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Can’t Take the Heat? Post-Workout Nutrition Ideas for Summer 

Harbin Clinic is prescribing more time outside this summer because there are so many health benefits to going outdoors. However, as we encourage the community to get moving, we are also aware that we live in Georgia, and the heat of August can be intense. After physical activity, especially in the heat, our physicians encourage: rehydrating, replenishing nutrients the body needs and cooling down. Check out these nutritious food ideas to help you do all three: 

Hydrate, Replenish and Cool Off! 

Hydrate with food: You probably know the importance of drinking lots of water, but did you know that water is not the only way to hydrate? Eating fruit or drinking a hydrating smoothie can be a great way to cool down and hydrate after a long walk or run. If you notice a white crusty substance on your skin or clothes, you’ve also likely lost a good bit of salt in your sweat. Add electrolytes back by eating foods like bananas, avocados and leafy greens.  

  • Easy Recipe: Try blending watermelon, cucumber, coconut water and a splash of lime juice. Watermelon is almost completely made of water, but it also contains electrolytes that need to be replenished after you sweat. Protein, which can help rebuild muscle, is also easily added to a smoothie with powders or nut butter. 

Replenishing Snacks: After a hard workout, you might need to add glycogen back to your system. It plays a big role in maintaining blood sugar levels and energy. In other words, you need carbohydrates. As mentioned above, protein is also an excellent recovery snack.  

  • Easy Recipe: Try making a cold, whole wheat pasta salad with protein included – chicken, tofu or chickpeas. Include cold, fresh veggies like grape tomatoes and olives, and use a dash of an olive oil-based dressing to top it off. Don’t like pasta? Did you know a cold glass of chocolate milk – carbs and proteins – makes an excellent recovery drink? 

Cool down and Rest: Notice both earlier nutrition suggestions are cold food options. Bringing your body temperature and heart rate back down is another key element of recovery. Listen to your body, and don’t forget to give yourself a day off. Just like with a regular prescription, talk to your doctor about the amount of “prescribing outside” that is best for your circumstances and health. 

Want to learn more about staying safe outdoors this summer? Check out this blog to learn more about all the things that bite and sting! 

Published August 9, 2023

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