Feeding your body after every workout is important for burning the most calories, repairing and building lean muscle, losing weight, staying energised, as well as speeding up recovery. Here are the best foods to eat after a workout, so you can fuel up the right way and get the most out of your workouts.
1- Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great food source following a workout and have a delicious sweet taste. They are full with plenty of vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamins B6, C, D, iron, magnesium, and potassium. They also contain fiber and protein.
A medium sized sweet potato typically contains around 100 calories, 4g fiber, 24g carbs, 2g protein, and 0g fat. Steaming or boiling these potatoes is a great way to eat them and enjoy their nutrients. Add some grilled chicken to make it a perfect after-workout meal and achieve a great source of protein too.
2- Chocolate Milk
Chocolate milk makes an excellent choice after a workout, and can significantly help replenish exhausted muscles while aiding and speeding up recovery.
This snack contains a good mix of proteins and carbs and makes a great alternative to just drinking plain water after exercising. It’s also easy to consume on your way out of the gym.
3- Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
Peanut Butter Banana smoothies are a great way to replenish your body after exercise and are packed with protein and healthy fats. These delicious drinks provide long-lasting energy and are full of fibre, potassium, manganese, vitamin B6, probiotics, and calcium.
- 3/4 Cup plain or vanilla yogurt
- 2 Tbs Peanut Butter
- 1 Banana
- 1/8 Cup milk
- 3/4 Cup ice (optional – makes it thicker)
If you’re looking for something fast and easy to munch on as you’re leaving the gym— have some almonds. These nuts are full of protein and will go a long way to helping your muscles recover following a workout.
A handful of almonds is packed with fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, and contain healthy unsaturated fats.
5- Apple and Natural Peanut Butter
Apples with natural peanut butter are a delicious healthy treat and make a great post-workout snack. Despite being high in calories and fats, this snack delivers excellent nutrients and protein that’s required after exercise.
Canned sardines on whole-grain crackers can be a great food source following a workout, as they contain calcium, fiber, B vitamins, healthy omega-3 fats, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. Omega-3 fats can help reduce inflammation and ease post-exercise soreness.
7- Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a fantastic source of protein, and has a thick creamy texture and double the protein compared to regular yogurts. Additionally, it’s nutrient-dense, is a source of carbs, and helps restore and repair your muscles correctly after exercise.
To enjoy this snack even more, be sure to add some fresh fruit, such as berries, which will further aid any muscle soreness. Fruits are full of healthy, easily digestible carbohydrates. They contain enzymes, which will help your body break down nutrients so they can be delivered to your tired muscles. Fruits are a great food source as they are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Greek yogurt can also be enjoyed with cereal or some granola, to give a good balance of carbs. Greek yogurt, the low-fat range, is one of the best post-exercise foods.
8- Scrambled or Poached Eggs
Scrambled or poached eggs are full of high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals. Don’t be afraid to eat the yolks of eggs, as these are perfectly good for you and contain vitamins, including vitamin B-12, B-6 and A. They also contain many minerals your body needs, such as magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc and copper. Eggs contain all of the essential amino acids your body requires to digest and absorb protein.
Enjoy them with a slice of wholegrain toast, some peppers and onions, and some chicken or turkey for extra protein.
9- Protein Shake
Protein shakes, whether it’s whey protein or vegetarian/vegan powder, are an excellent source of fast protein. Fruit, peanut butter, and your choice of milk can make these shakes a delicious and perfect post-workout snack and a great way to fuel yourself. Protein shakes provide the perfect balance of protein and carbs.
10 – Banana Pancakes
- 1 whole egg
- 2 egg whites
- 1 ripe banana
Banana Pancakes are a great source of protein and carbs. They are gluten free and flourless. Begin by mashing the banana with a fork, then whisk the eggs in another bowl. Mix the eggs and banana together.
Place your frying pan on medium heat, use some coconut oil to grease, then pour about two tablespoons of mixture (5-inch wide puddle of batter). Leave for about 3 minutes then flip and leave for around another 3 minutes.
Enjoy these great tasting pancakes with some Greek yogurt and fruit or organic peanut butter.
Post-Workout Food List
- Sweet potatoes
- Chocolate milk
- Fruits (pineapple, berries, banana, kiwi)
- Rice cakes
- Dark, leafy green vegetables
- Animal- or plant-based protein powder
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Protein bar
- Nut butters
- Trail mix (dried fruits and nuts)
- Coconut oil
- Coconut milk
- Coconut Water
- Natural Electrolyte Drink