We all know that nutrition is key when it comes to health and fitness. The old saying that abs are made in the kitchen is in fact true. When you pair nutrition with exercise, you become unstoppable. It is important to know what foods are best to eat after a workout, however, so that you can maximize your results and help your body recover.

During a hard workout, your body is burning through some vital resources you have stored. It only makes sense to replenish these resources after your workout is done, without compromising the results of your workout. Your muscles are also damaged after a good strength training workout, so it is important for you to eat the best post workout foods to recover your muscles. You should eat your post workout snack within 45 minutes after your workout, as that is the best window of opportunity for nutrient absorption.

There are two key elements your post workout food should have: carbohydrates and protein. These are the most necessary for muscle recovery and replenishment. There are plenty of foods that are high in both, and would make great snacks for after your workout.

Protein Shakes

This is probably the most common post workout go-to snack. Protein shakes are fast, easy, and full of the vitamins and nutrients your body needs. They have the perfect amount of proteins and carbs to restore your body after a workout. The carbs will trigger an increase in insulin, which will help your body absorb the nutrients from your shake.

Yogurt and Fruit

Yogurt is high in protein, which we know is important after a workout. Fruits have the carbs that you need, so pairing the two you will get a delicious treat that will be good for your body! For the fruits, a banana would be ideal because it has the good carbohydrates that you need. Blueberries are also a good choice because they are high in antioxidants.

Tuna and Whole Grain Crackers

Tuna is great for you at any time of the day, especially after a workout. Tuna is loaded with protein, vitamin B-12, and Omega-3 fatty acid which do amazing things for your body. After your workout, tuna will give your body the protein, and the whole grain crackers are for- you guessed it- the carbs you need.

Apple Slices with Peanut Butter

This is one of my favorite healthy snacks because peanut butter goes so great with apples (then again, peanut butter goes great with anything). This is my go-to post workout snack. The peanut butter is packed with protein and healthy fats, while the apple has the carbohydrates. Be careful, though, because if you pick the wrong peanut butter you may be doing more harm than good. Be sure to always check the ingredients, and go for an all-natural peanut butter.

Turkey on Whole Wheat

This snack may feel like a whole meal, but it packs what your body needs. There is no need to feel any guilt whipping up this sandwich after a workout, because it has exactly what you want a post-workout snack to have.

You really can’t go wrong when choosing a snack after you get in an awesome workout. As long as you make sure it has the two key factors, you are in the clear. Your body will thank you for the replenishment, and it will reward you in return.

DSC_1631 (2)Written by: Gabrielle Pfeiffer