What’s a Good Post-Workout Snack?
You just finished a crazy, good workout and chances are you’re a little hungry and looking to refuel with a post-workout snack. If you’re like the majority of people your first thought is a scoop of protein powder or the protein bar you have thrown into the bottom of your gym bag, especially since protein plays a vital role in muscle synthesis. However, there are PLENTY of other post-workout snack options you can put in your rotation that will help you refuel and recharge that won’t leave you eating exclusively protein shakes and bars every single day. Refueling your body after a difficult workout especially a workout 60 mins or longer is so important.
If your workout is strength based, the foods you choose to eat after your workout can help your muscles rebuild and repair. Coach JC recommends looking for a combo of about 10-60 grams of carbohydrates depending on your goals, around 20 grams of protein, and anywhere from 0-8 grams of fat.
Whether you’re refueling after an early morning workout, a lunch time workout, or even a dinner time workout here are some post workout snacks that we feel will help you recover faster and build that lean muscle we all desire.
Greek Yogurt with Fruit
One Serving of greek yogurt can pack anywhere from 12 to 17.3 grams of protein. Not only will the protein in yogurt help with muscle growth but it is a great source of energy. Grab a greek yogurt brand that isn’t super high in added sugars, and top with your favorite fruit and even a small amount of granola or if you need a more carbohydrate dense snack.
Avocado Toast & *Egg
Avocados are very high in potassium which is very important for all of our organs. Half of an avocado contains in 488 milligrams of potassium which can help with cramping post workout. Not only will an avocado pack in the potassium you need post workout, but it will fill you with healthy monounsaturated fats. Avocados also contain about 5 grams of fiber for half which helps you feel full for longer after you eat. The second component we need for this snack is well, the toast! Whole grain bread is a good place to start if you’re looking for something that is going to fill you. When shopping for your bread try to look for the whole grain stamp on your bread which tells you that a serving of that bread contains at least 8 whole grains. Whole grain bread is high in complex carbs, fiber and protein. The final component which is optional, an egg any style will pack some extra protein and fat which is great if you’re trying to make your snack a little heftier. Everything but the Bagel Seasoning is all the trend right now, and can be a great seasoning to add on top of this snack to give it a little extra flare!
This one is great if you’re going to workout later on in the evening. It is very high in sodium so it will replenish lost electrolytes and support hydration. In addition, it is high in a form of protein called casein. Casein digests slower than most forms of protein making it a great post workout snack in the evening because it will work to feed you muscles while you sleep. You can add some flavor to your cottage cheese by topping it with your favorite fruit, or even some ground cinnamon.
Tuna Salad & Crackers
Mix up your favorite brand of tuna with some plain greek yogurt or light mayo and whatever you like to add for taste. (onions, relish, celery, etc.) Spread it over some whole wheat crackers for a snack that is balanced in carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. Tuna is very high in Omega-3 fatty acids and iron. Omega-3’s support cardiovascular health and are known to alleviate muscle inflammation from a tough workout. Meaning it helps you recover easier!
Peanut Butter Smoothie
High in carbs, protein, and healthy fats a peanut butter smoothie is a great way to recover post workout. You can add frozen strawberries or bananas to help this fit your macronutrient needs. Add your favorite type of milk, a couple table spoons of all natural peanut butter, some unsweetened cocoa powder, a teaspoon of vanilla, and then your frozen fruit if you want it to your blender. Besides tasting really delicious peanut butter is high in calories making it filling after an intense workout.
This one is one of Coach JC’s Favorite! This nutritional bar is one of the latest, greatest, and healthiest protein bars that isn’t full of a bunch of junk that you can’t pronounce. There is over nine delicious flavors, and it seems like they are always coming out with more as time goes on. The ingredients in these bars is so simple, they remain completely transparent about what is in the bar by writing it on the packaging. There is no added sugar in the bars, but they still have a naturally sweet flavor from dates. The protein in RX bars comes from eggs, not dairy making it friendly for our dairy free friends.
Quest Nutrition Protein Chips
If you’re more of a grab and go type of person this post workout snack option is a high protein option that you can grab at most nutrition stores, and even Target! They come in a variety of different flavors that for sure pack the punch. They ring in at about 19g protein, no more than 5g of carbs, and around 5g of fat. YES.. they still have that potato chip crunch to them which is perfect if you’re craving the salty crunch of a chip.
Our bodies ability to rebuild glycogen which is the substance deposited in our bodies tissue that acts as a store of carbohydrates is enhanced after we workout. Because of this, it is recommended that we eat a decent combo of carbs and protein as soon as possible after a workout.
Staying Hydrated is Key
When we take the time to drink plenty of water before and after our workout we are able to insure we are building the optimal internal environment for our bodies to start maximizing results. Drinking water after a workout is important because when we workout we sweat and lose electrolytes. Replenishing them with plenty of water will help with recovery and over all performance.
What do I need to know?
Consuming the best combo of carbs/protein/fat to fit your goals is essential after exercise. It will help stimulate muscle protein synthesis, improve recovery and enhance performance for future workouts.