After a grueling gym session, what’s the best way to restore energy and rebuild muscle? This is undeniably one of the more popular questions that our personal trainers get asked. Eating the right snack post workout will help your body repair muscle tissues and replenish glycogen stores. The snack doesn’t need to complicated or expensive (think of all those protein bars on the market). If you have a healthy well-stocked fridge and pantry, you won’t have any problem grabbing the right food to eat post workout – even if you’re heading to work or have to eat on the go. From our Nutrition Coaches, here are 10 easy and smart snacks to eat post workout:
- Nitrate-free turkey slices, a low-glycemic fruit such as apple or pear, and a “handful” of almonds (this translates into six unsalted nuts, and raw is best)
- Boiled egg (possibly two depending on your weight and goals), 1/4 cup berries, and handful of almonds
- Tuna or chicken salad – 1/2 cup, going easy on the mayo/fat
Pepe Picco’s Picks
- Fruit with protein shake
- Banana with glass of organic milk (unpasteurized would be best, but it’s hard to get here)
- Handful nuts with dried fruit
Jade McClure’s Picks
“My post workout snack ideas are for people who are focused on fat-loss specifically as their goal.”
- Avoid fat for the first hour after training. So NO nut butter smoothies, whole eggs, etc. If you are going to eat solid food as opposed to a protein drink for your post workout snack or meal keep the fat to a minimum during that meal. Fat is great, but it will slow the digestion of the protein/amino acids you are trying to get into your system quickly.
- Simple and effective recovery drink: Put two scoops of your favourite whey isolate protein powder into your shaker cup and bring it with you to the gym. Drink 1/3 of the shake (with water) right before you workout, sip the other 1/3 during your workout and finish the final 1/3rd post-workout. You’ll get a nice dose of amino acids to fuel your muscles while you are training them and then again post workout for recovery.
- This one is a tricky one but if you can keep your carb intake very low until after you workout, you’ll see greater fat loss. So let’s say you workout on your lunch break, for breakfast and any snacks before your workout stay as low-carb as possible, only eating low-carb veggies. Then in your post workout meal and onwards you’d go back to eating normal healthy starches if needed. This way you’ll tap into your fat stores much faster when exercising. Otherwise you’ll hit the gym and be only burning off the stored carbohydrates you ate for breakfast.
Teri-Lynn Nelson’s Pick
- 1 vegetable serving – carrots, spinach, kale, pumpkin, celery, etc.
- 1 fruit serving – banana, berries, apple, etc.
- 1 scoop of protein powder Liquid – almond milk or coconut water)
- Optional: spices or flavourings (cinnamon, cocoa powder, etc.)
- Optional: Greek yogurt or nutbutter
Read more on nutrition by clicking on the “nutrition” link at the top of this post. Learn more about Nutrition Coaching here.