Exercising hard will deplete your body of the fuel (aka food) that you have consumed. However, even if you don’t feel hungry directly following activity, it is important to get food into your body within 45 minutes. This time frame after exercise is when your body is most productive in utilizing the fuel. The specific fuel that your body requires after exercise is protein and carbohydrates. This is because your muscles store energy in the form of protein and glycogen. While exercising, your body breaks these energy storages down, depleting your muscles of necessary fuel to perform. Therefore, it is important to refuel your body with protein and carbohydrates after a basketball game because those are what your muscles need for recovery (mensfitness.com).
A common excuse for not eating well is that “healthy food is too expensive”. This is true to some extent. Fresh fruit and vegetables can be very expensive, along with labels that boast their “organic” quality. However, the goal of this post is to prove that eating healthy does not have to break the bank. Specifically, having a nutritious and hearty meal after a basketball game can be affordable.
Protein packed, wholesome carbohydrate filled, and affordable foods:
(Prices reflect those at Walmart as of 8/30/16)
- Canned black beans
- < $1 (15.25 oz can)
- Frozen vegetables
- ~ $2 (12 oz bag)
- Ground turkey
- ~ $5 (16 oz)
- < $1
- Sweet potato
- ~ $1
- Canned Tuna
- ~ $1 (5 oz can)
- < $5 (24 oz jar)
- Whole wheat wraps
- ~ $3 (bag of 10 wraps)
Ideas for meals:
- In a whole wheat wrap, combine cooked turkey, frozen corn, black beans, chunky salsa, and lettuce.
- Instead of in a wrap, put turkey, frozen veggies, black beans, salsa, and cheese on top of a bed of lettuce
Loaded Baked Potato
- Mix tuna and yogurt (preferably low-fat Greek) in a bowl with salt and pepper.
- Bake or microwave a potato until it is cooked, and scoop the insides out.
- Mash together the inside of the potato with the tuna/yogurt mixture, and divide the mixture into the potato shells.
- Top with a dollop of salsa
Loaded Sweet Potato
- Cut a baked or microwaved sweet potato in half and add a scoop of peanut butter.
- You can also sprinkle nuts on the top.
For more information on what to eat after exercising, see the link below: