Get ready for some serious post-workout snack attacks. These snacks are seriously delicious, and are so much better than your standard post-workout snacks!
Do you know what type of post-workout snacker you are? There’s generally the “I’m so hungry I could eat this entire box of cereal” snacker, or the “let’s refuel with as much protein as possible” type of snacker. Do either one of those sound familiar? If they do, this is totally normal, and knowing what to snack on post-workout can be confusing.
With so many mixed messages about what, and when you should be eating after a workout, snacking can get super confusing. Don’t stress, because I am here to shed some light on how you can snack like a pro after getting your sweat on! I will spill the beans on my top 5 favorite post workout snacks that aren’t protein shakes. I will also tell you when you should be eating them, and why you should be eating them.
Why Snack After a Workout?
If you just finished up a workout, chances are you burned quite a few calories. When you burn calories, you need to refuel. Therefore if you find that you’re tempted to skip you’re after workout snack, here’s why you shouldn’t:
Refueling your body with the proper nutrients after a workout is going to replenish glycogen stores, electrolytes, and lost fluid. Not only are you replenishing what’s been lost during your workout, you’re also fueling your muscles and repairing damaged tissue. This is going to help build you that toned and strong body you’re working towards!
Don’t ruin your progress by skipping your post-workout snack.
5 Healthy Post-Workout Snacks
Even though it’s important to snack after a workout, what you eat is just as important. Binge eating on processed, and sugary foods is going to cause more damage than good, and set you back in your health and fitness goals. Choose high quality foods to fuel your body with the nutrition it needs to recover. You will definitely want to nourish your body with a high quality protein source, and something that in rich in complex carbohydrates to give your body the energy boost it needs. Here are my top 5 post-workout snacks I would recommend over a protein shake any day.
Hummus & Veggies:
Hummus is an excellent source of plant based protein, as well as fiber. Pair some hummus with some veggies, or a whole wheat pita for a flavorful post-workout snack.
Sweet Potato Fries with a Chicken Breast:
While this may seem more like a meal to you, this is a great post-workout snack. Refueling with some homemade sweet potato fries, and a piece of grilled chicken is a perfectly balanced -snack to refuel your tired muscles, and restore depleted glycogen stores. Having a substantial snack will prevent snacking on something loaded with artificial, and sugary ingredients. Try adding a drizzle of coconut oil for a nutritionally balanced snack, full of complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats.
Peanut Butter & Banana Toast:
If you’re looking for a quick post-workout snack, this is a super easy, and delicious treat. This snack can help replenish glycogen stores, refuel muscles, and provide you with a healthy dose of potassium to help avoid post-workout muscle cramping. Try swapping out peanut butter for almond, or sunflower butter for an equally as delicious snack, just be sure to stick with a whole grain bread.
Cottage Cheese & Berries:
Cottage cheese is another impressive source of protein. In just 1 cup of cottage cheese, you pack in just about 25 grams of protein! Top this with some fresh berries for some added carbohydrates. This is one of the best post-workout snacks you could have!
Unsweetened Greek Yogurt with Fruit:
Did you know that 1 cup of Greek yogurt packs in an average of 17 grams of protein? Top this with 1 tsp. of raw honey, and add some rolled oats and fresh fruit. You now have yourself a delicious protein packed snack with almost the same amount of protein as a standard protein shake.
When should you Snack after a Workout?
While you may know it’s important to snack after a workout, you may be wondering when exactly you should be chowing down on these healthy snacks.
The general rule of thumb is to eat something healthy within 30 minutes after a workout. It’s best to not go any longer than two hours. This may seem like a long time-frame, but if you can manage to refuel before the two hour mark, you will be doing your body a favor, and replenishing those glycogen stores when they need it the most.
Why Quality Matters:
When choosing snacks for your post-workout fuel, always remember that quality matters. No matter how hungry you are, take the time to prepare something that will nourish your body. Choosing whole foods over supplements is also going to give you an advantage. Getting your protein from protein rich foods will not only help your muscles recover, but will nourish your body in ways that supplements cannot. Also, keep in mind that more is not always better. If you do decide to go for a protein shake, don’t go adding 2-3 scoops of protein powder to your shake. This is overkill, and your muscles don’t need that much.
Post-workout snacking doesn’t have to be confusing. Just remember to never skip a post-workout snack, strive to eat within 30 minutes of exercising, and choose whole food quality protein sources whenever possible. You will be snacking like a pro in no time, and I promise your muscles will thank you for it!
If you liked these post-workout snacks, try these 7 quick and easy breakfast recipes!
Rebecca Jacobs N.C is a Certified Nutrition Consultant, and owner of Holistic Balance Nutrition. Her specialties include digestive health and weight loss, where she has been helping clients reach their weight loss goals since 2015. Rebecca’s approach is different from others, because she believes in a no dieting and individualized approach to healthy living, and believes that healthy eating must be delicious. She is passionate about helping others find their balance and getting to the root cause of their weight gain, or health issues through the power of nutrition.