What To Eat After You Pump Some Iron: Best Post-Workout Foods

Summertime means swimsuits, which means many of us are realizing it is now time to dust off that gym membership and get ready to show a little more of ourselves than we usually do. Granted, in Houston, this season lasts about six months. But if anything, that is merely impetus to get into better shape and stay there.

Getting into shape is impossible without proper diet and nutrition, though. Simply not eating is the worst possible way to go about losing weight. Rather, smaller meals spaced more frequently throughout the day is the prime way to jump-start your metabolism and start burning fat.

Combined with physical exercise, proper nutrition is what will allow you to attain your goals. After you work out, your body is basically screaming for protein and complex carbs, and within the first hour after your work out is the prime window to replace essential nutrients and build lean muscle.

Here are some of the best post-workout foods you can get your hands on.

5- Greek Yogurt with Granola

Greek yogurt is packed with nutrition, being particularly high in protein while low in sugar, and granola contains the complex carbs you need to help replace some of your lost glycogen. Add some fresh fruit into the mix for some fiber.

Nutritious and delicious, this one is hard to beat. This is also a great breakfast on the go to get your metabolism started right for the day. Remember, coffee is a stimulant, not energy. Real energy comes from calories.

4- Whey Protein Shakes

You can find a number of good whey protein mixes, but a lot of the stuff you find in the health sections and grocery stores is fairly high in sodium and sugar. Make sure to look around for one that skips the salt -- it's just going to cause you to retain water, which is the opposite look you are going for when you are gripping and ripping it in the gym.

You can also make smoothies with protein powder and fresh fruit. I sometimes even add some to cereal for an extra protein kick.

3- Salmon and Brown Rice

The common theme of every entry on this list?

Protein and complex carbs. These are basically the building blocks of a healthy metabolism, fat loss and building lean mass.

Baked salmon and some simple brown rice fit the bill perfectly. Salmon also has the essential fatty acids which are so good for your heart and brain.

2- Chicken Stir-Fry

Lean meat packed with protein, vegetables filled with vitamins, minerals with high fiber contents and some whole-grain rice is a hard mix to beat for a post-workout meal.

Add a little soy sauce for some needed sodium and you have yourself a wonderful, rejuvenating meal.

1- Egg Whites and Chocolate Milk

Sounds weird, certainly, but albumen contain ridiculous amounts of protein and in one of the best forms possible to eat. Egg whites are a true power food.

Chocolate milk is the recovery drink of choice for a lots of athletes. High in protein and carbs and with just a bit of sodium and sugar, chocolate milk provides muscles with ample energy to metabolize.

Whatever you do, don't be afraid to eat. That's the number one thing. Without proper nutrition your body gets torn down and there's nothing to rebuild it with.

Stick with high protein, complex carbs and lots of fiber, and you will be feeling pretty damn good.

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