A snack before your workout gives you the stamina and energy you need to complete a strenuous task. But eating a snack after your workout is even more important.
Muscles store excess energy in the form of glycogen and protein and when you exercise, the body fuels from your pre-workout meal, then it breaks down the glycogen stores in the muscles.
Within a few hours of working out, muscle protein drops and your muscles begin to break down. So in order to prevent that from happening you need proper nourishment in the form of protein and carbs, preferably in the first 45 minutes after your workout when your body is the most responsive. Let’s see what snacks you should chose for optimum muscle recovery.
13 Lucky Post Workout Snacks
1. Protein Shake with Banana
Get ample amounts of protein and carbs with this shake made out of 1 scoop of whey protein powder combined with water and ½ banana.
2. Tuna on Whole Wheat
Choose a mini-sandwich made of 100g water-packed tuna drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil and spread over a slice of whole wheat bread.
3. Peanut Butter and Banana on Rice Cakes
If you are craving a more substantial post workout snack, try smoothing 1 tablespoon of peanut butter onto 2 brown rice cakes and top with ½ sliced banana.
4. Yogurt and Fresh Berries
This quick post workout snack is not only high in protein but also loaded with vitamins. Mix ½ cup of berries with a cup of plain, low-fat yogurt and enjoy.
5. Hummus and Pita
¼ cup of hummus with 1 whole wheat pita makes for a great protein/carb combo. This post workout snack will keep your fueled for hours.
6. Turkey and Cheese with Apple Slices
Get your protein from 100g of deli turkey that you can spread 1 soft cheese wedge on. Pair with an apple for a fast-releasing carb post workout snack.
7. Low-Fat Chocolate Milk
It seems that endurance athletes swear by this post workout snack. It has just the right protein to carb ratio to restore the lost glycogen and repair muscle tissue, so enjoy your glass of chocolate milk.
8. Veggie Omelette
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, while the veggies add a nice dose of fiber and extra vitamins. Pair with a slice of whole wheat toast for some carbs.
9. Energy bar
Some types of energy bars are high in protein and fiber and those are the ones you should go for. You can also make them at home and keep them in the fridge for a quick post workout snack.
10. Pancakes and Eggs
Pancakes are an excellent source of carbs when made with whole wheat flour and without the calorie-laden butter or syrup. Serve them with some scrambled eggs or egg whites for added protein.
11. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is high in protein and low in calories. Pair 100g with a slice of whole what toast for a carb boost or simply mix it with some fresh berries.
12. Cereal with Skim Milk
Pick cereal that is high in fiber and low in sugar and fat. Top with low-fat milk/soy milk or almond milk and you’re set.
13. Roasted Chickpeas/Roasted Soybeans
High in protein and carbs ¼ cup of roasted chickpeas/ roasted soybeans are a treat after a cardio or weight training session.
The rule of thumb for post workout snacks is that it all comes down to protein and carbs. Choose high quality sources for these macros, make sure to eat as soon as possible after your workout and let your body take care of the rest.