Replenish your energy stores after a cardiovascular workout with these complex carb-rich recipes.
Everyone needs carbohydrates, the body’s preferred energy source. If you get regular cardiovascular exercise or train for an endurance sport, you need more daily carbs to fuel your workouts and replenish your energy stores. Remember: all carbs are not created equal. Grains, fruit, vegetables (nutrient-rich choices) as well as candy and sweets (empty calories) are all sources of carbohydrate. Some foods, like dairy and legumes, combine carbohydrate and protein, which helps restore muscles. The best carbs to choose are ones that contribute plenty of other nutrients such as protein, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants.
Whole grain oats are delicious and easy to digest before or after a workout. As an added bonus, the soluble fiber in oatmeal
may help lower cholesterol. Opt for plain oats instead of the sugary flavored varieties and create your own delicious concoction
by adding nutritious (and tasty) ingredients. Sprinkle in your favorite nuts and dried fruit to add natural sweetness as well
as fiber and iron. Save time by cooking the oats ahead and warming them up in the microwave.
View Recipe: Cherry-Hazelnut Oatmeal
Yogurt and fruit make a winning carbohydrate combination. Yogurt adds protein and some calcium to this drink while fruit contributes
natural sweetness and vitamin C for tired, sore muscles. Drink this shake before a cardio session to fuel your workout, or
within the ideal recovery window―between 30 and 60 minutes after exercise―when your body is best able to repair itself and
replenish the energy you've spent.
View Recipe: Fruit and Yogurt Shake
Carbohydrate plus protein is a winning combination that helps repair muscles and refuel your tank. Remember that pasta doesn’t
have to come from wheat. Rice noodles are a gluten-free alternative with a tender texture and mild flavor that works well
with all types of sauces. Pork is higher in B vitamins than other meats, providing a metabolism boost and extra energy-producing
power. Toss in your favorite fresh vegetables for texture, color, extra vitamins, and fiber.
View Recipe: Pork Strips with Peanut Sauce and Rice Noodles
Muffins can be a nutritional boon or a bust, depending on what's in them. Those gigantic bakeshop muffins can contain over
500 calories and 20 grams fat. Smarter choice: Home-baked muffins bursting with antioxidant-rich dried fruits and fiber from
whole wheat flour and wheat germ. Wheat germ is also high in the mineral zinc, which contributes to healthy skin and a strong
immune system. Add a boost of antioxidants by adding the freshest berries of the season.
View Recipe: Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Muffins
Mixed-grain salads deliver a satisfying combination of flavors and textures as well as folate and vitamin E for a strong and
healthy heart―very important for those cardio workouts! Adding beans to grains creates the key combination of protein and
carbs that helps muscles repair and refuel themselves. Enjoy this salad for lunch, or pair it with lean protein like chicken
or fish for a powerhouse dinner.
View Recipe: Wild Rice and Barley Salad
Sweet potatoes are a true super-food. In addition to being a great source of energy producing carbohydrate, they're packed
with vitamins and minerals. One cup of sweet potato contains 20 percent of your daily potassium needs, plus energy-boosting
vitamin B6 and more than 700 percent of your daily vitamin A needs (mostly in the form of the antioxidant beta-carotene).
This salad also combines iron-rich spinach with vitamin C from oranges, which helps increase iron absorption.
View Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potato and Orange Salad