You’ve just had a great workout, but now you’re hungry — your body needs fuel to help it recover. What should you eat?
Giving in to your cravings and eating junk food will negate most of the hard work you just put in at the gym, so picking the right post-workout snack is important. This means picking food that will not only help your body recover from the workout, but also boost your metabolism and keep you feeling full.
Next time you’re hungry and need to refuel after a good workout, try reaching for one of these snacks.
1. Apple With Almond or Peanut Butter
This post-workout snack is full of fiber, high in energy and packed with protein, which your muscles need to rebuild after a tough workout. By helping rebuild your muscles, protein will also boost your metabolism. Apples with almond butter also have a great crunch, for those who crave that refreshing texture. Just make sure to choose natural almond butter or peanut butter.
2. Non-Fat Greek Yogurt With Fruit
Non-fat, plain greek yogurt is high in protein and low in sugar. This guilt-free snack will leave you feeling full and energized.
Topping it off with some fresh fruit, such as a sliced banana or berries, makes this post-workout snack a great, energy-boosting option.
3. Whole Wheat Turkey & Veggie Wrap
Your body burns carbs for fuel during your workout, so replenishing your body with some wholesome grains, vegetables and protein-rich turkey is the perfect food combination post-workout.
Add avocado, tomato or lettuce for added crunch and flavor.
4. Green Smoothie
A nutritious green smoothie is a great way to refuel after a workout when you’re on-the-go.
Try blending these ingredients together:
- 1 banana, peeled and sliced
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
- 2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
- 1/2 cup coconut water
- 1/2 cup almond milk (or plain Greek yogurt)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
See the full recipe here.
5. Hard Boiled Eggs
Hard boiled eggs are a great source of high-quality protein and full of amino acids that your body needs in order to properly digest and absorb protein.
Egg yolks also contain lots of important vitamins such as vitamin B-12, B-6 and A.
6. Whole Wheat Pita and Hummus
Whole wheat pita and hummus are another great carb and protein combination.
Hummus is made from chickpeas, which have both protein and carbs. Paired with whole wheat pita, this snack will keep you satisfied with none of the guilt and all of the nutritional benefits.
7. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a plant-based, nutrient-rich source of carbs.
Since the body’s glycogen levels drop after a workout, the natural carbs found in sweet potatoes help restore them. They also provide dietary fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C, manganese and potassium.
Danielle Tarasiuk is a multimedia journalist based in Los Angeles. Her work has been published on AllDay.com, Yahoo! Sports, KCET, and NPR-affiliate stations KPCC and KCRW. She’s a proud Sarah Lawrence College and USC Annenberg alumn.