Good, healthy snacks are just the thing after a hard workout. Not only will they quell that post-sweat hunger, they’re also a key part of your recovery, and shouldn’t be neglected. As any personal trainer will tell you, snacking within thirty to sixty minutes after a workout will replenish glucose and glycogen stores and help to repair muscles. You’ll want to incorporate a reasonable amount of protein, somewhere between ten to fifteen grams, and some complex carbs. That amount of protein ensures your body has what it needs to begin the repair process.
Here are ten healthy snacks ideas sure to keep you going, even after a particularly hard work out.
#1 Vegemite on Wholegrain Toast
Vegemite is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B9, and if you work out regularly, you don’t even have to worry about the sodium content. Not only will you be replacing sodium lost during your most recent work out, but Vegemite has a bit of an undeserved bad reputation for being high-sodium. A five-gram serve (which is just a little over half a teaspoon) contains 158 milligrams of sodium. That might sound like a lot, but it’s not even ten percent of your suggested dietary target. The wholegrain toast is an excellent choice for complex carbohydrate.
#2 Almond Butter and Banana on Toast
The bread and banana provide the carbs you need, as well as a healthy amount of vitamins B6 and C, folate, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and an average of three grams of fiber and one gram of protein. Almond butter adds more protein (and tastes great with the banana). Use a good wholegrain bread for quality complex carbs.
#3 Half a Sweet Potato
Over eighteen grams of carbohydrates, under six grams of sugar, and with nearly two grams of protein, half a sweet potato is just the thing if you’re feeling a bit hungrier and want a more substantial snack—and they’re really healthy. They’re high in fiber, vitamins B5, B3, B6, and C, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and copper. They get their orange color from beta-carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant.
#4 Hummus with pretzels and carrots
As with our first snack on this list, if you’re physically active, you don’t have to worry about the sodium. You probably even find yourself craving salty foods after working up a sweat—and that’s not bad, as you do need to replace the electrolytes you’ve lost. Hummus, since it’s made chiefly of chickpeas, is a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Almonds are nutrient-dense, providing protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fat. They’re great eaten alone, or can be paired with a handful of dried fruit for a bit of sweetness and more carbs (just be sure to drink plenty of water with the dried fruit).
Pistachios are one of the best snack nut sources in terms of plant-based protein, high in fiber and protein, and one of the best sources of vitamin B6 around. They’re also high in thiamin (or vitamin B1), copper, manganese, phosphorous, and potassium, and a rich source of antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are very important for eye health, and they’re abundant in polyphenols and tocopherols, which help protect against cancer and heart disease.
#7 Apple Slices with Almond Butter
A sneaky way to ensure you’re getting a serve of fruit and all the nutrients available in almonds. A single apple cut in eight with enough almond butter to coat each slice is surprisingly filling, and provides just the right balance of carbs, protein, fat—and flavor.
#8 Cottage Cheese with Berries
Rumored to be a favorite snack of Olympic weight lifters, a bit of cottage cheese with an assortment of various kinds of berries is a fantastic between-meal bite. The cottage cheese is packed with protein, calcium, B complex vitamins, is rich in vitamin D, and a good source of other minerals like magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. Berries of just about any type are rich in vitamin C and packed with antioxidants—and they add just the right touch of sweetness.
#9 Roasted Chickpeas
Full of protein, fiber, and a fantastic source of complex carbohydrates, chickpeas are also a great way to ensure you’re getting important recovery vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium, and folate—and they’re easy to make. Preheat your oven to 230°C, and while it’s heating blot canned chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. Toss them with a little olive oil, salt, garlic salt, or your favorite seasonings, spread them evenly onto a baking tray and roast for thirty to forty minutes until browned and crunchy.
#10 Turkey wraps
Quick, easy, and a good combo of lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Simply take a tortilla, add a slice of turkey, a slice of cheese, roll, and eat. You’ll want to use whole cuts of turkey (not pressed or processed), and a good quality whole cheese—cheddar is a great option.