After hitting it hard in the gym, post-workout snacks are an important way to restore energy and rebuild muscle. Downed within two hours after exercise, protein-packed shakes and snacks are a great way to rebuild tissue that breaks down during exercise. Here are 25 ways to end your workout on a high note:
1. Protein pancakes: Mix 4 egg whites, ½ cup rolled oats, ½ cup low fat cottage cheese, 1/8 teaspoon baking powder, and ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Cook on preheated griddle (medium low heat) until it bubbles, then flip and cook another 30-60 seconds. Top with fresh berries or sliced banana.
2. Sweet potato pie shake: This isn’t your grandma’s recipe. Combine 1 scoop of cinnamon bun whey protein (yes, it exists), ¼ cup diced cooked sweet potato, 1 cup of ice, and 1 cup vanilla almond milk in the blender.
3. Chunky Monkey shake (a personal favorite): 1 medium banana, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, and 1 cup low-fat chocolate milk blended with ice.
4. Double G shake: An 8-ounce greens drink (any super-food blend found at most health food stores) with 1 scoop of glutamine.
5. Double Trouble shake: To lengthen the delivery time of nutrients to your muscles, combine ½ scoop of whey protein blended with ½ scoop slower-digesting casein protein, plus a handful of your favorite fresh or frozen fruit.
6. Bananarama: One medium sliced banana with 1 cup low fat milk — it doesn’t get any easier than this!
7. Protein bar: For a quick, store-bought fix, feed those muscles with a protein bar. Just watch the sugar content. Look for bars with 10-30 grams of protein, less than 10 grams of sugar, and the fewest number of ingredients you can’t pronounce!
8. Beef and squash: Feel like something hearty? Try a handful of lean roast beef with an equal portion of butternut squash.
9. Tuna crackers: Mix up a batch of light tuna salad for a quick bite. Add two heaping spoonfuls to a handful of whole grain crackers, and chomp away.
10. Bagel with egg whites: Half a medium-sized whole grain bagel with 2 eggs whites makes a great post-workout sandwich.
11. Ants on a raft: The ants go marching… Spread a heap of natural peanut butter over a brown rice cake and top with raisins or dried cherries.
12. Milk and cereal: Any time is a good time for cereal. Add 1 cup of low-fat milk to 1 cup of whole-grain cereal. Crunch loudly.
13. Chocolate milk: One to two cups of low-fat chocolate milk seals the deal with extra carbs and protein.
14. Black bean omelet: Four eggs whites, 1 ounce low-fat cheese, and ¼ cup canned black beans — then spice it up with a savory salsa, if you dare.
15. Green Monster smoothie: Blend 4 cups spinach, ½ cup vanilla bean yogurt, 1 cup almond milk, 1 banana, and 1 tablespoon peanut butter with ice.
16. Cottage cheese crunch: One cup fat-free cottage cheese, 1 teaspoon honey, ½ cup whole-grain cereal, and a dash of cinnamon does a body good.
17. Eggy Muffinwich: Ditch the fast-food and opt for 1 whole egg, fresh spinach, 1 slice low fat cheese, and 1 slice Canadian bacon served on an English muffin.
18. BCAA n’ Cakes: When in doubt, just add cakes! Pair up two scoops of BCAA powder mixed in ice water with two rice cakes.
19. Recovery in a bottle: When time is of the essence, grab a store-bought recovery drink to sip on after training. Just check the label — sports recovery drinks will provide plenty of carbs refuel, or opt for aminos to really rebuild.
20. Apples and cheese: Tease your taste buds with 1 medium sliced apple and 1 stick of low-fat string cheese.
21. Pita and hummus: One 7-inch pita with two spoonfuls of hummus adds a little pep back to your step with quick digesting carbs.
22. Egg scramble: Veg out after a hard training session with 2-3 whole eggs scrambled with a handful of chopped onion, spinach, and bell peppers.
23. Choco-tropical trail mix: Go bananas for a blend of ½ a handful of each: macadamia nuts, dried coconut, dark chocolate chips, and banana chips.
24. AB & J Rice Cakes: Almond butter takes the cake. For this healthier twist on the classic PB & J, sandwich 1 tablespoon of almond butter and 1 teaspoon of strawberry jam between two rice cakes.
25. Chicken hash: After your workout grab 1 cup cooked diced chicken, ½ cup butternut squash and apples, roasted in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Make a big batch and store it in the fridge!