Nourishing your body with healthy foods is the best way to reward yourself after having an amazing workout. Certain foods can promote muscle growth, replenish your energy, and help you recover more quickly. The best post-workout snacks are generally high in protein and complex carbohydrates — both of which can help you take your health, weight loss, and workouts to the next level!
Aim to eat the following snacks within 30 to 45 minutes of finishing your workout to benefit from improved energy, muscle growth, and a speedy recovery.
Nuts and seeds are high in complex carbs and protein, which make trail mix the ultimate post-workout snack. Stock up on almonds, pecans, and cashews, as well as sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame seeds. Then, make your own trail mix at home, adding raisins and small amounts of dark chocolate chunks for an extra boost in flavor.
Greek yogurt and fruit
Greek yogurt contains nearly double the amount of protein than regular yogurt, and is thicker and creamier in texture. Skipped the flavored varieties, which are high in sugar, and add fresh fruit to plain flavors for an added energy and antioxidant boost. Examples of fruits high in vitamins and antioxidants are bananas, cherries, and blueberries.
Banana with peanut butter
This high-carb / high-protein duo makes for the perfect recovery snack that will instantly boost your energy following a workout. If you’re after a higher number of nutrients, swap out peanut butter for almond butter. Compared to peanut butter, almond butter is higher in vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, and essential healthy fats.
If you’re on the go and need something quick and simple, opt for a protein shake following your workout. Protein shakes are relatively easy to make, since you can throw all your favorite ingredients into a blender and press the button. Combine unflavored whey protein mixes with almond milk, your favorite fruits, and/or peanut butter, and benefit from an ideal balance of protein and complex carbs.
Tuna and whole wheat
Tuna is high in protein, while whole-wheat breads and pastas are high in carbs. Tuna is also high in healthy fats that improve circulation and lower your risk for heart disease. Choose no-salt water-packed tuna — which is lower in sodium than tuna packed in vegetable oil. Then, mix about four ounces into whole-wheat pasta or spread across a piece of whole-wheat toast.
Eggs are high in protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants that drive weight loss and repair muscle tissue. Hard-boiled eggs are ideal post-workout snacks because you can make them ahead of time without having to worry about cooking following an intense workout. Pair eggs with avocados, whole-wheat toast, or yams to benefit from extra carb intake.
Hummus and veggies
Hummus, which is a spread made from chickpeas, is high in carbs and protein, as well as fiber, healthy fats, and vitamin C. Snack on all-natural hummus brands that lack additives and preservatives, and enjoy with veggies such as carrots and celery sticks. Hummus can also be used as a healthy, high-protein substitute for mayonnaise, salad dressing, and sour cream.
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Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on June 16, 2017