You’ve just finished a killer workout, and now your stomach is growling uncontrollably. What now? As tempting as it is to eat everything in sight after your workout, deep down you know that doing so would probably cancel out all of the hard work you just did.
Reward your strong effort, repair muscle tissue that gets torn, and get the most benefit from your workout by refueling your body properly with the nutrients it needs. It’s best to have a snack comprised of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats within thirty minutes following your exercise session.
Here are some of our favorite easy post-workout snacks that require little to no preparation. Enjoy!
Banana and peanut butter
This one’s a classic pair that tastes so good and never gets old!
Go ahead and slather a tablespoon or two of natural peanut butter onto a banana (but be strong and don’t go overboard – we know how addicting peanut butter is, and how fast those calories can add up).
If smoothies are more your thing, blend up a quick banana, peanut butter, and protein powder smoothie, like this. Bonus – throw some spinach in for an added nutritional boost! Such a powerful combo like this will have your muscles thanking you tomorrow.
Hard boiled eggs
Easy to make, hard boiled eggs are a great snack for when you’re on-the-go following your workout. They’re high in protein and contain those good, healthy fats that your body needs. Not a fan of hard boiled eggs? Try fixing up a veggie scramble that’ll fill you up while delivering valuable nutrients and antioxidants to your body.
Tuna sandwich on whole wheat
An excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and carbs, this sandwich truly packs a punch when it comes to refueling your body. Instead of adding mayo to make a tuna salad, try mixing in a bit of olive oil and chopped veggies like celery or carrots to the tuna for an even healthier (and yummier) take.
Greek yogurt with fruit
Thick, creamy, and fulfilling, Greek yogurt is an ideal post-workout snack. Not only is it full of calcium, but it also has nearly double the protein than regular yogurt. Instead of getting your Greek yogurt fix with the flavored, super-sugary stuff you buy at the store, opt for stocking up on plain Greek yogurt. The taste of plain Greek yogurt doesn’t always appeal to everyone, so please your palate by adding in some fresh berries, honey, nutritious granola, or toasted nuts. For more ideas, check this page out.
Who knew you could enjoy this childhood favorite without feeling guilty about drinking it as a grown up? An 8-ounce serving of this low-fat delicious beverage contains a perfect ratio of protein and carbohydrates that will help repair your muscle tissue after a strenuous endurance workout like running or swimming.
Lean protein like grilled chicken
Even though it’s not necessarily a snack, consuming lean protein meats such as grilled chicken or turkey is great for replenishing your body’s protein, and aiding in the building of muscle. We suggest rolling these meats up in a whole wheat tortilla along with some delicious veggies or hummus to create a snack wrap. Or try topping your favorite salad with your choice of lean protein.
It’s also important to get adequate amounts of both water and sleep following your workout to aid in your body’s recovery. Rehydrate by drinking at least 24 ounces of water after you exercise, and aim for eight or nine hours of sleep at night. Doing these actions will help your body recover well, and have you on your way to building a stronger body.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Celeste Lindell.