7 Best After-Workout Foods to Eat

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7 Best After-Workout Foods to Eat
eHow

When you just killed it at the gym (or at home, or on the track...) you deserve to eat. But not all post-workout meals are created equal. The best options contain plenty of protein, which supplies the amino acids you need to repair and rebuild those tired muscles, along with carbohydrates to replenish your glycogen stores so that your muscles won’t feel too fatigued tomorrow.

These seven snack (and meal) ideas

Chocolate Milk
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Chocolate Milk

A post-workout meal doesn’t have to be complicated — if you’re in a pinch, pouring yourself a glass of chocolate milk will do. Milk supplies complete protein (meaning you’ll get all the amino acids needed for muscle repair) and has natural sugar which your body can use to replenish your glycogen levels. And because liquids digest so quickly, you’ll get that boost of energy ASAP.

delicious slushy

Greek Yogurt Parfait
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Greek Yogurt Parfait

If you’re more in the mood for a sit-down snack, refuel after a tough workout with a DIY Greek yogurt parfait. Greek yogurt has almost double the protein of regular yogurt and, like milk, it’s a complete protein that has everything you need for muscle repair. Fruit adds healthy natural sugar, without the need for added sweetener, and a spoonful of granola on top adds complex carbohydrates for longer-lasting energy.

this recipe

Cottage Cheese Tuna Melt
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Cottage Cheese Tuna Melt

An intense workout is the perfect excuse to enjoy some crispy, cheesy comfort food -- and, thankfully, a cheesy tuna melt is actually great for post-workout recovery as well! On top of offering loads of protein, tuna supplies omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats that might actually help reduce muscle soreness after a workout. Serving your tuna melt on whole-grain toast means you’ll get high-quality carbs and fiber, which will both refuel your muscles and keep you full until your next meal.

this recipe

Protein Muffins
Kevin Curry

Protein Muffins

Coffee shop muffins might look ultra-tantalizing when you’re hungry after a workout, but they’re typically full of processed sugar and low in essential protein. Instead, whip up your own high-protein versions at home to enjoy after your workouts. We recommend these sweet potato muffins, which get their healthy carbs from sweet potato and oatmeal, plus muscle-building protein from Greek yogurt and protein powder.

Apples with Almond Butter
Jennifer Farley

Apples with Almond Butter

Apple slices drizzled with almond butter is a classic for a reason -- the almond butter supplies lots of high-quality protein and fat, while apples add natural sugar, antioxidants and lots of dietary fiber.

almond butter recipe

High-Protein Smoothie Bowl
Julia Mueller

High-Protein Smoothie Bowl

That juice bar at your gym might be convenient, but chances are the smoothies there are packed with sugar -- and, since some juice bar smoothies top out at 1,200 calories or more, you may end up eating way more than you burned during your workout. Instead, serve up a smoothie bowl at home, piled high with nutrient-dense toppings.

one of these recipes

Baked Eggs
Julia Mueller

Baked Eggs

If you have a little time to devote to cooking after your workout, whipping up some baked eggs in tomatoes is a great way to recover. Eggs supply complete protein that’s also incredibly easily digested, so you can get those amino acids to your muscles ASAP to stimulate recovery. Eggs also contain iron -- a nutrient that helps carry energizing oxygen to your muscles -- while the tomatoes add vitamin C to keep your muscles and connective tissues strong. Cheddar adds satisfying cheesiness (really, we never say no to cheese!) along with even more protein.

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