After that heart-pounding HIIT session, refuel with high-protein, antioxidant-rich foods.
I’m always down for a good, sweaty workout, especially one that’ll burn a lot of calories and work up a sweat in a short amount of time. And one of the most popular fitness trends for two years running
Studies show that HIIT — short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by short rest periods — has been linked to weight loss, an increase in both aerobic and anaerobic fitness, and strengthening of muscles.
It’s also ideal for those short on time.
Yet if you’re adding HIIT to your routine to help you reach your fitness goals, it’s important that you pair it with the right nutrition. Refueling your body post-workout with the right types of foods aids in muscle repair and growth and can help to replace any energy that was lost during your workout.
Eggs are one of the best — and my personal favorite — foods after a workout. They’re a powerhouse of nutrition, with a significant amount of protein and healthy fats — around 7 grams and 5 grams respectively per egg.
Eggs are also considered a “complete protein” source. This means that they contain all nine of the essential amino acids, which have been linked to aiding in muscle recovery. Eggs also contain B vitamins, which can aid in energy production.
Blueberries are both delicious and packed with dietary fiber, vitamins, protein, and antioxidants .
All forms of exercise cause some type of oxidative stress, or an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body. For this reason, it’s important to include antioxidant-rich foods in your everyday diet.
What’s more, eating blueberries after a workout has been linked to accelerated muscle recovery time.
They can also be incorporated into your diet a number of different ways.
I’m a sucker for a good avocado. This wonderous fruit is rich in magnesium, which is excellent for muscle recovery. It also contains 14 percent of your daily value of potassium, which can help to regulate fluid balance and controlling electrical activity of the heart and other muscles.
What’s more, avocado is a great source of folate and vitamins C, K, and B-6, all of which are anti-inflammatory nutrients, which can help reduce inflammation in the body that may be caused by exercise-induced stress.
In short, this fruit is a great way to aid in HIIT recovery.
Green leafy vegetables
Much like blueberries, green leafy vegetables are part of my go-to post-workout food. They’re chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They’re also low in calories.
These types of vegetables are also high in antioxidants and can help to minimize the free radicals that may be released during HIIT training
Making sure your body is getting enough whole-food protein to help the muscle recovery process isn’t always easy or possible. In this case, I suggest looking to a high-quality protein powder, which can help support the body when muscle breakdown occurs during strength training or HIIT exercises.
Another positive when it comes to protein powder is the convenience factor. It’s a great grab-and-go option for those short on time, not to mention it keeps you fuller for longer.
The bottom line
Refueling your body with nutritious, whole foods after HIIT is essential to performance as well as recovery. Add one — or all! — of these foods to your post-workout snack to help with muscle recovery, protein synthesis, and ultimately, aid in your ability achieve your workout goals.