Choosing the right food before a workout can help you power through a challenging fitness routine, but did you know that eating healthy post-workout snacks afterwards also have profound body benefits?
According to sports nutritionist and competitive figure athlete Kristin Reisinger, MS, RD, as reported by Fitness Magazine, “You want to make sure you feed your body to help repair muscle tissues and replenish glycogen stores.”
Which begs the question: What foods are best for refueling? Read on for a list of six healthy post-workout snacks to nosh on after you exercise.
Six Healthy Post-Workout Snacks Everyone Loves
1. Trail mix
The combination of dried fruit and heart-healthy walnuts loaded with omega-3 fatty acids adds up to a flavorful, nutrition-dense post-workout treat.
Thinking of saving time by buying prepackaged trail mix? Think again. Unfortunately these are often high in salt, sugar and preservatives. You are much better off making your own. (Just go easy on the chocolate chunks and yogurt-covered raisins or you will end up doing more damage than good.)
2. Hard boiled eggs
Nature’s ultimate “grab and go food,” protein-packed hard boiled eggs could not be easier to make and toss in your gym bag. Because you will also need some carbs to build your glycogen stores, pack a whole fruit to eat along with them.
3. A rice cake topped with peanut butter and bananas
Rice cakes are a wonderful vehicle for all kinds of healthy toppings. Our post-workout pick? The classic combo of peanut butter and sliced bananas. Not only is this a filling snack, but it is also a satisfying treat for anyone with a sweet tooth. (And speaking of sweet teeth, be sure to check out our roundup of 12 Healthy Dessert Recipes.
4. Chocolate milk
Yes, you read that right. There is a reason why chocolate milk is the snack of choice for endurance athletes. According to SteadyStrength, “Studies have shown that chocolate milk is the ultimate post workout recovery fuel. It has a nearly perfect ratio of carbohydrates and proteins that your muscles need to build themselves back up quickly.”
5. Cheese and crackers
Who doesn’t love cheese and crackers? While many people think of cheese and crackers as an indulgence, this combination is actually an optimal post-workout snack. Low-fat cheese is a terrific source of protein and calcium, while whole-grain crackers deliver an ample dose of fiber. To amp up the flavor and nutrition even higher, top with sliced apples.
6. Greek yogurt with fruit or granola
Thick, rich and oh so creamy, Greek yogurt is superior to regular yogurt in terms of its health benefits. Not only does it contain twice the protein of regular yogurt (which will also help you stay fuller longer), but it also has half the sugar content. Meanwhile, the fruit and granola add critical carbs.
Here’s one last post-workout tip to keep in mind. According to Self columnist and registered dietitian Jessica Jones, MS, RD, skipping a post-workout snack is not an option. In fact, she says, in order to best support your body’s needs, be sure to eat within 20 minutes of training. Jones also recommends caution when it comes to post-workout snacks as overindulging can lead to diminished returns. Her recommendation? “Try to keep your post-workout snack under 150 calories.”
Now that you know how to re-fuel after your workout, make the most of your fitness routine from the get-go by checking out our 20 best workout tips for gym newbies.