Power-packed post-workout meals

During a grueling training session, your muscles take a thrashing that needs a little extra TLC post-workout. While a hot shower and massage may soothe your muscles' surface, a well-balanced carbohydrate- and protein-packed post-workout meal can help restore your muscles from the inside out.

"When you exercise, you basically create little tears in your muscle tissue. As they heal and grow, they get stronger," said Lisa Esposito, a registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute in Illinois. "Supplying protein within the first 30-minute window after exercise helps enhance that recovery and growth process." Providing carbohydrates with the protein enhances this effect even further while replenishing used glycogen (energy) stores.

Take advantage of all the hard work you put into your training by giving your body what it wants and needs to help it regenerate stronger, leaner muscles. Feed your muscles these simple post-workout meals made up of a balanced combination of protein and carbohydrates.

Roast beef, swiss and cranberry spread sandwich

Tart cranberries, rich in phytonutrients, add zesty flavor to this hearty roast beef and savory swiss sandwich.

2 ounces roast beef
1 slice Swiss cheese
1 tablespoon cranberry spread
2 slices whole-wheat bread

The good stuff
22 grams protein
36 grams carbohydrate
8 grams fiber
10 grams fat

Tuna salad sandwich

High in both vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, tuna's versatility works in both salads and sandwiches -- or a combination of the two. Pair tuna salad with whole-wheat bread for additional fiber and carbohydrates.

2 ounces tuna
2 teaspoons mayo
2 slices whole-wheat bread

The good stuff
21 grams protein
28 grams carbohydrate
8 grams fiber
10 grams fat

Previous power-packed post-workout meals:
• Black bean and 2-percent shredded cheese wrap
• Hummus and veggies on whole-wheat pita
• Fruit, yogurt and nut wrap
• Whole-wheat PB&J sandwich
• TLR wrap

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