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November 03, 2017

This piece is brought to you by A3 Performance BA Blogging – Bad Ass Blogging by Bad Ass Brand Ambassadors. This piece was written by athlete and ambassador Matt Hutchins, a 2016 Rio Olympian and University of Wisconsin Badger.

To reach your maximum level of performance, being strong and consistent in your daily workouts is only half of the battle.  To crush it session after session, day after day, you have to fuel your body properly.       

Immediately after workouts you want to get protein into your body to start the process of muscle recovery and rebuilding. As you move further from workout, you want to eat good, healthy carbohydrates to help provide your body with sustainable energy. As always, make sure you are sipping on water throughout consistently after training. A good level of hydration prevents cramping and facilitates the entire nutritional process. Here is my recommendation for a quick, easy, and healthy post-workout meal plan.

 

1. Protein drink/smoothie. (5-10minutes after workout)

I know so many people who find it more difficult to eat solid foods after a tough workout. One of the best ways to get your protein in straight after practice is via a drink. The easiest way to do this is mixing whey protein formula and water and drink it straight away.

However, if you are able, to I highly recommend making a delicious smoothie. My favorite smoothie recipe is:

  • 300-400 ml of milk
  • 1 cup of mixed berries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 yoghurt (your choice of flavour)
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder

From this you have a great mix of foods all that are healthy and delicious post-practice. With the milk, protein powder, and yoghurt you have a great source of protein to help your muscles repair themselves after your workout. With berries and a banana, you have already got two servings for five-plus fruits and vegetables for the day.

 

2. PB and J Time (20-30 minutes after workout)

By the time you’ve made it home from your workout, your body is again in need of a dose of energy. This is where you can look for something easy and tasty. Enter the almighty PB & J sandwich!! Just get a few slices of wholemeal bread, spread one slice with jam and one slice with peanut butter (I always take extra crunchy). Put them together and you have a great snack that gives you a good amount of carbs to continue restoring your energy from your workout, and a little bit of protein in the peanut butter to continue muscle rebuilding.

At this point, don’t be afraid to have a snack that might be a little high in sugar.

 

3.  Meal Time

When it comes to meal time there are so many options. If you have more time to prepare a meal, that’s great, and it really opens up your options. As a college student, by the time I get home from evening workouts, I have very little energy to cook. A great quick meal option is chicken and pasta with a side of vegetables. The best part about pasta is that it is easy to cook in large quantities and easy to store. It’s a great option for someone who eats a lot of food or wants to keep some as leftovers.\

Another plus to pasta and chicken is that it’s so simple to cook. When both are cooked, mix them together and top with your favorite pasta sauce. I am a personal fan of carbonara sauce, but this is not really the healthiest choice, so the key is to find what works for you. Cheese and cream (white) based sauces such as Carbonara often have higher fat percentages. If you are trying to watch your fat intake try a tomato based (red) sauce. Some easy choices here are Marinara or Tomato and Garlic.  Once you have your pasta dish you may want to look for some more colourful food, like a side of vegetables. Broccoli and cauliflower are a great side to your dish as they provide a dose of vitamin C in your already nutritious meal.

If you have time to prepare a meal, do not overlook salmon. Fish in general is very lean protein and also provides all the best types of natural fats. When I was younger I was afraid to cook fish because I didn’t really know how to cook it. Now I have learned that there are so many ways to prepare it: baked, grilled, fried, or a combination of these. Before cooking a fish like salmon, it is important to have a look at a recipe to make sure you are cooking it properly. Once you have a well-cooked fillet of salmon, serve it on top of a cup of brown rice with a side of your choice of green vegetables. Again, you can use broccoli and cauliflower, or try to get creative with some salad ideas.

The important thing with food is to experiment and find what you like. There is so much food in the world and so many ways to cook it. If you eat the same thing day after day your body does actually begin to ignore the health benefits. if you can learn how to make five meals well, this will take the stress out of cooking and shopping as you have something you can prepare with very little effort.

This piece is brought to you by A3 Performance BA Blogging – Bad Ass Blogging by Bad Ass Brand Ambassadors. This piece was written by athlete and ambassador Matt Hutchins, a 2016 Rio Olympian and University of Wisconsin Badger.


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