Answered by on Thursday, October 8, 2009
That all depends on your idea of a treat, says nutritionist Lori P. Marcotte, M.P.H., M.S., R.D. "If it's a whole grain bagel, fine. A package of Yodels? Not so great." Marcotte adds that it's okay to have indulgences at any time: "I encourage people to avoid the mind-set that you can only indulge after you work out, or that you must work out after you indulge." She recommends nutrient-rich foods—whole grains, fruits, veggies, milk—to satisfy postworkout hunger while keeping in the habit of a healthy diet. And do mind your carbs: "Athletes need to be concerned about replacing the glycogen—or stored fuel—lost in a workout," says Elyse Sosin, M.A., R.D., a nutritionist at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. "Within 15 minutes to half an hour after exercising, you should eat—or drink—a half gram of carbs per pound of body weight. For a 150-pound athlete, that adds up to 75 grams or 300 calories." That translates into a small bagel and a glass of orange juice, or a cup of cereal with a cup of skim milk and a banana. Including a gram of protein with every four grams of those carbs is also a good idea, because it helps transport the replenishing glucose from the blood to the muscle. And you want to be restored for tomorrow's workout, don't you?