We take post-workout snacks pretty seriously around here. Not only are they a must to refuel after a workout, but science shows that a snack after exercise is important for a few reasons. For one, when we exercise, those hard-working muscles use up glycogen stores for energy. Refueling with a snack post-workout helps replenish these stores while also supporting the muscle growth and repair process.
But, just like with any snack we choose to add to our diet, not all post-workout snacks are created equal.
Ahead, we’re sharing what to look for in a post-workout snack, plus some seasonally delicious post-workout bites you’re going to want to keep on hand all winter long.
RELATED: Our Top 7 Post-Workout Snacks
Why These Post-Workout Bites Make Such a Healthy Post-Workout Snack
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to creating a delicious and nourishing post-workout snack. First, steer clear of anything processed, and ideally, stick to a snack that’s made from whole food sources and is free from added sugars (including artificial sweeteners).
You’ll also want to focus on balance by making sure your post-workout snack has a complex carb, protein, and fat, which is why these peppermint post-workout bites make such a great post-workout snack choice.
Here’s a bit more on why enjoying a balanced post-workout snack is so important.
Carbs are one of the most talked-about macros when it comes to pre and post-workout nutrition, and that’s because carbohydrates help to replenish the glycogen stores that our body dips into during exercise. Some research suggests that we should consume a carbohydrate within 30 minutes post-workout.
In these chocolate peppermint post-workout bites, we’ve used pitted Medjool dates, which are a great source of dietary fiber and also serve as a delicious natural sweetener.
Getting enough protein in our diet is such an integral part of supporting overall wellness, and getting a protein-rich snack in after exercise is necessary to help rebuild muscle tissues and to support the growth of those hard-worked muscles.
These chocolate peppermint post-workout bites are made with a scoop of JS Health X FitOn Protein Powder for added protein and probiotics.
Last but not least is fat. Fats have been a topic of controversy when it comes to including them in your post-workout snack as it’s been believed that eating fats after exercise may slow down digestion and how quickly your body absorbs nutrients from your post-workout snack or meal. But, a study found that whole milk (rich in fat) actually helped increase the body’s ability to utilize amino acids, which is an extremely important part of protein synthesis to help support muscle repair.
The takeaway? A little healthy fat in your post-workout snack may actually be beneficial for the muscle repair process. We’ve added raw cashews to these post-workout bites as the primary fat source.
Must-Try Chocolate Peppermint Post-Workout Bites
With all this talk about chocolate + peppermint, let’s talk about these crave-worthy, post-workout bites.
Made with all the ingredients that the body craves after a workout and lots of seasonal flavors, this is a must-try recipe.
Here’s how to make them.
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1.5 tbsp raw unsweetened cacao powder
- 20 pitted Medjool dates
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 scoop JS Health X FitOn Cookies & Cream protein powder
- ½ tsp pure peppermint extract
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Start by adding the cashews and cacao powder to a food processor and process for about 20 seconds.
- Add the dates, syrup, and water, and process until combined.
- Add the remaining ingredients and process again until the mixture comes together.
- Transfer to a bowl and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Once chilled, roll into bite-size rounds and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to enjoy.
- Enjoy as a delicious post-workout snack!
Optimizing Your Post-Workout Snack Game This Winter
Adding variety to your post-workout snack routine is a must to prevent getting tired of the same old thing, and there’s no better time than now to add a little holiday flavor to your snacks.
The best part about these post-workout bites is that they can be adjusted to your liking, so even after the holiday season, and you’re tired of all the peppermint flavors, simply swap out the peppermint extract for vanilla. This is truly a post-workout snack that’s not only versatile but nourishing and delicious too.
Want more post-workout snack inspiration? Check out FitOn PRO for custom meal plans and delicious nutritionist-developed recipes.