boiled and scooped out, you can fill eggs with tomato salsa, which perfectly fits the post-workout snack bill as a bioavailable-protein-meets-simple-carb pairing. If you want to leave the yolks in, simply add ketchup atop those yellow mounds — ketchup is largely tomatoes and sugar.
Carve out large fruits like melons, papaya, and even apples into bowls. Fill them with yogurt, another excellent source of bioavailable protein, and top everything with goji berries and blueberries for an additional boost of energy. If you're not a yogurt fan, try spirulina mixed with one to two bananas for a similar texture.
Baked Whey Protein
Whey protein is another excellent source of bioavailable protein, and it's quite versatile. While not quite as high on the scale as whole eggs, whey protein has an abundant range of amino acids that are effectively absorbed into the body. From protein pancakes to actual cake, your portal to whey paradise opens a whole lot of possibilities.
Try blending your caffeine (coffee, tea, or matcha) with a scoop of whey protein and a tablespoon of honey for a drinkable and incredibly easy-to-digest postgym snack.
Mix whole fruit, such as strawberries, pineapples, kiwis, and raspberries, with protein powder or yogurt and call it a day. If you love that extra sweetener in your morning smoothie, start with cinnamon instead and watch your cravings dissipate with every straw sip. I like to drink two cups of frozen mango mixed with one scoop of egg white protein, six to eight ounces of almond milk, and one tablespoon of cinnamon.
Deli Meat and Fresh Fruit
A reliable after-sweat food strikes the perfect balance between simple carbohydrates and highly bioavailable protein, but that doesn't mean spending hours in the kitchen to prepare a quick snack. It's as simple as grabbing four ounces of deli turkey and and an orange, six slices of ham and a cup of grapes, or a serving of pastrami and two small plums. Keep deli meat and fresh fruit stored in plastic bags — the quicker you can consume these fast-absorbing foods after you work out, the better.