The Quickest and Easiest Post-Workout Snacks That Aren’t a Shake or a Candy Bar
After finishing a hard workout, one of your first priorities is probably to refuel your body. If you’re pressed for time, the impulse might be to reach for a bar or cocktail, but as convenient as they are, they’re often heavily processed and can get pretty boring after a while.
Jennifer Day, US Speed Skating Team sports nutritionist and Cheribundi spokesperson , recommends post-workout snacks that contain a mixture of carbohydrates, proteins, and electrolytes, with a preference for plant-based foods. Generally speaking, she’s talking about aiming for a three-to-one carb-to-protein ratio with at least 10-15 grams of protein.
“When you exercise, our muscles need fuel; this fuel will be in the smallest form of carbohydrate in the body, which is glucose,” Day said. “You need some protein, but not as much as most people think. Carbohydrates are the most important.”
Day recommends eating simple, easily digestible carbohydrates and avoiding too much fat and fiber, as these can slow down digestion. All of the post-workout snacks she recommends are quick and easy, with an emphasis on portability:
- Sandwiches with peanut butter and jelly. They are well tolerated, do not require refrigeration, have a good carbohydrate to protein ratio, and are plant-based.
- Chocolate milk. Shelf-life milk can be stored in a workout bag, and a 12-ounce serving contains about 13 grams of protein. For additional carbs, Day recommends either flavored milk or plain milk with a banana.
- Tart cherry juice. Tart cherry juice has been proven to reduce inflammation and promote muscle recovery , which is why many skaters Day works with include it in their post-workout snacks.
- Yogurt, fruits and honey. If you have access to a refrigerator, yogurt, fruit, and honey provide a good mix of protein and carbs. You can make homemade yogurt with fruit on the bottom by adding the bottom layer of fruit and honey to a Mason jar and filling the rest with yogurt.
- Whole grain crackers with fruit and cheese. Again, if you have access to a refrigerator, the combination of crackers, fruit, and cheese is a quick snack that combines carbs and protein. If you are short on time or energy, you can also buy ready-made snack packs.