If you’re tackling our Getfiredup Challenge – or if you’re just killing it during your normal workouts – you’re probably burning tons of calories and depleting your energy levels pretty intensely. You may not think about it, but getting enough protein after a workout is imperative in order to stay strong and get stronger. Of course, the exact amount of protein you need will vary depending on how long you rode, your age, gender and overall lifestyle.
Typically, a really short or light workout doesn’t require immediate refuelling, but 45 minutes of intense cycling with tap-backs and pyramids will leave you in need of a protein hit. Fast. But since you’re doing cardio, you actually need a bit less protein than you would if you were doing heavy strength-training.
On the days you are powering your way through a Ro’ride, we recommend trying to get at least 20 grams of extra protein. Women are recommended to consume 46 grams on a rest day, and men are supposed to aim for 56 grams. And whether you’re a man or a woman, you should start nibbling on that protein-packed snack quite soon. The ideal time to lock your best results in is within 45 minutes of completing your Ro’ride. The longer you wait, the less effective the protein will be at restoring your muscles and building them up.
As with almost any health-related questions, the idea of the “best” protein to have after a workout varies depending upon whom you ask. But the good news? There are actually loads of fantastic, healthy options for refuelling that will get you those extra 20 grams.
- #1. A smoothie. This is probably the fastest way to get the protein in, as it is absorbed into your bloodstream faster than with food. Go for one with protein powder or nuts.
- #2. Greek yogurt. This creamy treat is not just delicious but also packs about 20 grams of protein per serving.
- #3. Chia pudding. If you don’t feel like making this tasty treat yourself, you can easily grab one of the Strawberry Lemon Chia Seed Puddings from The Cold Pressed Juicery to have after class. They usually contain about 15-20 grams of protein, so you can get your fix easily.
- #4. Chicken. If you’re more of a savoury person, we suggest going for a half serving of chicken over a bed of greens. In just half a serving, chicken has about 25 grams of protein, so you’ll refuel easily.
- #5. Oatmeal with almond milk. As soon as you get home from the studio, we suggest stepping into the kitchen to whip up a quick oatmeal with almond milk. Together, the oats and almond milk will give you a little over 20 grams of protein. Perfect!
- #6. Hard boiled eggs. You have to eat a few of these (we aim for 3-4) to hit your quota, but sprinkled with some flaky salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil, hard boiled eggs are the perfect snack. Satisfying and efficient.
So, now that you know the best protein-rich snacks to munch on after class, you’re almost all set. Because you can’t forget about the carbs! In order to recover properly, you actually need even more carbs than protein, as carbs are stored in muscles and are used by your body to create energy. Carbs are actually the first thing depleted when you exercise. So, add sweet potatoes to your chicken, a slice of wholemeal toast to your hardboiled eggs or some bananas to your chia pudding. Then you can refuel, relax and get yourself ready for that next ride.