The mention of American food often brings to mind hamburgers, chicken wings, ribs, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and other quick and easy-to-serve selections. These foods are rarely thought of as helpful by a newbie weightlifter. In actuality, a great many American foods are supportive to someone on the go after a hard session in the gym. Not everyone has the time to carefully prepare meals at home, which is not really a problem. Swinging by a restaurant and making wise ordering selections could support the after-workout recovery process necessary for better muscle growth gains and more burned fat.
Break Down Muscle
Context is everything, and all discussions of workout diets must be discussed in the context of a particular exercise session. To truly stimulate muscle growth, weightlifting has to break down muscle. Commonly, this is done by training to failure, the process of lifting a weight until the muscle is so fatigued it cannot complete the exercise. The overworked muscle now has to grow to become stronger for the next gym session. Many newbies to gyms understand this. What they do not realize is that the body requires proper nutritional support to build muscle during the recovery phase. This is where good old American food enters the mix.
Eat Post-Workout Protein
The body is going to need protein after exercising, which is why a post-workout trip to a restaurant is so important. After muscle has been broken down, the body requires healthy protein from food sources for repair and recovery. Restaurants serving American food are home to tons of menu items capable of providing protein. A single hamburger patty contains about 26 grams of protein. Buffalo chicken wings may contain even more protein depending upon the serving size.
Hitting the gym and lifting weights not only serves the purpose of building muscle, but also burning fat. Cutting down on carbs after workouts helps with this goal.
Avoid Adding Sugar
When exercising, the body burns carbohydrates (sugars) before burning fat. During a hard workout session, a large amount of sugar in the system ends up being burned. After the workout, it is wise to avoid eating carbs/sugars in order to make sure the metabolic process targets stored fat. Order main protein-heavy servings plain. Buffalo wings without sugary hot sauce and hamburgers without sugary BBQ sauce are not going to deliver many carbs.
Staying away from bread, condiments, sodas, potatoes, and the like is also strongly advised. While these are all carbohydrate-heavy common items found on a menu at an American restaurant, so are less sugary alternatives. A simple garden salad or serving of veggies would be far better and more productive.