Here’s the scenario: You just got done with your workout at New You Fitness in Bentonville and now, well, you’re pretty dang hungry. It’s important to give your body the right nutrients before and after working out to maximize the effectiveness of the exercise. But what do you eat? A good baseline rule to follow is to eat about half the amount of calories you burned in your workout. You don’t want to undo your hard work. It’s recommended to have a mix of complex carbs, protein, and a dash of fat, which will help replenish your energy and aid in repairing muscles. There’s a lot of good options out there!

-Greek Yogurt, Oranges, and Peppers

If you have read our post about The Best Pre-Workout Snacks, you’re already familiar with how great Greek yogurt is when used to fuel your exercise plan. The quality protein found in Greek yogurt is just as helpful when you’re in recovery mode, as it helps prevent muscle damage. By throwing in some peppers and oranges, you’re getting vitamin C, which goes a long way to prevent oxidative stress to your muscles, brought on by a particularly intense workout session. You might think it sounds like a strange combination, but many fitness experts swear by this snack.

-Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

A personal favorite, this tasty treat has a lot going for it; protein from the peanut butter, carbs and potassium from the banana, you can even throw in some kale or spinach to add more positive nutrients and minerals like iron. You have the option of adding some protein powder to your smoothie, as it will increase the amount of energy gained post-workout. For the base ingredient of your smoothie, forgo the standard dairy milk and go for almond milk to reduce the calories and add in vitamins A and D. You can also add a dash of cinnamon to help control your blood sugar and dodge a crash post-workout.

-Whole Grain Waffles with Almond Butter and Yogurt

A quick and delicious snack for after you work out. A frozen whole-grain waffle with low-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt and a tablespoon of almond butter has an ideal ratio of carbs, protein, and healthy fats. This is a super easy snack to customize with bananas or berries to add even more great nutrients without compromising the flavor. Play around with it and see what works best for you!

-Tuna on Toast

A tuna sandwich is a classic dish that can be adjusted to be the ideal post-workout snack. Avoid the standard mayo and mix the tuna up with a little lemon juice and olive oil, then spread that over a toasted piece of whole wheat bread. Studies have shown that carbs and protein go together like peas in a pod when it comes to post-workout recovery, so pairing the lean protein of the tuna with the quality carbs of whole wheat or wholegrain toast works wonders for muscle health.

-Easy Trail Mix

A quarter-cup of dry roasted nuts is a healthy source of protein and the all too important good-for-you fats. Pistachios are of particular importance, as they’re a great source of potassium, which is an electrolyte lost in sweat. If you’re making your own, go for unsalted nuts and push away the temptation to add in chocolate candies like you find in mass produced trail mix. Instead, mix the nuts in with some raisins in a sandwich baggie so you have the perfect snack when you’re on the go.

-Apple with Almond Butter

A post-workout snack that has nutrients, protein, and is sweet enough to taste like a dessert? It exists and it’s one of the easiest snacks to have. This is a great way to recover in a way that feels like you’re treating yourself. Apples are low in calories and contain many vitamins that are hugely beneficial to a fitness routine. Almond butter has more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than your standard peanut butter, making this a great addition. Dip an apple slice in some almond butter for a snack with a crunch, some sweetness, and a whole lot of good nutrients.

-Sweet Potatoes

We know what you’re thinking. No, this didn’t just turn into a list of the best foods to bring to your holiday dinner. Sweet potatoes are an awesome post-workout snack thanks to a copious amount of vitamins and nutrients like vitamins B6, C, D, iron, magnesium, and the very pivotal potassium. They’re low in calories, have zero fat, and also contain fiber and protein to aid in recovery. Pairs well with lean protein like grilled chicken. This is especially good for those days when you walk out of the gym really hungry but craving comfort food

-Sardines

Wait, don’t go! This isn’t a joke. Those little tin-dwelling fish are actually incredibly helpful. With a ton of omega-3’s to promote heart health, along with calcium, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese, sardines are practically filled to the brim with super important nutrients. Put some on a low-sodium cracker, dash a bit of hot sauce on there, and you’ve got yourself something really delicious. The crackers provide a good source of dietary fiber and the hot sauce has capsaicin, which many studies show can help raise the rate of your metabolism. This helps with burning fat.

There are so many great snacks for you to munch on after you get your crunch on. If you’re looking for more nutrition advice to maximize your workout or if you’re just looking for some assistance on your way to fitness success, call New You Fitness today!