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Post-Workout Recovery Foods

Foods for post-workout recovery

Post-Workout Recovery Foods

When you are teaching your clients the basics of post-workout nutrition, these recommendations may come in handy. You could distribute them as a handout or post them on the wall for your clients.

Optimizing Your Post-Workout Recovery

There’s about a 30- to 45-minute long sweet spot after a workout when the body can best take advantage of a meal or snack to help restore muscle tissue and energy. Here are the things you want to incorporate to make sure you’re properly refueling.


This is a vital component for recovery and repair of muscle tissue, particularly if you’ve gone into your workout on an empty stomach. Some options for getting the protein you need include:

  • Protein shakes. Whether you’re going with an instant powder or a more elaborate and tasty smoothie, a protein shake has the advantage of being quick to prepare, convenient, portable and easily absorbed by the body.
  • Lean meat or fish. A sandwich or lettuce wrap with turkey breast or tuna and your favorite fresh veggies can be a satisfying post-gym snack.
  • Vegetable proteins. If you prefer a meatless option, consider hummus or your favorite kind of nut butter as a sandwich filling or dip with fresh vegetables.
  • Dairy protein. Yogurt and cheese are both easy-to-carry sources of protein. Some athletes swear by chocolate milk as a great-tasting recovery drink.
  • Protein bars. No time for anything that won’t fit in your pocket? Find a protein bar you like and have one on hand when you head out to exercise.


Ingesting a fast-acting carbohydrate is necessary to boost energy, restore glycogen levels and even out insulin levels after exertion. Try some of these:

  • Sports drinks. The sugar and electrolytes in sports drinks are specifically designed to help with recovery.
  • Whole grains. That hummus mentioned above? Have some whole grain pita bread with it. Or spread almond butter on a few whole grain crackers.
  • Trail mix. The dried fruit is a nice carbohydrate boost, while the nuts provide extra protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

Muscular energy is dependent on various nutrients. Here are some of the ones you want to address:

  • Potassium. A potassium-rich banana is perfect to blend into a smoothie, slice into a peanut butter sandwich or just eat as is. Potatoes are another good source of potassium, and both bananas and potatoes double as healthy carbohydrate options.
  • Calcium. You can get a good amount of this with the dairy options listed above, or milk substitutes including almond and soy milks.
  • Electrolytes. You have this one covered with a lot of the options above as well, including sports drinks, milk, fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
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