To help your muscles recover and to replace glycogen stores, have something to eat immediately after you exercise. The snack or meal you have after exercise should contain a mix of carbohydrates and protein. A bagel is a good post-workout meal as long as you serve it with a high-protein food.
Eat a solid food, like a bagel, approximately one to three hours after you have finished exercising, according to registered dietitian Sharon Howard.
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The carbohydrates in the meal will help give you energy to perform the next day and they will replace any glycogen you may have lost during your workout. The protein in your post-workout meal helps build muscle and repair damaged muscle tissue.
According to USA Swimming, after every exercise session, athletes should consume approximately 1 g of carbohydrates for every kg of body weight. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a medium bagel contains 55 g of carbohydrates and 11 g of protein.
Bagels are a convenient post-workout choice because they are very portable. Prepare a bagel with a high-protein spread or load it with lean cuts of lunch meat, such as turkey, chicken breast and ham.
Spread options for the bagel may include fat-free cream cheese or peanut butter. Choose to eat whole-grain bagels over bagels made from refined flours. Whole-grain bagels take longer to digest and have less of an effect on blood-sugar levels.
During a 2010 study published in the Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, eating a low-carbohydrate meal after exercise increased insulin sensitivity more than consuming a high-carbohydrate meal in study participants.
Insulin sensitivity causes the body to take sugar from the bloodstream into the organs and can be a precursor to serious diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, according to Science Daily.
- Science Daily: "What You Eat After Exercise Matters"
- USDA Nutrient Database: "Bagels, multigrain"
- USA Swimming: "Foundations of Coaching 101: Nutrition for Athletes"
- ESPN: "What to Eat Before and After Exercise"
- Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology: "Metabolic and hormonal responses to body carbohydrate store depletion followed by high or low carbohydrate meal in sedentary and physically active subjects"