After the long, hard process of gearing yourself up to work out, you’ve gotten through to the other side. You worked out. You sweated hard. You made it. You are the epitome of health, but also, all kinds of hungry and suddenly, everywhere you turn, there’s another fast food restaurant offering all the goods, and you have no post-workout snacks to hand.
The temptation to devour a 20 nugget share box is next level. Chicken is healthy – protein, right? If only.
To combat this, here are 10 portable post-workout snacks to fuel those muscles, get your blood sugar levels back to normal and prevent hunger-fuelled rampages.
1. Trail Mix
OK, this is a similar concept to pick and mix at the movies, minus the sugar spike. There’s no point having worked yourself to the core to fill up on food that won’t make that training worth it. There are heaps of pre-packaged trail mixes, but the best ones are homemade. Grab some nuts, seeds, dried fruit, raisins, banana chips, and then, the fun part – chocolate chips (any excuse for a glucose spike after a workout). It is important to note, however, that the ratio shouldn’t be 90% chocolate chips.
2. Protein Shakes
Seeing as the trail mix requires a bit of effort, we’ll keep this next one super simple, and nothing beats a classic protein shake. Protein shakes offer people an easy, convenient way to up their protein intake without consuming extra carbohydrates and fat. Proteins are the body’s bricks and mortar for rebuilding muscle, and are a proven way to optimise muscle growth after your workout.
3. Rice Cakes & Nut Butter
Peanut Butter. Almond Butter. Cashew Butter. Our interest is peaked. Rice cakes, despite resembling puffed cardboard, improve tenfold when you add any kind of nut butter. Peanut butter is the glue that holds this world together and no amount is too large. Plus, nut butter is brimming with protein, fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
4. Boiled Eggs
Fancy fueling those muscles whilst simultaneously upsetting members of the public? Boiled eggs are your answer, ladies and gents. The perfect protein and healthy fat source, to fuel your muscles with all the goodness they need. Also, the perfect way to get some personal space by upsetting everyone’s nostrils and making them leave the area.
5. String Cheese
Relive your childhood whilst making big strength gains with a trio of fat, protein, and flashbacks. Although, if anyone reading this bites into string cheese without peeling it, just know, the rest of us will unite and take legal action because that is not OK. These are super easy to eat on the go, but it may be worth investing in a little cool box for this suggestion.
6. Protein Bars
Or protein wafer, or protein chips and probably the most fun on the list! Us on-the-go fitness people should probably have a version of these within a meter radius at all times, but especially one in the gym bag. They’re a must-have, go-to snack that tastes like guilt-free happiness, and provides your muscles with everything they need to grow.
Some of our personal favorites:
Pasta is so versatile. Pick a protein of choice and chuck it amongst some penne with lots of veggies, and it’s pretty much good to go. Don’t forget to pack a fork though, society judges people for just shoving their face straight on in there (we don’t know why).
8. Banana & Peanut Butter
Or apple and peanut butter, or a spoon and peanut butter. Seriously, though, fruit on the go provides your muscles with some much-needed post-workout carbohydrates, and the peanut butter contains healthy fats and pure joy. It’s an all-round win and makes a great post-workout snack.
9. Chocolate Milk
Although it isn’t to be chugged by the gallon, chocolate milk provides a great boost, and is actually often recommended by sports nutritionists for athletes. It’s brimming with protein and carbohydrates, which are vital post-workout. For some, this could be a slippery slope, however, so we should probably all buy individually portioned cartons, because, do any of us really have that much willpower?
10. Protein Pancakes
You know what makes both the perfect breakfast food, but is also great as a post-workout snack? Protein pancakes. Cook that deliciousness up, and it’s probably a good idea to add peanut butter (shock suggestion, we know – apologies to anyone with a nut allergy), chuck them in a meal prep box and they’re good to go! If you’re in doubt with how to make them, or to just live that lazy life, get some Protein Pancake Mix.
Take Home Message
Regardless of whether you’re working out that day or not, it’s great to plan ahead with emergency post-workout snacks. Being prepared means that you can stop cravings in their tracks, without eating 65 loaves of bread in a moment of weakness.
It can be tricky to stay on track when we get to the super-hungry stage after a workout, but it’s really important to fuel your muscles with the right foods. Our recommendation? Channel your inner Scout and ‘always be prepared’.
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Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.