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10 Foods You Should Never Eat After A Workout

10 Foods You Should Never Eat After A Workout

You’ve just hit the gym for an hour, or maybe you just came back from a long run. You need a post-workout snack because of all the nutrients you’ve lost, but are unsure of what to eat. Here is a comprehensive list of foods you should never eat after a workout, regardless of how much you might be craving them.

1. Raw Vegetables

Yes, you did read that correctly. While raw vegetables are essential to a healthy and balanced diet, they are not what you need straight after a workout. This is because you’ve just lost a great deal of vitamins, minerals and nutrients whilst exercising, and raw veggies simply aren’t substantial enough to supplement them. This is maybe the only time where such low calorie foods actually work against you. You need extra protein and fiber in order to replenish your stores and help to repair muscle tissue. So by all means, have some raw vegetables post-workout–just make sure you balance it with other types of food. I recommend combining them with hummus or a delicious yogurt-based dip.

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2. Pastries

As previously mentioned, the body needs fiber after a workout. It also needs high-quality carbs in order to replace the glycogen in your system. Despite the fact that pastries contain both of these things, they are certainly not the right choice for a post-workout snack. Pastries are full of unhealthy carbohydrates as well as salt, sugar, fat and calories. Instead, opt for wholegrain or multigrain toast or some raw nuts.

3. Milk Chocolate

This may seem a bit obvious, but a great deal of people find that they crave chocolate or something else sweet after exercising. This is because they have lost sugars during their workout and their body is telling them that they need more. Ignore this urge! Milk chocolate is full of bad fats and glucose–both of which are terrible for your health. If you’re craving something sweet, have some fresh fruit. Or if you really can’t control that chocolate craving try a piece of dark chocolate instead, preferably 70% cocoa or higher. Dark chocolate contains a great deal of of antioxidants that not only fight free radicals in your body, but also work as an anti-inflammatory, which is what you need after a workout.

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4. Fast Food

Another obvious one, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. Similar to sugar, salt is something you can crave after a workout. Again, this is because it needs replenishing in your body. It can be tempting to grab something quick and easy such a burger or fries, but they will be detrimental to your diet. You won’t be replacing the right kind of fats or salts in your body, and you’ll be adding a large dose of bad trans fats. In addition, you’ll be undoing all of the great work you did during your exercise. As an alternative, try a potassium-rich banana or some avocado.

5. Salty Snacks

You need to avoid these for exactly the same reasons as fast food. Those potato chips may seem tempting, but what you really need is to replenish those potassium stores. Step away from the Doritos and hold tight to the aforementioned banana.

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6. Sugary Snacks

Your body may be craving sugar after a workout, but that doesn’t mean that you should be reaching for a bag of candy. Besides the obvious high calorie issue of sugar-filled snacks, there is another important reason to avoid them. Sugar isn’t only high in calories, it’s also known for slowing down your metabolism. So basically you would be doing double damage to your diet and negating all the hard work you just did.

7. Energy Bars

I know, I know–energy bars are known for aiding your workout! Although this is true, they’re only beneficial before exercise. This is due to their high sugar levels, among other things, which makes them great for a pre-workout because they increase your energy levels. However, post-workout, they will slow down your metabolism and make it difficult for you to fall asleep. This is a huge problem if you’re a nighttime exerciser.

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8. Soda

In addition to all of the aforementioned damage that high sugar contents food and beverages can do, there is another reason to avoid soda after a workout–they make you bloat. You need to hydrate after exercise, and soda won’t help you with that. Water all the way.

9. Cheese

Highly processed and fat-filled cheese are a terrible choice for a post-workout snack, regardless of how delicious they are. If you really need a cheese fix, opt for a low mozzarella on multigrain toast. But use sparingly!

10. Fried Eggs

In general, eggs are a fantastic source of protein and choline (which is needed for a healthy heart) after you exercise. However, frying them up is a mistake. This is because they usually get fried in butter or oil, both of which are saturated fats. In order to get the most out of your eggs without damaging your health, either boil them or have them raw in a protein shake or smoothie.

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Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

ablab

    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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