No matter how healthy some supplement bars are advertised to be, enough studies indicate that many are just as unhealthy as chocolate bars. Because these bars are high in sugar content and are ultra processed, they may be more likely to stimulate weight gain. It’s not all hopeless, though – just check the ingredients list when choosing an energy bar and go with the ones made from real foods.
The best time to grab an energy bar may be before your workout to pump you up with some quick energy, but the right bars (with a good balance of carbs and protein) can be just as beneficial post workout.
OK, this one comes as a surprise to most of us. While raw veggies (like cut up carrots and celery) make for awesome low-calorie party snacks, turns out raw vegetables aren’t enough to feed your hungry muscles.
What you can do though, is pair them with dips rich in protein. Pile those carrots up with some fresh hummus for a perfect post workout snack.
Salty and processed snacks
Craving a salty snack after your workout? Totally normal, seeing as you’ve burned off some calories and depleted your body’s stores of glycogen. The problem is, eating salty snacks like chips and salted nuts may create an imbalance of potassium in your body. Additionally, not only are chips salty, they’re highly processed.
Choose healthier options like potassium-rich bananas and oranges instead of salty snacks. The more natural, the better.
Don’t make the mistake of rewarding yourself with a cheeseburger after a long workout. Let’s keep in mind that the whole point of joining the gym and getting healthy goes hand in hand with reducing your intake of fatty foods. Eating fast food only puts you more at risk of high cholesterol and heart problems.
Some may tell you that junk food actually helps you build muscle and put on some mass. To an extent, sure. But for your overall health, longevity and quality of muscle gain, you’re much, much better off with a protein-packed smoothie than a cheeseburger.
Alcohol and soft drinks
While sugary drinks may give your body nothing but a sugar rush, alcohol just dehydrates it. Neither of them have anything substantial to contribute to your body.
In fact, while soda can cause bloating (no one needs that) alcohol disturbs the quality of your sleep – something that’s extremely important for your body when recovering after a workout.
What’s even more alarming is that excessive alcohol consumption may impede muscle repair. In other words, it’s just not worth it.