Actually, the best time of the day to eat your favorite candy is right after exercise. Sugar in candy helps athletes and fitness enthusiasts replenish their muscle glycogen stores, promoting muscle recovery and athletic performance.
Sugar supports muscle recovery
Eating candy after strenuous exercise is beneficial for athletic performance because they’re usually packed with sugar.
Although the general population is highly advised to consume fewer than 25 grams of sugar on a 2,000-calorie diet, athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and active people have increased their daily energy needs.
Actually, the best time to eat your favorite treat is right after exercise. At that time, sugar won’t make you gain weight.
Muscle glycogen stores are depleted after exhaustive exercise. Loading up on sugar, which is easily metabolized, helps replenish muscle glycogen stores.
The body has improved insulin sensitivity after a workout, supporting the replenishment of muscle glycogen. This process is key for improved athletic performance, muscle recovery and growth.
What you eat right after exercise is key for muscle recovery. Also, the frequency, amount and quality of carbs play a vital role in recovery. More tips about muscle glycogen replenishment at this article.
Prefer eating candy with fruits
Candy with fruits may be beneficial for athletes, as they may have some nutritional value.
Besides sugar, fruits are excellent dietary sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. All these compounds are necessary for recovery and athletic performance.
Certainly, consuming whole foods is the best way to take advantage of their health benefits.
In fact, many treats contain berries. Berries are among the few foods naturally high in resveratrol and anthocyanins. These compounds have potent antioxidant properties. They help neutralize exercise-induced oxidative stress. Not fighting free radicals can lead to fatigue and impaired athletic performance.
As fruits have so many benefits for athletes, you should incorporate them into your daily eating habit.
You can easily consume fruits by drinking fruit juices or smoothies, though. Also, great post-workout snacks are oatmeal with berries or Greek yogurt with fruits.
You could even combine oats with yogurt for a lean body. The combination of oats, yogurt, and fruits is particularly beneficial for weight loss and muscle growth.
Benefits of eating candy with dark chocolate after a workout
A guilty pleasure for many athletes is chocolate or chocolate hazelnut spreads. For instance, Nutella can have beneficial effects on certain athletes with increased energy needs.
However, dark chocolate can be much more than a treat for satisfying your desire for something sweet.
Dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao solids is very nutritious. It’s packed with fiber, iron, zinc, and magnesium to name a few health-promoting compounds. Athletes should get adequate amounts of these.
Are there any healthy post-workout sweets?
There are many recipes for easy, quick and healthy desserts with dark chocolate. For instance, you can prepare oatmeal bars with dark chocolate, seeds, nuts, or berries in bulk. Eat this snack after the gym instead of an unhealthy candy.
Not only do chocolate bars satisfy your sweet tooth, but also they have great nutritional value.
Another great time to eat chocolate is in the evening. At that time, most people have cravings for fattening foods.
Benefits of eating sweets with seeds & nuts
Moreover, you could eat candy containing seeds or nuts after the gym. Seeds and nuts are excellent dietary sources of protein, fiber, minerals, and antioxidants.
Seeds and nuts help replenish electrolytes. Electrolyte imbalances can substantially affect athletic performance. For instance, it’s a common cause of cramps in endurance athletes.
Additionally, certain seeds, and walnuts are great sources of omega-3s. Omega-3s fight chronic low-grade inflammation. Also, they have beneficial effects on muscle growth. Athletes of bodybuilding or any other athlete who work out for muscle hypertrophy or strength should consume high amounts of omega-3s.
Also, sunflower seeds and almonds are particularly high in vitamin E. Vitamin E is one of the most important antioxidant compounds. It prevents exercise-induced oxidative damage and maximizes the complete health advantages of physical exercise.
15 easy, quick & healthy recipes for post-workout sweets
You can easily prepare healthy homemade candy that support muscle recovery and strength. Athletes can enjoy them as a treat after the gym.
Homemade post-workout candy with fruits
- Fruit and Nut Energy Balls: Combine dried pineapple and bananas, walnuts, and sunflower seeds in a food processor. Roll into small balls. Refrigerate for a quick and healthy post-workout treat. You can use fruits, seeds, or nuts of your choice.
- Banana and Almond Butter Wrap: Spread almond butter on a whole wheat wrap. Add sliced bananas and sprinkle with chia seeds. Roll it up for a delicious and nutritious post-workout snack.
- Greek Yogurt Parfait: Layer Greek yogurt, mixed berries, and a sprinkle of granola or crushed nuts in a glass for a protein-packed post-workout dessert. Granola with Greek yogurt is an excellent post-workout snack for muscle gain and recovery!
- Apple Nachos: Slice apples into thin rounds, drizzle with natural peanut butter. Sprinkle with crushed almonds or sunflower seeds for a crunchy and satisfying post-workout treat.
- Berry Smoothie Bowl: Blend frozen berries, a banana, and almond milk until smooth. Top with sliced fruits, seeds, and a sprinkle of shredded coconut for a refreshing and nutrient-rich post-workout bowl.
- Mango and Coconut Chia Pudding: Combine chia seeds, coconut milk, and diced mango in a jar. Let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
- Yogurt and Berry Frozen Bites: Spoon Greek yogurt into a silicone ice cube tray. Top with fresh berries. Freeze for a couple of hours. Enjoy these bite-sized frozen treats as a refreshing and guilt-free post-workout snack.
- Pear and Walnut Toast: Spread almond butter on a slice of whole grain bread. Top with sliced pears and crushed walnuts for a simple yet satisfying post-workout snack option.
Protein-rich chocolate treats after the gym
- Dark Chocolate Protein Bites: Mix dark chocolate chunks with protein powder, almond butter, and hemp seeds. Roll into small balls and refrigerate for a protein-packed, post-workout candy.
- Dark Chocolate Trail Mix: Combine dark chocolate chips, almonds, Brazil nuts, flax seeds, and pistachios in a bowl. Toss together and enjoy as a quick and nutritious post-workout snack.
- Dark Chocolate Protein Smoothie: Blend dark chocolate squares, protein powder, almond milk, a scoop of hemp seeds, and a handful of chestnuts for a delicious and protein-rich post-workout smoothie.
- Dark Chocolate Almond Bark: Melt dark chocolate. Spread it on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with chopped almonds. Allow it to harden. Then break it into pieces for a crunchy and satisfying post-workout candy.
- Dark Chocolate Energy Bars: In a food processor, blend dark chocolate, protein powder, almonds, Brazil nuts, flax seeds, and chestnuts. Press the mixture into a baking dish and refrigerate until firm. Cut into bars for a convenient and nutritious post-workout snack.
- Dark Chocolate Protein Pancakes: Prepare a batch of protein pancakes. Top them with melted dark chocolate. Sprinkle with chopped almonds, and flax seeds for a satisfying and protein-packed post-workout meal.
- Dark Chocolate Hemp Seed Truffles: Blend dark chocolate, hemp seeds, protein powder, and almond butter in a food processor. Shape the mixture into small truffles and coat them in cocoa powder or crushed pistachios. Refrigerate until firm.
Should athletes eat candy after exercise?
Certainly, the best time of the day to eat your favorite candy is right after a workout. As the body has increased insulin sensitivity at that time, the sugar of candy supports muscle recovery.
Athletes could consume any food packed with sugar after exercise. Even Coke has beneficial effects on sports performance!
However, athletes should avoid consuming candy. There are much healthier food options. Prefer consuming foods naturally high in vitamins and antioxidants, such as fruits, whole grains, beans, and vegetables.
Athletes should follow a whole-food, plant-based diet, Not only does it support good health, but also it promotes athletic performance.
How much candy can I eat after a workout?
The World Health Organization recommends consuming no more than 25 grams of added sugar a day on a 2,000-calorie diet. Athletes who regularly do exhaustive exercise could consume more net carbs, though.
But, if you want to maintain a lean body year-round, you shouldn’t consume substantially more sugar than the maximum recommended intake.
You should be very cautious with the consumed amounts of saturated fat as well. According to the American Heart Association, we should consume no more than 13 grams of saturated fat on a 2,000-calorie diet.
Commercial candy can also be particularly high in saturated fat.
Too much saturated fat can be bad for the heart, as it can raise LDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
Moreover, exceeding the maximum safe amount of saturated fat appears to increase the risk of obesity. It contributes to belly fat accumulation, in particular.