You may think your workout is finished when you’ve completed your last rep, ran your last step, or when you’ve walked out the door of your favorite group fitness class, but there is one important thing left to do. It’s snack time.
What you eat after your workout can be almost as important as the work you’ve put in at the gym. The right snacks will help replenish your energy stores, rebuild your muscle tissue, and keep your metabolism boosted. The wrong post-workout snack, or skipping a snack entirely, can slow or even stop your progress.
What should you look for in the perfect post-workout bite?
- Clean eating snacks
- Combination of protein and healthy carbs
- Low calorie
A clean eating snack will consist of whole, unprocessed foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. Protein is essential to rebuild and repair muscles after your workout. Protein is also considered a thermogenic food that actually increases your metabolism when you eat it. Healthy carbs will replenish the glycogen that your body uses for fuel, so you will be ready to rock it at your next workout. And a low calorie snack won’t undo all of the calories you just burned.
Here are four perfect snacks to enjoy after your workout is finished:
Almond butter and Sprouted Grain Bread
Almond butter is a great source of protein to help rebuild muscles after your workout. Sprouted grain bread is made from whole grains that have been allowed to germinate. This whole grain, healthy carb that has fiber, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E. Foods rich in fiber, like whole grain breads, can help you feel fuller for longer after a meal and keep you from snacking later in the day.
Yogurt with Berries
Greek yogurt has more protein and a thicker, creamier texture than traditional yogurt. Read your labels to find a version that doesn’t have added sugars or unnecessary additives to keep it clean. Mix in some fresh or frozen berries to add a good carbohydrate with plenty of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. The antioxidants found in berries can help prevent oxidative stress that can occur in your body after an intense workout.
Turkey and Apple Slices
Slices of fresh, crisp apple and thinly sliced turkey breast are a delicious and clean snack to complete your workout. Not only is this a low calorie combination of protein and healthy carbs, turkey is also a natural source of tryptophan, a natural amino acid. Tryptophan has been linked to better sleep, improved mood, and even improved workout endurance.
These 3 Ingredient Pancakes are the perfect snack following an early-morning workout. A whole egg provides good quality, clean protein, and a banana is a healthy carbohydrate with a touch of sweetness. Bananas are a great source of potassium, an electrolyte mineral that your body needs to keep cells hydrated.
Remember, your workout isn’t complete until you’ve given your body the nutrition it needs to repair, replenish, and replace. The right snacks will improve your workout results, and fuel your body to even better performance.