A Personal Trainer’s Guide to the Best Post-Workout Snacks

shutterstock_537956950How many times have you went to the gym and felt great after a hard workout, only to feel drained three hours later? Was it because you did not fuel your body right after your workout? Whether you hit the gym in the morning or afternoon, eating the right snack after your workout is critical to keep your energy up and help your body repair muscle tissue. Eating the right snack post-workout will also help you restore glycerin stores, which you deplete after a long, hard workout. Although you may be hungry enough post-workout to guzzle down a hamburger and fries, you don’t want to undo all of the hard work that you just did at the gym. So, what are the right snacks to eat post-workout? Expert personal trainers from Fitness 4 Less tells what snacks are best to help refuel your body post-workout.

Chocolate Milk

Surprisingly, this tasty childhood favorite is a great post-workout snack. It has the right mix of carbohydrates and protein to replenish energy stores. Research also indicates that chocolate milk speeds up muscle recovery post-workout. This fact might be why lots of marathon runners drink chocolate milk after a race.

Turkey, Cheese and Apple Slices

This snack trio is the perfect after-workout meal. Apple slices are high in carbohydrates, which make them a great post-workout snack when paired with turkey and cheese. Both turkey and cheese have high amounts of protein. Eating just an apple by itself isn’t great post-workout as it does not have the protein needed to make you feel full. You also need protein after a strenuous workout.

Greek Yogurt and Granola

Greek yogurt is an excellent post-workout snack. It is nutrient dense and packed full of digestible protein, which helps restore your muscles after a hard workout. Mix some granola into your yogurt, and you have a low-fat snack that is high in protein and carbohydrates—exactly what you need after a workout.

Protein Shake

Personal trainers swear by protein shakes and no wonder—they have the perfect balance of carbohydrates and protein packed right into a tasty shake. Some protein shakes taste so good that you would swear they have to be bad for you when they are actually full of nutrients. It is hard to go wrong with a protein shake post-workout.

Peanut Butter and Banana on Whole Wheat Bread

Peanut butter plus banana is the perfect way to refuel after a hard workout. A banana is a great source of complex carbohydrates when you are on the go. It contains lots of potassium, which helps to ward off muscle cramps. Peanut butter is high in healthy fats plus it contains lots of protein. If you are allergic to peanuts, you can substitute any nut butter. Almond and cashew butter both contain very high amounts of protein. Spread the peanut butter and banana on top of high-fiber whole-wheat toast for a powerhouse post-workout snack.