Quick Shrimp with Spinach (and post workout nutrition)
Anybody else out there been doing the Crossfit Games Open workouts? They are certainly a challenge for me, but we are having fun giving them a try every week. A really hard workout requires the right kind of nutrition for muscle recovery. Even when a workout is so hard that it leaves me a little nauseated, I know it’s important to eat. The key to reaching your fitness goals has a lot to do with how you fuel your body. I use real food pre and post workout and never do any of those protein shakes.
Why is post workout nutrition important?
When you push yourself during a workout, you are actually breaking down muscle. Your carbohydrate and muscle protein stores also start to become depleted with high intensity exercises. All the magic happens after you are done working your muscles while they are recovering. It’s important to give them the proper energy to get the repairs done. The post-workout window is also a time where your muscles are insulin sensitive and can use carbohydrates the best. By fueling post workout you not only help decrease inflammation and cortisol, but recover much faster.
So, what should you eat?
If it’s a high intensity workout session (like a crossfit workout), then carbohydrates and protein are what your body’s looking for. How much carbohydrates and protein you need will vary widely depending on your sport, size, training intensity, length of workout, and goals. The longer and more intense the workout, the greater the need for carbs. My favorite carb after a long workout is some sweet potato. For shorter workouts, I opt for non-starchy carbs (think green).
How soon should you eat?
As soon as possible! Opinions vary, but the suggestions I see most range from 30 minutes to an hour post workout. We’re not talking a three course meal; just some protein and carbs to start the recovery process. Having foods prepared ahead of time is something we all need to get in the habit of doing. This can mean having hard boiled eggs on hand, pre-chopping fruits/veggies, or loading up on jerky, dried fruit, roasted sweet potatoes/squash, or even canned pumpkin. Those are just a few things you can even take to the gym with you.
Here’s what I ate after one of the crossfit open workouts. It was a short workout (under 20 minutes), so I opted for some spinach and mushrooms as my carbs.
- 100 grams of shrimp (about 3 ounces)
- 1 cup of mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups of fresh spinach
- 2 teaspoons of ghee or coconut oil
- salt to taste
Melt your ghee or coconut oil over medium high heat. Throw in your mushrooms and cook until they start to release some moisture. Now throw in your shrimp and stir until they start to turn pink. Add in your spinach and cook until it’s wilted. By this time your shrimp should be done. Season to taste with some sea salt.
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