Work hard, snack hard – right? As I am training for a half marathon, I am learning more about nutrition for exercise and how important it is to fuel our bodies – before and after a workout.
Today, I’m sharing a few of my personal favorite post-workout snack ideas! I make sure to think about a post-workout snack anytime I’m doing moderate to intense physical exercise over 45 minutes. The recommendations are to enjoy these snacks within 30 minutes to an hour after your workout, blending protein and carbohydrates to refuel your muscles.
These post-workout ideas are much more exciting than my pre-workout (usually a very simple carbohydrate: a piece of toast or half a banana), since my stomach can be sensitive to more. I do want to note though that if you are close to a meal already, just be mindful of incorporating protein and carbs and then there is no real need to take in additional calories (unless that meal is over an hour away!).
Healthy Post-Workout Snack Ideas
When thinking about what to snack on, I like to prioritize diversity of flavors and textures while balancing the carbohydrates, fat, and protein I’m enjoying.
Ask yourself these questions as well as your answers may be different than mine:
- Am I exercising right before a meal?
- If so, I forgo a snack and am mindful to make sure my meal is well balanced with a focus on protein and carbohydrates. If I’m an hour or so away from a meal, I will still make a snack – just make it smaller than normal.
- Do I need a snack that packs well or will I be home?
- If you’re heading from the gym straight to work, or are in a time crunch, think about incorporating snacks into your food preparation routine on the weekend or the night before.
- What time of day will I be exercising?
- This definitely determines my snack choices further – I tend to go for different snack options depending on the time of day. Check out some of my ideas below!
Morning Post-Workout Snack Ideas
- Small piece of fruit and 1 tablespoon nut butter: Whether it be a banana or a small apple, they make a perfect pair with a bit of your favorite nut butter as a protein + carbohydrate powerhouse. My favorites are almond butter + banana slices or crunchy peanut butter + a small apple.
- 8 ounces of a homemade smoothie: I love making a smoothie in the morning, especially if I’ve been outside running or feel a bit dehydrated. It’s so refreshing!
- 2-3 small energy bites: I love keeping my energy bites in the freezer for grabbing after a workout. I make a big batch, roll them small, and they last me awhile! The combination of dates + nuts is a perfect recovery food- some ideas to get you started are my Pecan Pie Bites or my Cocoa Almond Power Bars.
Day and Night Post-Workout Snack Ideas
- 2 tablespoons hummus + crackers: Your favorite flavor of hummus is a perfect afternoon snack with a few crunchy crackers. I love whipping up my edamame hummus or lemon hummus to keep on hand.
- Hard boiled egg + fruit: The egg is the best invention. Hard boil a few for the week and enjoy one with a side of fruit – I am loving cherries lately, but any fresh berries or half a small apple/banana would be great here.
- 1 cup chia pudding: Combine 3 tablespoons of chia seeds with 1 cup of milk of your choice, and any flavors you want to add. I love having my vanilla bean chia seed pudding on hand!
- 1 cup edamame with sea salt: Simple and delicious, I got this idea from sushi restaurants. Not only are they tasty with flaky sea salt, the protein and carbohydrates in soybeans are perfect for post-workout.
I hope this post gave you some new ideas for planning your post workout snacks! I know I’m so much happier noshing on one of these options instead of slinging back a protein shake (which usually ends up being more fuel than I need).
Share with me in the comments what your favorite form of exercise is right now, and what your favorite post-workout snack is!