Best After Workout Snacks
Don’t let your workout go to waste by eating or drinking things that won’t make your body feel good. These super-snacks will help you power through a tough sweat session and leave you ready for more tomorrow. Consider these amazing food that can easily classify as Best After Workout Snacks.
Protein Shake with Banana
After a workout, you want ample protein combined with a carbohydrate. A protein shake made from whey protein, water, and half a banana is a great choice, since your body quickly turns it into energy.
Recommended Serving Size: 2 scoops of whey protein powder combined with water and 1/2 banana (you can also mix a scoop of your favorite protein powder into orange or cranberry juice for a no-blender-needed smoothie)
Fruit and Low-Fat Yogurt
Yogurt gives you a good dose of protein and a small amount of fat, while the fruit provides a boost of carbohydrates, vitamins and fiber. Choose a variety of berries (or other fruits of your choice) and try different yogurt flavors.
You can’t go wrong with a sandwich after a workout. It’s got everything in a hand-held package. Low-sodium cold cuts provide some salt to help replace what’s lost in sweat during exercise. Tomatoes add freshness and a boost of vitamin C. You can easily substitute 100 percent whole wheat bread in this recipe to boost the fiber content. Grill it up ahead of time and pack for lunch, or whip it up in minutes for an easy weeknight dinner.
Whole Wheat English Muffin with Sliced Turkey Breast and Hummus
Like hummus? Eat up! Combined with a whole wheat English muffin or a whole wheat pita, this combo makes for a great protein/carb recovery food. Note: whole wheat will release energy slower into your body than white bread. Wheat bread will also satisfy your hunger longer than the high-caloric fluffy white stuff. Once again, if you’re watching calories, ¼ cup of hummus on one whole wheat pita adds up to about 300 calories.
Now that we’ve talked about some great recovery foods, it’s time for a heart-to-heart. Ask yourself if your workout really needs a recovery snack or meal? A 15 minute leisurely walk, a 30-minute light strength-training session or 30 minutes of stretching are not the moderate-to high-intensity workouts that burn up your muscles and deplete your blood sugar levels to a level where you need a snack to recover. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy a portioned healthy post work-out snack at all.
It’s best to be mindful of calories burned during a workout vs. calories consumed during the day, and to find a healthy balance of calories in vs. calories out to maintain a healthy body weight.
Overeating After Workout
Here are 3 clues to help you prevent overeating after a workout:
- Did you break a sweat during your workout? If you had a short and light workout session and your skin remains fairly dry, it’s good to re-hydrate with water, but not necessary to recover with food or a sugary beverage.
- Was your heart rate elevated? Exercising at a low–intensity rate for a short period of time certainly is better than no exercise at all, but you won’t deplete your glycogen stores or tear up muscle tissue during a low–intensity workout.
- Was your breathing labored? A 60–minute moderate–intensity spin class, dance class or power yoga class can elevate your heart rate and leave you breathing hard at times, which means you’re burning calories and earning the health benefits. Enjoy your post–workout healthy snack, but count it toward your total daily caloric intake, not as a way to justify a recovery meal.