Not sure about the best post workout snacks for your plant-based diet? Keep scrolling for healthy alkaline snacks your body will love.
Working out is a great first step in maintaining health and fitness, but what you consume is an equally important aspect of your routine. Some think that they can simply exercise away an unhealthy diet or work out tons and not eat enough to support that level of energy exertion.
Both sides of the spectrum are detrimental, but balance can sometimes feel elusive.
How do you determine how to properly fuel your level of activity with all the contradictory information out there? Some say don’t eat before working out, some tell you to bulk. Some people promote whey protein and egg white shakes while others point to all whole foods (whether vegan or paleo or some combination of the two).
I personally find it overwhelming to navigate through all this information and prefer to keep it simple–eat well, eat enough, and eat in a way that keeps your body functioning efficiently.
Veganism aside, I turn to the concept of acidity versus alkalinity when determining what foods will keep me feeling healthiest. What this means, in a nutshell, is that certain foods create an acidic environment in the body, while others maintain neutrality or promote alkalinity. Acidic foods (meat, refined flour/sugar, alcohol) tend to foster disease while alkaline foods (non-starchy vegetables, nuts and seeds, and low-sugar fruits) can help combat it.
As many popular post-workout supplements contain ingredients from within the acidic side of the spectrum, I turn to various combinations of alkaline ingredients as an alternative.
Not only do I prioritize free-radical-fighting, unprocessed whole foods, I also aim for a mixture of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins–all necessary elements for post-workout recovery.
Here are a few of the best post workout, muscle-building, energy-increasing snacks and meals that will keep the body alkaline while also facilitating optimal muscle, bone, and cardiovascular health.
– Banana and raw almond butter shake (blended with unsweetened nondairy milk)
Bananas provide quickly digestible, natural sugars while the almond butter is a clean source of fat and protein for muscle recovery. Bananas are also rich in potassium, which will help fight any exercise-induced cramping.
– Sprouted hummus and sprouted bread
Sprouted grains and legumes are easier on the digestive system and more alkaline than non-sprouted, plus they contain lots of protein that the body knows how to break down better than animal-derived alternatives. The two components also have lots of fiber to keep you full for a while after an especially strenuous workout.
– Cacao avocado pudding (pureed with unsweetened nondairy milk and agave or another low-glycemic sweetener)
Avocados are anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy thanks to their combination of fiber and monounsaturated fat. Their fats also facilitate your body’s absorption of other vitamins. Cacao is good for muscle recovery and can also increase circulation. It has restorative carbohydrates and probiotic fiber, as does agave.
-Cherry chia pudding
We all know cherries have lots of free-radical fighting antioxidants, but they are also said to help reduce DOM (delayed onset muscle soreness), which assists with a quick and easy recovery, making them one of the best post workout ingredients you can find! Meanwhile, chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein.
-Baked or steamed sweet potato with tahini
Sweet potatoes are high-glycemic, so they provide quick energy. They are also vitamin-rich and fibrous, while creamy tahini is a delicious source of fat and protein that pairs well with the root veggie.
-Tempeh and greens stir-fry
Soybeans are already one of the more alkaline vegan protein sources as it is and are even better when fermented (like they are in tempeh). Green, non-starchy veggies are great for maintaining a healthy metabolism and give you a dose of carbs without spiking blood sugar.
If you haven’t ever considered alkalinity when choosing your post-workout feeds, now might be the time to start. You might find yourself feeling better, recovering quicker and working out harder.
What the best post workout snacks in your opinion? How do you restore your body after a sweaty gym sesh? Let us know in the comments below!
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Photo: Viktor Hanacek via PicJumbo