After an intensive workout, children's muscles are crying for protein, carbohydrates and sugars, because they spend much energy and burn a lot of calories in the gym. Go ahead and treat you child to a something tasty – some junk foods that are considered unhealthy can be as beneficial as healthy protein meal after the workout as they aid muscle recovery and growth. Eating the foods listed below is beneficial up to two hours after a workout. Of course, they should not replace your child’s normal post-workout snacks, but an occasional eating of these foods should be worry-free.
Kids love ice cream because it’s sweet, but there is another sweet thing about ice cream aside of its taste. Ice cream can be a very refreshing post-workout treat as it contains sugars and proteins that prevent protein breakdown and promote muscle building. A half-cup serving of vanilla or chocolate ice cream has about 140 calories, 7g fat and 14g sugar and provides your child’s body with a handful of key nutrients, including bone-strengthening calcium and phosphorus, blood-pressure-lowering potassium and energizing B vitamins.
Very similar to ice-cream, chocolate milk can be a great post-workout meal due to a perfect combination of protein and carbohydrates. Milk protein contains about 20% whey protein, which is quickly digested, and 80% casein protein, which provides a steady stream of energy for a long period of time. Chocolate milk also contains 20 to 25 grams of carbohydrates, which makes it ideal for recovery. Some studies even claim that chocolate milk is a better recovery drink than protein shakes and similar sports drinks.
Peanut Butter Jelly Sandwich or Bagel
The bagel itself is a great source of dense carbohydrates to help refuel muscles for recovery while the jelly boasts sugars that help send nutrients to your child’s exhausted muscles. A quality peanut butter in the sandwich turns it into a protein-packed meal with 20 - 30 grams of protein in addition to 50 - 65 grams of carbohydrates that refuel your child’s body after work-out in no time.
To get more ideas on gymnasts nutrition, please, check out our Nutrition Guide.