Some things in life are worth living for. Small pleasures give us enormous joy, which is usually unmatched with any amount of wealth in the world. And for all the foodies out there, our greatest joy lies in a nice comforting, heavenly smelling, fully loaded pizza.
What is the first thing that comes to our mind when we think of a Pizza? It's a junk food which is to be had only on weekends or special occasions. The refined flour used to make its crust along with huge amounts of cheese, makes it full of calories and extremely unhealthy. But what if we tell you that it can be an excellent post-workout meal? Yes, it's not really THAT unhealthy.....Let us tell you why....
All fitness enthusiasts are certainly aware of the benefits of a good workout. The muscles in our body tend to get sour after a serious workout and lose proteins. Sweating causes loss of essential minerals. The strenuous activity also causes a lot of energy loss.
Therefore, a good post workout meal should be able to replenish the body with all the vital nutrients that are lost. Ideally, a meal that provides a good amount of carbohydrates, proteins along with the essential minerals can get the body going again.
Health experts have long been trying to find that perfect post-workout meal and ended up making a startling discovery. A pizza seemed to fit the bill rather perfectly, provided the refined base is substituted with whole wheat base and extra toppings of healthy vegetables.
What makes pizza a perfect post workout meal?
Generally, a slice of pizza contains 36 grams of carbohydrates and 12 grams of protein. A person should ideally be getting 100 to 200 grams of carbohydrates and 7 to 20 grams of proteins. So, 3 slices of pizza will be ideal. Topping it up with healthy veggies like onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes will provide the body with essential nutrients it requires to recover post an intensive workout.
Benefits of pizza as a post workout food:
1) A slice of pizza contains almost 201 milligrams of calcium, which is close to 20% of the recommended daily allowance. Calcium is a very important mineral required by our body to maintain healthy and strong bones.
2) A slice of pizza provides 2.7 milligrams of iron, which is 15% of the daily recommended value. Iron is essential in increasing the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. Post work-out, the body needs iron to provide oxygen to all the muscles in the body.
3) Healthy veggies on the pizza can provide adequate amount of vitamin A, or vitamin B3 and antioxidants, all of which repair and protect the body after an intensive workout. Some things in life are worth living for.
How to make pizza healthier to eat post a workout
Just because pizza is deemed healthier, it doesn't mean you should get all out and order and full cheesy pizza after a workout. You need to follow some guidelines in order for it to work for you. Here is how you can convert your cheesy best friend into a healthy companion, which can be had post workout, totally guilt free.
1) Make it at home:
The best way to indulge on a pizza is to make it at home rather than order for a low cheese, extra toppings pizza. Chances are it is still unhealthier as before. Making your own healthier version at home will ensure the best of ingredients going into its making.
2) Ditch the refined flour crust:
Refined flour will never do you any good, even after a workout. So, substitute it will a base made of whole wheat. It will not spike you blood sugar all of a sudden and will also keep you full for long.
3) Load up on the veggies:
All veggies are good and taste better when on a pizza. So let your creative juices flow and top your pizza with all the healthy and fresh veggies you find in your fridge. Onions, tomatoes, capsicum, etc., are all healthy and loaded with different kinds of nutrients. You can also place some lean meat like chicken breast pieces for an extra punch of protein.
4) Go low on the cheese:
Though pizza is allowed, cheese is so not!!! But will it be called a pizza without the cheese. The idea here is to use low-fat cheese in controlled portions. Make sure to use only an ideal amount of cheese. If ordering out, specifically instruct the place to add less cheese. Dressing your pizza with a generous splash of olive oil will further increase its health quotient.
5) Control your portions:
Only 2-3 slices of low-cheese pizza is considered healthy after a workout. Anything beyond that will be considered cheating!!! So make sure not to indulge yourself. Remember, the very idea of the workout that you just finished was to burn out the entire weekend binging in the first place.