As Career Girls, we expend a lot of energy throughout the day: rushing from home to work, to meetings, to the gym. So it’s important to fuel yourself properly. Not only for work but for workouts too. Choosing the right foods to fuel your exercise is seriously important. So, after you’ve worked up a sweat, make sure you’re not undoing all your hard work by grabbing something full of bad stuff. Here’s our guide to eating smart after your workout.
Thanks to their yellow jacket, it’s easy to carry them around your bag just in case you need a pick-me-up.
Composed of mostly of fiber and sugars, like glucose and fructose, bananas are a great source of energy because they keep you full. Bananas are full of the good carbs you definitely need after a workout. They also help repair damaged muscles! Wonder-fruit! Include them in your smoothie or slice one in your morning oatmeal and you’ll be ready to go.
While eggs are famous for its source of protein, what most people underestimate is that they will have you power walking throughout the day. Eggs provide up to 30% of your daily value of protein and replenish your energy with all the right nutrients. Whether poached, scrambled or boiled, add this super ingredient into your meals and you’ll feel the difference in your energy levels.
If you’re in need of a quick burst of energy (and yes, to satisfy that sugar craving), reach out for a glass of chocolate milk. A glass of chocolate milk after your workout is a great recovery drink to restore energy, thanks to the amount of several B-complex vitamins which are essential in converting food into energy. You can even mix some chocolate protein powder into your after-workout shake. Scientists back this all the way!
The high fiber content in lentils slowly burns throughout the day, keeping you full while stabilizing your blood sugar levels. High in iron, lentils aid in the transportation of oxygen throughout your body, which is key in keeping your energy levels high. Adding a handful of lentils in your salad or pasta at lunch would do the trick.
Although this legendary root is more popular in the East, you’ll be surprised to find that ginseng (known as Panax quinquefolius) is a great mental and physical energy booster. Besides being an essential ingredient in fighting fatigue, ginseng is known to improve cognitive function which helps you think clearly throughout the day. Not sure where to start? Sip on ginseng tea or check out your Asian market and get cracking on this easy ginseng chicken soup recipe.
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 small whole chickens
2 roots of dried ginseng, washed
7-8 chestnuts, peeled
9-10 red dried dates, rinsed
1/2 cup Korean sticky rice (chapsal), washed and drained
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 inch piece ginger, peeled and cut in half
9 cups water
2 chopped scallions for garnish
Salt + pepper
Stuff the chickens with the sweet rice, chestnuts and garlic. Use toothpicks if you need some help to keep the stuffing in the birds. In a large soup pot, add stuffed chickens, ginseng roots, dates, and ginger.
Pour water to cover chicken
Bring up to a boil. Turn heat down to low simmer.
Cook about 1.5 – 2 hours or until the thigh bones come off easily. Don’t cook so long that the chickens start to come apart. They should stay intact.
Skim fat from time to time during cooking.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with scallions to serve.
Written by Carissa Morais and illustrations by Junior Springer for Career Girl Daily.