You’re riding high on the feel-good, after-workout mindset, and now it’s time to reward your body with a post-fitness refuel. Eating after exercise is essential to support muscle recovery, replenish glycogen stores and ensure you’re ready for the next workout. Hydrating and choosing foods high in carbohydrates and protein will help things along. Here’s a list of go-to foods to eat after a workout – including chicken, fish, and delicious plant-based protein alternatives from Gardein® – along with some easy recipes.
Everyday bananas are a portable snack you can enjoy immediately after your workout, offering carbs and potassium, two muscle-friendly, post-workout nutrients. Add bananas to whole-grain pancakes, toss them in a smoothie, mash them onto toast with peanut butter or simply peel and eat. You can also transform overripe bananas into this impressive upside-down cake.
Eggs are a source of highly bioavailable protein, which helps muscle recovery. What’s more, they’re quick, versatile and more affordable than a shake at your smoothie bar. Instead of your typical scrambled eggs, try this recipe for garlicky, yogurty Turkish eggs instead!
A source of plant-based protein and complex carbohydrates, edamame contains amino acids that help with muscle repair and the building of new muscle tissue. After a workout, add some of these legumes to a cold noodle soba bowl with a protein like chicken or pork, or cheat on meat with delicious sweet and sour Gardein® porkless bites for a plant-based alternative.
Chicken brings readily available protein to your post-workout routine. Meal-prep grilled or roasted chicken at the beginning of the week to quickly add to salads, lettuce wraps or any other after-exercise meal. If you’re looking for a bit of heat, you’ll love this sriracha-honey oven-fried chicken.
Eating fibre-rich, high carbohydrate foods before a workout can cause digestive distress, but afterwards, these foods can help to replenish blood sugar levels. Chickpeas are a post-workout hero, containing carbs and plant-based protein in one tidy package. Try whipping up your own creamy hummus and topping it with your favourite protein for a hearty, protein-rich meal.
This tiny grain is packed with complex carbs and plant-based protein, two macronutrients that work with your body for a speedy post-workout recovery. For fast food that you can quickly snack on after exercising, cook up this quinoa bowl topped with vegan meatballs, like Gardein® Meatless Meatballs, ready in just 30 minutes. They’re a plant-based meat alternative that can be an easy swap for almost any dish that calls for meatballs – whether you’re a vegetarian, flexitarian, or just looking for something new.
Yogurt, especially the Greek variety, provides portable protein and calcium, two essential nutrients to support strong bones.. Skip the flavoured type and go for plain, seasoning with fruit and honey or maple syrup to taste for an after-workout snack, or add it in place of protein powder to your go-to smoothie recipe. If you’re looking for a healthier dessert featuring yogurt, this no-bake saffron yogurt tart with mango recipe is just the ticket.
A handful of nuts is a post-workout snack that provides protein, fibre and healthy fats, helping to keep your stomach satisfied until you can get something more substantial to eat. Keep a small pack of almonds in your workout bag, top your lunchtime salad with walnuts, or add nuts to your cooking routine with this coconut milk shrimp with cashews recipe.
Sweet potatoes are popular with the fitness crowd because they bring carbs, fibre and potassium to the table, assisting in the post-workout recovery department. They’re delicious, versatile and can be dressed up or down in myriad ways, like in this recipe for sweet potato shakshuka.
Salmon and other omega-3-rich fish provide protein for muscle recovery along with healthy fats to support healthy cells. The quick-cooking protein is the ultimate weeknight-friendly, post-workout dinner. Try baking it and topping it with spicy mango avocado salsa in this speedy dinner recipe.