A nice, hard workout results in damaged and broken down muscle tissue. It is very important to rest and eat right post workout in order to repair those muscle tissues and grow stronger, healthier muscles.
A key to post workout recovery is to consume healthy proteins. The average person needs between 0.6-0.9 grams per pound each day. By this logic a healthy snack with 10-20 grams of protein is the ideal amount for a solid post workout recovery.
Since we can assume you’re likely not wheeling your charcoal grill to the gym and throwing some chicken breasts down in the parking lot, athletes tend to supplement with powder proteins, bars, and lean snacks like beef jerky.
All the big dudes at the gym are drinking powder/water mixtures out of those cool water bottles though… Yes, most athletes drink whey and other forms of powdered proteins on their way out of the gym to help with their muscle recovery. These powdered proteins are typically a favorite because they are portable, keep well in a gym bag, and pack a serious amount of protein. But there can be some downsides to supplements like whey.
First off, too much protein can lead to weight gain, constipation and bloating leaving you uncomfortable post-workout and can affect your meals later in the day. Protein powders typically offer very little nutritional value outside of the protein and can include chemicals or artificial and foreign components that you likely won’t recognize or understand from label reading.
Is beef jerky the ideal post workout snack? A little bias...but yes, hear me out.
Beef jerky is low in fat and calories and is high in protein. It is also small, portable, resealable and preserves well left in a gym bag for days, weeks on end.
Most beef jerkys include nutrients like zinc, iron and b vitamins as well. The typical servings of beef jerky has about 6-10 grams of protein per serving...and 2-3 servings per bag giving you the perfect amount of protein for post workout recovery.
A nice healthy, flavorful bag of jerky is also a lot more satisfying than water/powder leaving you feeling better post workout and not disrupting your diet or meals that may shortly follow your workout.
*IMPORTANT* Not all beef jerky is equal though. Lots of jerky brands, typically the larger more mass produced brands are high in protein, low in calories and fat...but tend to include lots of msg, nitrates, sugars and are made from lower quality meats.
If you are looking to start packing on the protein post workout or make the switch from protein powders...make sure you do some label reading and research to avoid ruining your workout with low quality jerky.