If I counted the number of times I’ve googled “what to eat after a workout,” you’d probably think I have a six pack and work out every day. For some reason, I can never grasp what exactly I should eat after a workout, so I’ve settled on a smoothie or toast with almond butter way too many times.
Now, I’ve read the articles over and over again, and while I understand I’m supposed to eat carbs, protein, and healthy fats, I don’t exactly have ideas of what to put together. So, I asked the professionals! These women actually do work out every day (and some probably have a six pack, although, that’s obviously not a requirement), so they’re able to get creative and think of new ideas to refuel after a yoga flow or intense HIIT session.
Whether you’re working out in the morning or getting your sweat on after dinner, your body needs a little something to refuel after all that hard work you just put in at the gym (or at home!). So, we spoke to six fitness instructors on what they like to whip up after a workout to give us some more ideas!
Kelsey Heenan, Co-Founder of HIITBurn
I LOVE snacks, and post-workout nutrition is so important, so having delicious and nutrient-dense post-workout snacks is a must for me. I always focus on having a mix of protein and carbs post-workout because it helps with recovery and building muscle. A go-to for me is a protein shake that includes bananas, protein powder (I love Kos protein), a little bit of almond butter, spinach, unsweetened almond milk, and ice. I also love to add in a Moon Juice Dust to my shake because the adaptogenic herbs have so many health benefits — everything from energy and focus to stress relief! If I need a quick grab-and-go snack, I love Bulletproof Collagen bars. My favorite flavors are the Vanilla Shortbread and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.
I often will just have a full meal post-workout! Again, I focus on protein and carbs, so I’ll often do a big bowl type of meal with chicken, veggies, and either sweet potatoes or rice. Fueling post-workout with high-quality foods is so important to replenish the body and build muscle. It’s also important to enjoy the foods that you eat because that is what makes it a sustainable (and delicious) lifestyle!
Kate Kerner, Trainer & Instructor at Box + Flow in NYC
My favorite snack at the moment is Think Thin’s Sea Salt Almond Chocolate Bars. They are 100 percent plant-based, and each bar has 13g of protein so I feel fueled and energized after a workout.
It also tastes like a brownie, so what more could you want after a workout?!
Heather Veva Stevens, Master Instructor at Studio Three Chicago
Lately, my post-workout snack is a handful of trail mix. I like making my own with raw walnuts, raisins, and dark chocolate chips. I find this is a fat, carb, and protein combo that works for me. Plus, it’s a great way to keep me satiated in between meals.
Cathy Madeo, Yoga Instructor + Founder of Activate Your Core
Because I practice yoga on a close to empty stomach, I’m usually starving when I’m done. I don’t want my body to be depleted so I make sure to have a snack: I’m obsessed with Hey Frida’s Dark Chocolate + Coconut + Collagen Bar. I get my chocolate fix, and there’s only 3g of net carbs. I also love Think! bars because they’re only 150 calories and have low carbs and sugar, are gluten-free, and taste great. Both companies were started by female entrepreneurs which I love to support! If I need something more hearty, I go for avocado toast or some sliced turkey and cheese.
Teresa Nguyen, HIIT Instructor
I am a HIIT instructor and work out about five times a week, so recovery is important! For post-workout snacks within an hour of my workout, I enjoy a glass of Silk Chocolate Almond & Cashew Protein Milk, a slice of whole-wheat toast with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and ½ a sliced banana, or a smoothie made with vegan protein powder and frozen blueberries.
KerryAnne K, Barre3 Instructor
I love quick and easy snacks after a good sweat because I’m normally rushing off somewhere after. It’s important to me to stay conscious of not overeating for a snack, so I keep it light with rice cake creations. My first savory recipe is a plain rice cake topped with guacamole, vegan cheese, Trader Joe’s Chili Lime seasoning, and sun-dried tomatoes. If I’m in the mood for something sweeter, I’ll do a chocolate rice cake with almond butter, and add berries and cinnamon on top. Both are under 200 calories, full of healthy fat, and are a quick and easy go-to for me!