We all know that protein has a key role in building muscle in the body and helping repair muscle strain and tear. As a result of exercise, the body enters an anabolic state, and this is when muscular reconstruction occurs. Your body will benefit from a plentiful supply of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) that allows this process to take place at optimal levels. Consuming a small high-protein snack in the half an hour following exercise gives the body the nutrients it needs.
We often think of protein animal foods or shop-sold protein powders, but there are a huge amount of plant-based options too. It is key not to solely consider protein, but also incorporate carbohydrates in the form of fruit and vegetables that provide fibre, antioxidants and energy for your wider needs and ongoing health. Below are some ideas for your post-exercising snacking with tips and tricks for wiser choices.
Plant based high-protein snack
A handful of nuts: choose from walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, cashew nuts, small packet of peanuts. These should be preferably in their natural form – and unsalted.
A handful of seeds: choose from pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Often we don’t find seeds highly palatable, but companies such as Munchy seeds http://www.munchyseeds.co.uk/ and own brands now sell seeds dusted with delicious flavours such as chilli, honey or vanilla. Suddenly seeds become more-ish!
Humous with sliced carrot, pepper, celery, cucumber – you name it! The more colourful the more antioxidants.
Protein bars and ‘bounce balls’ found at http://www.bouncefoods.com/uk/ and health food shops. These products don’t contain unnecessary sugar whilst marketing as high protein – they are simple just high protein!
Fruit (UK grown) with a handful of nuts or a small natural yoghurt (coconut or soy). UK grown fruit sadly sees a lot less sun than fruit flown in from warmer climates (such as tropical fruit), but less sun means less sugar so choose from our local produce, and this includes rich red and purple berries, high in antioxidants and delicious enveloped in creamy yoghurt. These can be bought frozen and used at any time.
Protein powders – buy a shop-bought smoothie or similar (again not tropical fruit based because it will be very sugary) and add protein powder such as: http://www.highernature.co.uk/Products/Hemp-Protein?AgentID=422276&gclid=CIKHppSf3KsCFUMKfAodKgh5Og
OR MAKE YOUR OWN – See Below
Super protein smoothie:
1 tablespoon plain sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon goji berries
Place all these in a small bowl and cover with water, leave to soak for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Once soaked, place ingredients in a blender with half an avocado and a small ripe banana and blitz with a small amount of coconut milk (or a milk of your choice) to loosen.
Finally, add to the mixture a teaspoon of chlorella or spirulina (these can be bought in health food shops or in supermarkets such as Aldi
1-2 teaspoons of hemp protein powder
Add more milk until you have the desired consistency.
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