Wondering what good post-workout snacks you can have while on the go or between meals? Then you've come to the right place! To make sure you build more muscle, shred more fat, and fuel your body’s ability to repair damaged tissues, we’ve put together a protein-packed list of 10 good post-workout snacks to fuel your recovery and fitness goals.
Why Are Post Workout Snacks Important?
It’s simple - if your body doesn’t have the nutrients it needs to replenish depleted levels of nutrients from working out, you’re going to be more prone to injury, poor recovery times, soreness, and harder time reaching your goals. And if strength training is your thing? Without consuming nutrients post-workout, you’ll wear down your weaker muscle fibers rather than building up to bigger and stronger ones. This process can get pretty scientific (we’ll spare you the boring details) and just refer to it as ‘remodeling’.
Similar to remodeling a home, your body undergoes the same processes after your workout. But if you don’t have quality tools and materials, your remodel is going to be slow, drawn-out, and leave you with an unfinished house. Without raw materials from good post-workout snacks, ones that include both protein and carbohydrates, the building and rebuilding can’t take place, leaving you far from your potential.
Whole Foods vs Nutritional Supplements as Post Workout Snacks
While we always recommend a food first approach when it comes to your health and nutrition, getting all the nutrients you need throughout the day and before or during your workouts can be hard, especially when you’re training for high levels of performance. Let’s face it — slamming a 6oz sweet potato and 8oz of chicken post-workout is, well, unpleasant. This is where supplementation can really shine.
Liquid Post-Workout Snacks
On the list of good post-workout snacks below, you’re going to find a mixture of whole food and liquid supplements that we recommend. If you don’t like to eat right after your workout, you’re not alone. From a biological standpoint, exercise creates stress which signifies to the body to shut down the hunger center and hunger signals. However, as we’ve established, if you’re looking to maintain or build strength as well as recover efficiently from your workout, some type of food or supplement is going to be necessary.
Liquid post-workout snacks are easy, palatable, and can be pretty nutrient-dense, providing you with a good post-workout snack before you can get home or somewhere else to eat a well-rounded meal. Additionally, liquid post-workout snacks and supplements can be structurally simple and easily digested by the gastrointestinal tract, something of which your stomach will thank you for later.
Take CLEAN CARBS from Swolverine for example. This product’s ingredients are simple and derived from real, whole food sources. Just one scoop contains ~100 calories, 24g carbs, 2g protein, 1g fat, and is made up of Sweet Potatoes, Yams, Oats, and Blueberry powders. It tastes a lot like ‘breakfast in a cup’ whereas it’s on the sweeter side, but not over the top.
RELATED PRODUCT: CLEAN CARBS (45 servings, 24g carbs)
We recommend combining CLEAN CARBS with Swolverine’s Whey Protein Isolate which boasts an impressive nutrient profile (110 calories, 26g protein, 1g fat, 1g carb) and has added digestive enzymes. The protein powder is available in three delicious flavor profiles Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter, Chocolate, and Vanilla.
RELATED PRODUCT: Whey Isolate (30 servings, 26g protein)
As compared to whole foods, liquid meals can take advantage of the ‘window of opportunity’ whereas whole foods or waiting for your next meal may actually miss it. The faster you can get protein and carbs into the muscle post-workout, the better you set yourself up to the building and recovering. We recommend choosing one or two of these good post-workout snacks to supplement your workouts and nutrition with the next time you hit the gym!
RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Delicious Protein Shake Recipes To Keep You Lean & Strong
The Purpose Of Post Workout Snacks
By eating something rich in high-quality protein and carbohydrates after your workout you can improve your body composition, performance, and recovery.
In general, there are three main reasons why you should choose a good post-workout snack from the list below:
- Replenish glycogen (energy stores)
- Increase protein synthesis (repair damage from the workout)
- Decrease protein breakdown (increase muscle size and/or muscle quality)
10 Good Post Workout Snacks
You just finished your workout and it’s time to reach for a good post-workout snack. What do you have in your bag!? Here are our favorite go-to post-workout snacks to keep you refreshed and replenished to build lean muscle mass and chase your performance potential.
1. Greek Yogurt With Mixed Berries
Greek yogurt makes a great post-workout snack (or anytime snack, really) due to its similar muscle-supporting nutrients as those found in milk and whey protein isolate. Greek yogurt is different from your typical post-workout shake in that it’s a semi-solid food that contains bacterial cultures while maintaining a higher protein content (mostly casein) per serving. [R]
According to a study published in The Journal Of the International Society Of Sports Nutrition, thirteen males participated in a 10-week exercise and dietary intervention while receiving 35 g casein daily. The study found that casein benefits an increase in building lean muscle mass (hypertrophy) and increases in strength, much like whey protein.
Therefore, much like whey protein, casein benefits increases in strength, building lean muscle mass, and optimizing body composition through sustained amino acid delivery.
RELATED ARTICLE: Greek Yogurt And Weight Loss
2. Protein + Clean Carbs Shake
It’s no secret the raw materials we provide our body to rebuild and recover must be easily available and ready to be used after a strenuous workout. When they’re readily available, the body can build and rebuild.
Whey protein isolate aids in protein synthesis and CLEAN CARBS like sweet potato, yams, oats, and blueberries help to replace muscle glycogen and enhance the role of insulin in transporting nutrients to cells. By using a liquid form of nutrition rather than a whole food meal or snack post-workout, you can actually gain better results from your workout.
BENEFITS OF A LIQUID POST WORKOUT
- Accelerated recovery by utilizing insulin for nutrient transport into cells
- Rapid digestion and absorption from readily available nutrients
- Better toleration of nutrients by the athlete post-workout
We recommend 1 scoop of CLEAN CARBS and 1 scoop of Whey Protein Isolate in ~10oz of water.
3. Proats [PROTEIN OATS]
Adding a scoop of Whey Isolate to a bowl of oats soaked in water is a very cheap and effective way to create a good post-workout snack that fuels your fitness and your physique. Not only does the scoop of a protein boost the oatmeal nutritionally, but it can turn your post-workout snack into the best part of your workout! This is also a great and filling snack for when you’re on the go in the morning.
RELATED ARTICLE: 5 Simple High Protein Overnight Oats Recipes
4. Cottage Cheese With Fruit
Similar to Greek yogurt, cottage cheese is a great source of protein because it’s made up mainly of casein, which is an ideal protein for stimulating muscle growth. As a slower-acting protein, it takes your body longer to digest leaving you full and satisfied for longer than other foods post-workout. Pair it with fruit, like melon or berries, and you’ve got a good post-workout snack full of quality protein and carbohydrates.
5. Protein Pancakes/Waffles
Protein pancakes are super easy to prep ahead of time and eat on the go. They're portable, delicious, and nutrient-dense. With no gluten, grains, or refined sugar, and an extra boost of protein it's perfect for breakfast, a mid-day snack, or even for dinner. For these, we recommend using Collagen Protein as it's a perfect addition to any recipe, to get an added boost of protein, and to support healthy hair and glowing skin.
Swolverine's Collagen Protein is made with pure hydrolyzed collagen peptides. Unflavored and virtually tasteless, you can add it to your coffee, smoothies, shakes, and even to your baking recipes to get an added boost of protein whenever you may need it. Collagen can help replenish your body with the vital protein you need to build lean muscle mass, strength, and help support healthy joints and glowing skin.
6. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Protein, carbs, and fat all make up a good post-workout snack and you can’t go wrong with a boiled egg post-workout! This snack provides a robust amount of nutrients. Furthermore, eggs contain all the essential amino acids your body needs to digest and absorb protein which is absolutely ideal for building and repairing muscle fibers after a hard workout. Lastly, this little power-packed egg can be packed and prepped well in advance and they store well in the fridge so that you can just grab and go.
7. Banana and Peanut Butter Protein Shake
Hands down one of our favorite combinations here at Swolverine is the peanut butter and date protein powder smoothie (makes me salivate thinking about it!) The secret to the smoothie has to do with the amount of each that you put in it.
Give this good post-workout snack smoothie a whirl next time you get home from the gym:
- 1 frozen banana
- 4 ice cubes
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 3/4 cup water
- 4 Medjool dates
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 scoop chocolate Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate
RELATED: 10 Delicious Protein Shake Recipes
Who doesn't love avocado toast? Our advice? Mash up some avocados with hard-boiled eggs, spread over your toast, sprinkle with a little garlic salt, pepper, and some hot sauce.
9. Peanut Butter Protein Balls
Peanut Butter Protein Balls are easy to make, gluten-free, and seriously delicious! Every energy bite is a nice pop of protein, an easy breakfast, an in-between meals snack, or a post-workout snack, or easy little dessert after dinner.
You can make them in bulk ahead of time during your weekly meal prep. Better yet? Quadruple the batch and make enough to freeze for the month. As you need them, pull the energy bites out of the freezer, thaw to room temp, pop in the fridge and you’re ready to go!
RECIPE: Peanut Butter Protein Balls
Good Post Workout Snacks: Takeaway
Overall, something is better than nothing in most cases, so as long as they are from nutrient-dense, real food sources and don’t have high levels of processed ingredients and sugars in them. We also recommend avoiding high levels of fat in your post-workout snacks. Find out if your body likes more food-based or liquid-based nutrient delivery post-workout and run with it — with the proper nutrients to fuel your body pre and post-workout your potential is unlimited!
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