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Chicken with rice: 3 ideas for athletes

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  • Why eat chicken with rice?
  • White or brown rice after training?
  • How many calories does chicken with rice have?
  • Which vegetables to eat with chicken and rice?
  • 3 recipes for chicken with rice to prepare for a meal
  • Are there any good alternatives to chicken and rice?

You can read here why the poultry and rice combination is so popular and what nutrients and calories it provides. Plus: 3 brilliant recipe ideas with rice, chicken and vegetables for your meal prep menu.

Why eat chicken with rice?

You should eat your post-workout meal one to two hours after training. According to the “International Society of Sports Nutrition”, the timing of food intake and the ratio of macronutrients consumed (protein and carbohydrates) can promote regeneration, increase muscle protein synthesis (i.e. muscle building) and even improve mood.

After an intensive workout, your body needs one thing above all: new “fuel” in the form of carbohydrates. Carbs are your body’s preferred source of energy and are stored in the form of glycogen in the muscles and liver. During exercise, the majority of the energy provided comes from these glycogen stores. If you don’t eat anything afterwards and don’t quickly replenish your depleted glycogen depots after exercise, you force your metabolism into so-called gluconeogenesis, which in the worst case can result in muscle loss. You can read what exactly is behind it here.

Since you obviously want to build muscle and not break it down, you have to consume protein in addition to the carbs. The body produces its own protein from food protein, which it then uses, for example, for regeneration and to thicken the muscle fibers (muscle building).

In other words: Carbohydrates and protein (also called proteins) are the macronutrients that need to be consumed after the workout in order to achieve optimal results.

Combining rice with chicken makes sense, because white rice in particular provides plenty of quickly available carbs with a high GI (glycemic index), which, according to studies, is ideal after training to replenish your glycogen stores. And chicken is a low-fat, very high-quality source of protein. Both foods are also easy to track and prepare, easy to cook in advance and are available in every supermarket.

White or brown rice after training?

In principle, both types of rice are healthy and generally a good choice. Brown rice, also known as brown rice, is unpeeled and is therefore richer in vitamins and fiber than white rice. So it’s great as a healthy, filling food. However, it is not ideal as a quick source of energy after training.

Rice quickly replenishes your glycogen stores

Research shows that carbohydrate-rich foods that are easily digestible and quickly absorbed are best for glycogen resynthesis, i.e. replenishing your glycogen stores. White rice meets these requirements because it has a higher GI (glycemic index) than brown rice. The GI indicates how much your blood sugar level (and therefore your insulin level) rises after eating a food rich in carbohydrates. And insulin in turn must be released to ensure rapid transport of nutrients into the muscles.

The fiber in brown rice slows down its absorption somewhat, which is why white rice, especially jasmine rice with a particularly high GI, is ahead here.

How many calories does chicken with rice have?

*We have specified 75 grams of rice on average for athletes, also in our recipes below. Of course, you can also plan for 100 grams per serving if that fits into your nutrition plan and corresponds to your required macros.

Which vegetables to eat with chicken and rice?

Chicken and rice alone provide two important macros for your fitness diet (protein and carbs), but not enough micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals) for a balanced meal. So a vegetable side dish is almost mandatory, because (low-starch) vegetables are low in calories and fat, but at the same time rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can swap starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and sweet potatoes, for the rice if necessary, but they are not suitable as a side dish with the rice as they also provide a lot of carbohydrates.

Examples of low-starch vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach or chard, peppers, zucchini, peas, carrots, eggplant, salads, Brussels sprouts, (green) asparagus, mushrooms.

3 recipes for chicken with rice to prepare for a meal

No vegetables, no sauce? If you simply eat chicken and rice plain, you can of course track your macros easily and clearly, but the taste or even enjoyment is completely neglected. We want to show you how you can add more flavor to your post-workout meal with a few additional and naturally healthy ingredients without killing your calorie balance.

Tipp: It’s best to get a few meal prep containers, preferably made of glass. They are easy to clean and more sustainable than plastic boxes. They are also available with two or three chambers, like this box from Glaswerk. Super practical if you want to transport ingredients individually.

So that you waste as little time as possible in the kitchen, we have deliberately put together meal prep-friendly recipes for you. This means they can be easily cooked in advance. This means you only have to cook once, but you can enjoy the dish for several days because you prepare several portions in advance. This is what makes meal prep so wonderfully efficient: little effort, lots of output.

1. Coconut curry chicken with rice

You can also vary the vegetables in this recipe according to your mood. Zucchini, broccoli or pak choi are also ideal for the recipe.​

  • 300 g Wildreis-Basmati-Mix*
  • 500 g chicken breast fillet
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2-3 Paprika
  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • 1 THE Rapsöl
  • 1 can of coconut milk, light
  • 200 ml vegetable or chicken broth (instant powder)
  • Salt, pepper, curry powder
  • 2 TL Sesame

Preparation:

  1. Cook rice according to instructions.
  2. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Cut the pepper into strips, the onion into half rings, press the garlic and cut the spring onion into rings.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan with a high side, briefly sweat the onion and garlic, then fry the chicken all over. Add the peppers and spring onions, mix everything briefly and deglaze with coconut milk and broth. Simmer for around 15 minutes, season with salt, pepper and curry.
  4. Finally top with sesame seeds and serve with rice.

Do you want a six pack? Then you not only have to put in a lot of effort in the gym, but also in the kitchen:

2. One-Pot Rice with Chicken

Ingredients (4 servings):

  • 1 onion
  • 2 Paprika
  • 500 g chicken breast fillet
  • Pepper & chicken seasoning
  • ½ TL Oregano
  • 300 g Jasmin Reis*
  • 2 TL Beer
  • 200 g peas (preferably frozen)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • about 1 l vegetable or chicken broth (instant powder)
  1. Prepare vegetables: Cut onions into small cubes and peppers into larger cubes.
  2. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Season with pepper, chicken seasoning and oregano. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a high pan or pot, then fry the chicken for several minutes, remove and set aside.
  3. Turn the heat down a little and heat the remaining oil in the same pot. Add the onion and rice and let it sweat for about 1 minute while stirring. Add the peppers and peas, then deglaze everything with canned tomatoes and half of the vegetable stock.
  4. Now you can add the chicken again and stir the whole thing occasionally until the rice is cooked. Once the vegetable broth has been absorbed, keep adding a little until the end.

3. Pulled chicken with rice and broccoli

Elena Veselova/Shutterstock.com

With this recipe you can also freely choose your vegetable side dish

  • 500 g chicken breast fillet
  • 600 ml water with instant chicken stock
  • 1 onion
  • 5 dried tomatoes in oil
  • 3-4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 TL Oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 300 g Jasmin Reis*
  • Optional:
  • 1 dash of lime juice
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 TL Balsamicoessig

Preparation:

  1. Add the amount of chicken broth powder to the water according to the instructions and bring to the boil. Simply slide in the chicken fillets in one piece and cook over medium heat for around 25 minutes until the meat is cooked through and tender.
  2. Remove the chicken with a fork, place it on a plate or a board and, preferably, tear it apart using 2 forks. It’s best to do it while the meat is still warm, then it works best.
  3. Cut the onions into cubes, chop the tomatoes in oil and heat them together in a pan. Sweat the tomato paste in it while stirring. If you want to intensify the sauce even more, season it a little with lime, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. You can also add a few chili flakes or paprika powder as desired.
  4. Simply mix the pulled chicken and sauce together and season with salt, pepper and oregano.
  5. Divide the broccoli into florets and cook in salted water.
  6. Prepare rice according to package instructions.
  7. Enjoy rice, broccoli and pulled chicken together and prepare a meal if necessary.

Are there any good alternatives to chicken and rice?

Sure, eating just chicken and rice all the time would be pretty monotonous. You can just as easily swap the rice for another carbohydrate source, like

  • Potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • Couscous, bulgur or millet
  • Noodles
  • Lentils, beans or other legumes

You can easily swap the chicken for turkey breast, as this poultry is also low in fat and high in protein. Alternative sources of protein include tuna in its own juice, tofu, eggs or ground beef.

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