It’s difficult to dodge the sweet allure of candy at this time of year.
Grocery stores practically become a labyrinth of boxes filled to the brim with sacks of individually wrapped temptation, and you may even have a bag or two squirreled away in a cupboard awaiting trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31.
Reaching for just one fun-sized bar following your workout wouldn’t be such a bad thing, you tell yourself. After all, the promise of a small post-exercise treat can often give you the oomph to go that extra mile, sometimes quite literally. It’s the carrot, so to speak, at the end of the stick.
It’s true that having a healthy snack after you exercise is essential to restore the proper nutrients, carbs, and proteins your body needs to function. Most trainers suggest having a healthy snack within 45 minutes of a workout to help you:
- Reduce the effects of muscle protein breakdown
- Boost the growth of your muscle proteins
- Regenerate your glycogen stores
- Speed up recovery times
But the operative word, here, is healthy. And all of the peanuts in the world can’t negate the caloric triple threat of caramel, nougat, and milk chocolate.
But don’t give up the ghost, just yet. There are plenty of healthy treats that can satisfy your sweet tooth without wreaking havoc on your exercise routine.
Here are just five examples of some phenomenal post-exercise treats:
- Almond butter coated apple slices: Of course, candy apples are a seasonal staple, but this variation on the Halloween classic is a delicious alternative that culminates with a satisfying crunch.
- Smoothies: Simply toss some assorted fruits, soy milk, and a few ice cubes into the blender and you’re off to the races. Or try this recipe for a peanut butter and banana concoction that would make Elvis proud.
- Popcorn: Low- or no-fat popcorn is a festive whole-grain snack that is great to replenish your glycogen storage, and it satisfies that “blind-reach into a candy bowl” urge, as well.
- Chocolate milk: It may not be that chocolate bar you’ve had your eye on since September, but this sweet treat will hit the spot, nonetheless. Better yet, it provides a much-needed dose of carbs post-workout, as well as 8.5 grams of protein (per 8 oz. glass).
- Herbal tea: What better way to relax on a cool, crisp autumn day after a vigorous workout than a nice cup of herbal tea? After you cool down from exercising, steep some peppermint tea to relax your muscles, or try some chamomile to create a calming, Zen-like sensation. Just don’t reach for the sugar bowl. Opt for honey, instead.
The trick to post-exercise treats? Mix things up a little. Snacks don’t have to be boring or flavorless. Use your imagination and keep yourself motivated. Fitness Together Ellicott City can help. Give us a call at (410) 750-2228.