Whether you work up a sweat in the morning or evening, chances are you grab a little bite before you hit the gym. A snack before you work out helps give you energy and stamina to go the distance. But did you know that eating a snack after you work out is even more important? “You want to make sure you feed your body to help repair muscleSee How I Gained 20 Pounds of Lean Muscle with P90X. Read more ... » tissues and replenish glycogen stores [which are depleted after a strenuous workout],” says Kristin Reisinger, MS, RD, a sports nutritionist and competitive figure athlete based in New Jersey. Here, six top snacks9 Foods That Aren’t As Healthy As You Think. Read more ... » to fuel your body post workoutGot Milk? Try Chocolate Milk After Your Workout. Read more ... » (Reisinger recommends chasing each of these snacks with 8-12 ounces of water).
Protein ShakeWhat To Eat After Exercise. Read more ... » with Banana“After a workout, you want ample protein combined with a carbohydrate,” says Reisinger. A protein shake made from whey proteinAll About Protein Powder Supplements. Read more ... », 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 powderAll About Protein Powder Supplements. Read more ... » combined with water and 1/2 banana, 250 caloriesHow Many Calories Should I Eat?. Read more ... »
Peanut Butter & Banana on Rice CakesIf you’re craving something more substantial after a workout, a healthy peanut butter and banana sandwich will fit the bill. Instead of bread, smooth your peanut butter onto two brown rice cakes for extra fiber (without empty carbsHow To Build Muscles with Proper Nutrition. Read more ... »). And while you may usually avoid bananas because they’re too full of sugar, eating one after a workout is just fine. “This is one of the only times I recommend a high-glycemic carbohydrate source such as banana, because the uptake will be rapid,” says Reisinger. Translation: It’ll replenish your energy quickly.
Recommended Serving Size: 1/2 banana, 1 tbsp. peanut butter, and 2 brown rice cakes, 215 calories
Hummus and PitaAnother great carb/protein combo: Hummus and whole wheat pita. Hummus, a dip made from pureed chickpeas, gives you both carbs and protein. Coupled with the slow-release energy from the whole wheat pita, it makes for a snack that’ll keep you fueled for hours.
Recommended Serving Size: 1/4 cup hummus with 1 whole wheat pita, 275 calories
Yogurt and Fresh BerriesProtein makes sense after a workout, since it contains amino acids that help build muscleTen Mistakes to Avoid When Building Muscle and Losing Fat. Read more ... ». “Your muscles are depleted of amino acids after a workout, so you need an adequate supply of protein to help build them up,” says Reisinger. Low-fatHow to get rid of back fat. Read more ... » yogurt can pack nearly 15 grams of protein; add some berries for carbohydrate-driven energy.
Recommended Serving Size: 1 8-ounce container of plain, low-fat yogurt with 1/2 cup berries, 180 calories
Tuna on Whole WheatWhat could be more filling after a workout than half a sandwich? And when you choose its filling wisely, you’ll be building muscle while you eat, too! “Research shows that carbs and protein together have a better response to post-workout recoveryWhat is a Recovery Workout?. Read more ... »,” says Reisinger. Tuna drizzled with a little lemon juice and olive oil spread over a slice of whole wheat bread is an ideal protein/carb mini-meal.
Recommended Serving Size: 4 ounces water-packed tuna and 1 slice whole wheat bread, 220 calories
Turkey and Cheese with Apple SlicesIf you’re not in the mood for a sandwich, skip the bread and eat the fillings on their own! Spread a soft-cheese wedge over two or three slices of lean deli turkey, then roll up for a quick, high-protein, eat-on-the-go snack. Add a sliced apple for some energy-boosting (and glycogen-replenishing) carbs.
Recommended Serving Size: 4 ounces deli turkey, 1 soft cheese wedge, and 1 apple, 240 calories