Lifestyle

How to refuel after a workout on a vegan diet

Refueling after a workout is really important. When you push your body you deplete stores of energy and water that you need to replace in order to allow your muscles to recover efficiently. If you don’t get enough protein, nutrients and carbohydrates after fitness – that can make you feel really rubbish. Which isn’t what you want after a tough sesh in the gym. But how do you manage effective recovery on a vegan diet? Can you take enough protein on board in a short space of time? It is possible to get more than enough protein on a vegan diet – you just have to make sure you have done your research and make smart choices. Particularly after working out. ‘It’s important we understand, one of the main reasons for consuming protein from a training perspective, is to repair and build muscle tissue,’ says Greg Cornthwaite, specialist at Embody Fitness. ‘If we don’t get optimal amounts, then our muscles will take longer to repair and may atrophy (get smaller). ‘When designing a nutrition plan for a vegan it’s important we ensure they get the full amino acid profile, especially the essential amino acids.

‘Two to three grams of leucine per meal will optimise protein synthesis. This will be essential as you will be breaking down your muscle tissue during your training session. ‘Vegans can get leucine form soybeans, navy beans, and other legumes,’ says Greg. He also says that vegans can top up their levels of this essential amino acid through the use of vegan protein supplements.’

The best vegan meals after a workout Hydration should be your first go-to after a workout. Once you’ve quenched your thirst, here are some good vegan options for a recovery meal – suggested by Sonal Shah, Nutritionist Resource member. ‘After a work out, ensure you continue sipping on water as you still need to be hydrating the cells of your body. Especially if you trained intensively and sweating. ‘The best meal after a workout is one that contains some carbs and protein to replenish the lost energy stores. ‘Opt for a green smoothie with coconut water, milk of choice and some superfood greens such as spirulina or moringa powder and a portion of fruit blended in for sweetness or a protein powder of choice. ‘If you choose not to add a scoop of vegan protein powder you can add in hemp seed protein or blend nuts and seeds. ‘Bread with a sourdough or rye or gluten-free, with some healthy fillings of choice is also a healthy and quick option. ‘Have a spread of choice; hummus, nut butter, coconut butter, and fill with salad vegetables of choice. Sweet peppers, cucumber and some leafy greens. Also roasted vegetables are another tasty option. ‘For breakfast, try porridge made from oats or another flour. Add nuts and seeds to boost the protein. And some fresh fruit to sweeten.’