After you totally re-energize from a challenging workout, your body is in a state of recovery. And while you may feel too revved up to actually have much of an appetite, eating a healthy snack within 30 or 60 minutes of your workout, will help you get the nutrients you need to restore your energy and repair your muscles.
Unfortunately, if you aren’t headed straight home after your gym session, it can be kind of difficult to track down a solid snack. But you can plan ahead by stuffing some options in your bag ahead of time.
Be sure to choose snacks with the nutrients your body most needs. Protein will help your muscles recover and carbohydrates will help you reenergize—you’ll want to look for snacks that have a lot of both of these.
These six snack options cover all your bases. Some are heftier than others, which is perfect for when you’re between meals. Others are just enough to tide you over for the next hour or so. And each and every one will last in your gym bag through the duration of your workout.
Fresh fruits like bananas, apples, and oranges because they’re mostly water and they’re high in nutrients like vitamin C. That extra water will help you rehydrate (though you should definitely drink actual water, too) and vitamin C can help decrease muscle inflammation, she says. Plus, the carbohydrates and sugar in fruit will boost your blood sugar and get you feeling reenergized faster.
Raw Nuts & Trail Mix
Nuts are a great source of protein all on their own, and the fact that they’re easy to pack up and require zero refrigeration makes them an excellent post-workout snack to keep on hand. Trail mix, on the other hand, is even better because it delivers both carbs and protein. If you are on a diet limit yourself to a small handful and drink plenty of water to give you that fullness feeling..
Low Fat cheese sticks are super high in protein. Pair them with some chopped kiwifruit for a satisfying protein-carbohydrate pairing. Unfortunately, since cheese sticks are dairy products, you probably shouldn’t keep them in your bag for too long. .
Like cheese sticks, jerky is seriously packing protein. It is meat, after all. However, unlike cheese sticks, you can keep it in your bag for kind of a while without worrying about it going bad. The high salt content will require you to limit your intake to 2 pieces but consume with alot of water..
Hummus & Veggie Wraps
Now we’re getting to the hefty stuff. A hummus and veggie wrap is something you want to pack if you know you’re not going to be eating for a while after your workout. Scritchfield recommends making yours with a whole-wheat tortilla and some chopped cucumbers or bell peppers. Vegetables, similar to fruits, provide carbohydrates, vitamin C, and additional hydration.
If you do opt to try a wrap, seal it up tight and pull it out of the fridge just before you leave. Since there’s no dairy in any of the ingredients it should last you for a while. So if you head out in the morning for work, and don’t hit the gym till late in the afternoon, this wrap should hold up just fine.
Make yourself a whole wheat peanut butter and jelly sandwich for your next gym trip. A simple sandwich is another great option if you’ve got a lot of time between a workout and your next meal. It will provide you with complex carbohydrates, and nut butters will deliver the protein punch.