Top Post-Workout Recovery Meals

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When you work out, your diet is just as important as the exercises you choose. The Ironman website recommends eating within 30 to 60 minutes after a workout, because this is the period when your body absorbs nutrients the best. It is also the ideal time to replace your glycogen, energy that comes from glucose. The best post-recovery meals are those that help reduce inflammation, repair muscle damage and give you energy.

5 Whole Wheat Pita with Hummus

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Hummus is full of protein that’s great for your muscles, while the fiber in a whole wheat pita will keep you energized and satisfied for hours. For a meal that’s a little more filling, tuck leafy greens and a lean meat inside the pita. Or, enjoy the hummus and pita with an assortment of fresh veggies like celery, carrot sticks, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and cauliflower.

4 Salad

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Salads made with dark leafy greens are a good source of fiber, calcium and antioxidants. Give the greens some extra flavor with a berry vinaigrette made with extra virgin olive oil. For something a little more filling, add your favorite nuts, seeds and lean meat like chicken breast.

3 Antioxidant and Omega-3 Smoothie

Antioxidants are essential for repairing muscles, decreasing soreness and reducing inflammation, according to Active.com. The Ironman site shares that Omega-3 fatty acids also reduce inflammation and help keep your heart healthy. Get a boost of antioxidants after a workout by making a smoothie with low fat yogurt, tart cherry juice, a bit of fresh ginger and a handful of your favorite frozen berries. Then add a tablespoon of ground flax or chia seeds to the blender before you mix the ingredients.

2 High-Protein Pasta

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High-protein pasta is a favorite go-to meal because the carbohydrates help replenish your glycogen levels after a workout. Add some tomato sauce to get a dose of heart-healthy lycopene. Active.com shares that high-protein pasta and other foods that are rich in carbs are great for endurance training. While the carbs give energy, the amino acids in the protein help repair and build muscles.

1 Black Bean Soup

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Your post-workout meal should include 10 to 20 grams of lean protein, according to the Ironman site. A cup of cooked black beans has 15 grams of protein, 15 grams of fiber and 40 grams of carbohydrates. The fiber will help you feel satisfied until your next meal and the carbs will give you the energy that you need. Plus, black beans have muscle-repairing antioxidants. Give your bean soup an extra kick with fresh cilantro and a dash of your favorite hot sauce.

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