This is a sponsored post, brought to you by Australian Bananas.
Eating for recovery.
Contrary to popular opinion you do not need to be an elite level athlete to benefit from recovery eating post exercise. Not only does optimising your nutrition post workout help to restore and repair the body to be active again the next day, but your energy levels will be improved in general when you are eating the right thing after a workout.
Generally speaking both protein and carbohydrates are the crucial nutrients to help optimise your recovery after physical activity. The protein helps give the muscles the nutrients they require for repair and regeneration, while the carbohydrates act to restore the muscles glycogen stores. Getting the right mix of nutrition after exercise will also help to regulate blood glucose levels which in turn can help with hunger management and appetite control for the remainder of the day.
So if you are not sure what you should be eating after your workouts, here are some nutritionally balanced choices for whatever time you like to work out.
Early morning sessions
If you prefer to train first thing in the morning, your recovery meal needs to be substantial so you are kept full and satisfied all morning. Here you cannot go past a hearty breakfast shake or bowl of warming oats topped with banana to keep you fuelled all morning.
Banana Breakfast Smoothie
1 cup of your milk of choice
½ cup oats or bran-based cereal
Pinch of cinnamon
Dash of honey (optional)
1 scoop your choice of vanilla protein powder
3-6 ice cubes
1. Blend for a delicious, filling breakfast meal.
½ cup fruit free muesli or oats
½ cup mixed berries
½ cup Greek or coconut yoghurt
1 tbsp. pepitas
1 tsp. honey
1 small banana
1. Place yoghurt in a bowl.
2. Top with oats or muesli, berries and banana.
3. Serve with pepitas and a drizzle of honey.
If you often use your lunch break to fit in some exercise you will need to be on your nutrition game to ensure you are fuelled throughout the afternoon – a tuna salad will just not cut it. Rather a nutritious sources of carbs along with a hearty serve of good quality protein will keep you full and satisfied all afternoon.
Haloumi, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Chicken Salad
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2-3cm cubes (~200g)
600g pumpkin, cut into 2-3cm cubes
Olive oil spray
2/3 cup reduced fat Greek yoghurt
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. crushed garlic
350g chicken breast, cut into thin strips
150g haloumi, sliced
4 cups rocket & baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1. Lightly spray sweet potato and pumpkin cubes with oil and bake in pre-heated, fan-forced oven at 200°C, for 50-60 minutes or until cooked through. Set aside.
2. To prepare the dressing, mix together the yoghurt, 1 tbsp. lemon juice and 1 tsp. garlic.
3. In a bowl, marinate the chicken strips in 2 tbsp. lemon juice and 1 tsp. garlic.
4. Lightly spray a non-stick fry pan with oil and place over medium heat. Cook sliced haloumi for 1 minute on each side or until golden. Set aside and cover with foil to keep warm.
5. Using the same pan, cook the marinated chicken strips.
6. Gently toss together the mixed leaves, pumpkin and pine nuts; divide evenly into four portions. Top with a portion of haloumi, chicken and a few dollops of yoghurt dressing.
Late Afternoon Sessions
If early mornings are not your thing and you prefer to work out later in the day, your recovery meal may be your dinner. On the other hand if you still have more than an hour in between your workout and your evening meal, you will need a light snack to refuel your muscles and optimise your recovery – bananas are the perfect quick, easy and nutritious snack for this.
Banana Nut Bites
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup nut spread
Desiccated coconut for rolling
1. In a food processor or blender, blend the bananas, oats and nut spread. Place the mix into the fridge until firm – approximately 30mins.
2. Place some of the desiccated coconut on a plate.
3. Once the mix has set, roll tablespoon size portions into balls then roll in coconut.