Recovery Foods: What to Eat After a Workout

by in Fitness, June 16, 2012
greek yogurt
Eat Greek yogurt after a workout to replenish energy.

Eating after exercise is a MUST for healthy muscles. Recover and refuel with these regenerating foods.

What and When?
The body craves both carbs and protein after exercise. Carbohydrates are required to replenish energy stores, while protein repairs tired muscle fibers.

To optimize results, you want to take in carbohydrate and protein in about a 3 to 1 ratio, that’s 3 grams of carbs for every one gram of protein. Depending on when you exercise, recovery food can be a snack or a meal; either way, look to these 5 recovery foods.

Chocolate Milk
Research studies continue to find that chocolate milk can benefit muscle recovery in athletes. One cup has 23 grams of carbs and 8 grams of protein – that’s just about 3:1.

Chicken Breast
Lean protein like chicken is packed with muscle building amino acids. Three ounces of cooked chicken breast has about 24 grams of protein. Add to pasta or enjoy in a sandwich or wrap; add a piece of fruit or a low fat yogurt to up the carbs and complete the meal.

Greek Yogurt
Go Greek for extra protein – 1 cup has 23 grams – that’s more than double most regular varieties. Top with fresh or dried fruit and granola.

Occasionally your schedule may not allow for even the simplest meal prep. On those days opt for an energy bar. Look for one that has the proper ratio of carbs to protein like Clif or Luna Bars.

Peanut Butter
You’ll find 7 grams of protein in a serving (2 tablespoons) of peanut butter. Spread on an apple, whole grain bread with jam or blend into smoothie for some super delicious (and budget-friendly) recovery fuel.

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Comments (336)

  1. Mary Fitzpatrick says:

    To keep the metablolism kicked up after exercising, try this (gluten free): 1 C. whole milk Greek yogurt, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. tumeric, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 T. organic unsulphured molasses, 1 T. cold milled organic flaxseed. Benefits? Healthy doses of Omegas 3, 6, and 5 plus 38 mg lignans, 750 mg of potassium, manganese, and 51 mg. magnesium, 3 grams fiber, 21 grams calcium, iron, B-12.. Not only great for muscles, but also for bones, digestive health, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.

    • Mildred says:

      yea, who the hell has all this stuff in a normal pantry? organic unsulphured molasses & flaxseed? Wish i could afford to have every single spice/food in my house

      • Mary Fitz says:

        I did not have the organic unsulphured molasses or the cold expeller pressed ground flaxseed in my pantry either. Found both items with no problem at my regular food store. The molasses is__about $6.99 and is good for 90 servings. The Spectrum ground flaxseed was about $10 and is good for 200+ servings. That would be $16.99, about the cost of a 12 pack of imported beer, less__than the cost of a Genie Bra, cheaper than supplements or RXs, cheaper than a 30 pack of toilet paper, the cost of two boxes of hair color. Either you are serious about your health and have an abnormal pantry, or you are not and you have a normal pantry. Ah, somany choices.

  2. Is this suppose to be a shake?

  3. […] way back to all the wrong places. Avoid the dreadful cycle and fulfill your cravings by following Food Network’s Healthy Eats recovery food guide. Posted in […]

  4. Katie says:

    Here's a cool and refreshing drink that will make you feel like you're on a tropical island and will fill you up.

  5. foodpick says:

    I usually eat dinner after a cardio exercise. Well does that need a 3:1 ratio also, or is this good for muscle-builders only? Thanks.

  6. With the better shape and for healthy muscle, exercise must be the with proper routine and to keep body healthy and fit.. fitness is a long-life chase!Excellent article!

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