It's the classic conundrum. You're doing great, you just worked your butt off for an hour at the Rec, you feel good, your body is a temple, you're basically an Olympian. But then you walk out and you have no idea what to eat. With your diet constituting 80-90% of your health progress, this is your make or break moment. Quite often, it's just a break moment. But no more, here are the best places to get food after you work out if you're careful how you order.
1. ChipotleYou can make some really healthy meals, as well as get enough food for other meals if you order well. Order a burrito bowl heavy on the meat, veggies, black beans and rice and you're set to go.
2. PaneraLike Chipotle, this has the potential to get very well or very poorly from a health standpoint. Obviously if you get mac 'n cheese in a bread bowl with a scone, that isn't going to give you the result you want. Keep to the sandwiches and salads. Or, better yet, do the half sandwich and a half salad to get PLENTY of food and also save some money, and you can make a very healthy meal. They also have a Panera rewards program, if this becomes a habit.
3. Another Broken Egg
Omelettes and eggs galore, with veggies plus some meat, are a great way to get post-workout protein. They also have a variety of different carb options that are necessary for recovery, including toast, steel-cut oats, granola and parfaits, black bean cakes and English muffins.
4. Juice Bar
This can be a great place to knock out those macros all in one cup, but do be careful what you order. Check the nutritional info before you commit to know just how much sugar and how many carbs you're getting yourself into. Also like Chipotle and Panera, this can be a great asset, or you can take in a lot of sugar that's going to counter all that work you just did. As a game-changer, Juice Bar Tuscaloosa also takes Bama Cash.
5. Tropical Smoothie CafeNot just for the smoothies, there are some well-rounded, macro friendly food options in store here. 10/10 would recommend the chicken pesto flatbread and the Thai chicken salad. I would not recommend a smoothie here if you're looking to get those gains. The "healthiest' of their smoothies still have 90 grams of carbs, 70 grams of sugar and almost 500 overall calories. So I'm just sticking with their food.
6. Smoothie KingThough the same traps and pitfalls of Tropical Smoothie are also a risk here, Smoothie King has some actually healthy options as well. Their Gladiator fitness blends give you a good amount of protein without needless sugar or carbs, and you can add good carbs if you so choose with the two fruit add-ins you get with it. Check their nutritional menu online before you go, knowledge is power.
I sure as hell know that I am not in the mood to cook after I exercise, I really just want food to appear. Luckily, there are these magical things called restaurants that are here to fulfill my wish! While you have to be a little careful to keep it healthy, these places in Tuscaloosa will give you a great post-workout meal that will keep you feeling great about yourself!