It’s common knowledge that you should eat a little something before you work out, but what you eat right after a workout is also crucial – you don’t want all that hard work to be in vain! Many people go hiking or exercise on weekends, only to treat themselves to a big, empty calorie-filled brunch post workout. There are some great post workout snacks that aren’t waffles and bacon, but provide you with the carbohydrates (for energy) and protein (for muscle) your body needs – and don’t forget to rehydrate yourself with a refreshing glass of water as well!
Here are five great options for a post workout snack:
1. A banana with peanut butter (natural) – This is a favorite for experts, who swear by this snack. The banana is a great source of potassium (be gone, muscle cramps!) and complex carbohydrates. Peanut butter (or cashew or almond… any kind of nut butter, really) is a tasty source of protein and healthy fat that gives you energy and fuel to keep going through the day.
2. Chocolate milk (skim) – They contain a good carbs-to-protein ratio needed to assist in repairing your muscles from a workout, and they are rich in calcium. Even if you can’t do dairy if you’re lactose intolerant, soy milk is a good alternative.
3. An apple and non fat string cheese – Make sure to also eat the skin of the apple – that’s where most of the nutrients are! String cheese is a good source of protein and gives the sweet apple a salty complementary component.
4. Turkey sandwich – Okay, this is more like a meal, but a simple turkey sammie is the perfect thing to eat after working out. The turkey meat is straight protein and the carbs in the bread make it a great combo. Add tomato and lettuce to give it a heaping serving of veggies.
5. Yogurt and berries – Low fat yogurt gives you the perfect amount of protein you need after exerting your muscles and berries are not only tasty, they are a great source of carbs.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images