Let’s talk post workout snacks. Most of us are hungry after exercising and ready to grab something to eat, but it’s determining what to eat that can be tricky. We’re breaking down why post workout snacks matter, and some healthy and delicious snack ideas that will leave you feeling refueled!
Why Post Workout Snacks Are So Important
So, what’s the deal with post workout snacks? If you’re super confused about what kind of food to grab after a workout, you’re not alone.
There’s mixed messages about what’s “healthy” and what’s not. And, while it seems like protein shakes are one of the most commonly reached for options, not all of these powders are healthy, and they aren’t the only choice! The truth is that there’s no one-size-fits-all post workout snack option.
But, one thing that’s clear is that eating after a workout is important. Replenishing our body after working hard during a workout can help:
- Supports muscle regrowth and muscle repair.
- Replenish glycogen stores.
- Boost overall recovery by giving your body what it needs to replenish after a good workout.
- Combat post-workout fatigue.
When Should You Eat Your Post Workout Snack?
While there’s no one hard rule here, ideally you’ll want to eat something as soon as possible after your workout.
The Mayo Clinic recommends eating a meal that contains both carbohydrates and protein within two hours of your workout. Carbohydrates are important to help replenish glycogen stores and protein is important to support muscle growth as well as repair.
However, note that when it comes to post workout snacks and meal timing, you should eat when you’re hungry! Hungry right after your intense workout? Eat! Just had a snack before your workout? You may be able to get away with pushing that post workout snack or meal a bit. Do what feels best for you, but strive to refuel with something nourishing within that two-hour window — your muscles are counting on it.
What Should You Eat After a Workout?
We know that both carbohydrates and protein are important after a workout, but what are some of the best food options to enjoy after a workout? Some of the best foods are going to be those that are easy to digest — this will make it easier for your body to absorb the nutrients you are ingesting, which is key for supporting post-workout recovery.
Another thing to keep in mind when selecting your post workout snack or making a post workout meal is to aim for balance, getting some complex carbs, clean protein, and healthy fat into your snack or meal of choice.
Here are some delicious food options.
7 Delicious Post Workout Snack Ideas
Want to see how to use this list of post workout foods to create a delicious post workout snack? Here are seven delicious snack ideas that will leave you feeling nourished after your workout.
#1 Coconut Milk Yogurt + Fruit
This snack offers a little bit of everything — healthy fats, protein, and complex carbs. It’s the balance the body needs to repair after a workout. So, try choosing some lower sugar fruits like berries, and top your coconut milk yogurt with some hemp seeds for some added plant-based protein.
Dig in and enjoy this much-deserved snack after a kick-butt workout.
Here’s a quick and easy recipe to try.
Dairy-Free Post Workout Yogurt Bowl
Make this yogurt bowl before your workout and store it in the fridge so you have a nourishing snack just waiting for you after your workout.
- 1 cup coconut milk yogurt
- 1 cup berries
- 1 tbsp flaxseeds
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- Drizzle of honey
- Add the yogurt to a serving bowl and top with berries.
- Sprinkle with flax and chia seeds.
- Drizzle with honey.
#2 Banana Slices with + Almond Butter & Hemp Seeds
Here’s an easy snack option that can be made in less than 5 minutes. Just slice up a banana and add some almond butter and a sprinkle of hemp seeds.
You’ll get the fat, protein, and carbs, and some added potassium and magnesium from the bananas to help with any post workout muscle cramping (win!)
#3 Nut Butter Rice Crackers + Fruit
A delicious way to refuel after a workout is with a rice cake topped with almond butter and sliced apple. It’s a great balanced snack and super easy to make. And, if you wanted some added protein, try adding some flax, chia, or hemp seeds for a plant-based protein boost!
Here’s a yummy recipe to get you started.
Apple & Almond Butter Rice Cakes
Need an easy snack option that only takes a few minutes to put together? This snack is for you. You can also switch things up and try it with sliced banana.
- 2 rice cakes
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 1 apple, thinly sliced
- 1 sprinkle of flaxseeds
- Drizzle of honey
- Spread the almond butter onto the rice cakes and top with the sliced apple.
- Sprinkle with flaxseeds and drizzle with honey.
#4 Clean Protein Shake
Protein shakes are one of the most common grab-and-go snacks after a good workout, but they aren’t always that healthy.
Many powders contain artificial ingredients (like sweeteners and fillers). Some are also dairy-based, which isn’t going to be the best choice for someone who doesn’t tolerate dairy well.
The good news is that the JS Health X FitOn Protein Powder is a delicious option that’s 100% vegan, non-GMO, sugar, dairy, and nut-free, and packed with probiotics. Try it in two delicious flavors — cookies & cream and cinnamon roll.
Blend it up with your favorite dairy-free milk and a frozen banana or try this delicious recipe.
Cinnamon Roll Smoothie
This delicious smoothie tastes like a cinnamon roll but healthy. Rich in plant-based protein and complex carbs, this is the ultimate post workout snack.
- 1 serving Cinnamon Roll JS Health X FitOn Protein Powder
- 1 frozen banana, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup ice cubes
- Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Serve in a tall glass and top with a sprinkle of granola, if desired.
#5 Avocado Toast
A delicious and highly nutritious post workout snack, avocado toast is always a good idea! Make it as healthy as possible with some gluten-free toast and add a fried egg and some spinach to take this healthy snack to the next level.
#6 Oatmeal + Nuts & Fruit
Oatmeal is one of those foods that can be enjoyed at any time of the day, and post sweat sesh is a great time. You can even use instant oats to cook on the stove with some almond milk and make it in under 2-3 minutes. Serve with some nutrient-dense toppings like nut butter, fresh fruit, and chia seeds.
You now have a balanced post workout snack that is not only delicious but super versatile. Try out other healthy toppings like shredded coconut and cacao nibs to see what variation you like best.
#7 Hummus + Sliced Veggies
Protein plus fiber. It’s the perfect pair, and hummus happens to contain quite a bit of each. Your body needs protein to help support muscle growth and repair, and the fiber can help keep blood sugar levels in check.
Pair some hummus with some bell peppers and celery as a nutritious post workout snack that can be enjoyed any time of the day.
Workout Like a Pro, Snack Like a Pro
Chances are, you already got the workout part down, right? If you’re showing up and pressing play on your workouts each day, you totally have it in the bag. So, why not snack like a pro too?
This week, challenge yourself to refuel your body with three of these post workout snack options. You’ll quickly see how a wholesome snack after a good workout can really make a big difference in how you feel.
Want more post workout snack inspiration? Consider joining FitOn PRO for access to personalized meal plans and exclusive recipes to reach your fitness goals faster without counting calories and with foods you’ll love to eat.