A regular workout regime can be quite a commitment. Whether it’s going to the gym before or after a day at work or you are at home watching the latest celebrity fitness DVD, your daily timetable isn’t the only thing that has to adjust; your eating pattern does too. 

So to fit in with your busier schedule and ensure you don’t undo any of your hard work, you need easy to prepare and nutritionally valuable post workout food. Here we’ll take a look at what to eat after a workout, from the best snacks to help you recover, to post workout meal ideas that are as quick as your heart rate!

Satisfying After Workout Snacks

It’s vital that you eat something as soon as possible after your workout. Your body needs to replenish used up energy and the best food after a workout will be packed with electrolytes, proteins and carbohydrates. Instead of waiting for a main meal, make sure you have some of these healthy snacks with you at the gym, or in your kitchen after your living room lunges. And of course, don’t forget to rehydrate with some water.

Grapes: green grapes in particular are a really good post workout snack. Packed full of good sugars, they help to maintain your fluid balance and help your muscles to recover. As a quick tip, you may want to freeze a bunch and enjoy them as a cold treat after a hot workout.

Almonds: a perfect balance of carbohydrates and proteins – a serving of almonds contains 6g of carbs, 6g of protein and around 3g of fibre. Simple to munch on after a workout too.

Boiled eggs: if you have done a lot of muscle focussed exercises, a boiled egg will really aid muscle recovery and development. A single egg contains 6g of protein, and the good fats that you need. They’re simple to prepare the night before and even come in their own handy packaging ready to be peeled and enjoyed. A good tip however is to make sure you have some fruit alongside, as eggs don’t provide any significant carbs.

Dried fruit and nuts: simple to store and a good balance of carbs and protein. These are well favoured by many fitness experts and provide a sweet and savoury hit that makes them very moreish!

Flapjacks: a protein packed flapjack is a handy addition to your post workout snack menu. Choose one that is packed with rolled oats and seeds. You can treat yourself to a sweet hit, but choose one which is drizzled in chocolate rather than dipped!

Hummus & whole wheat pita bread: hummus is made from pureed chickpeas, packed full of both carbs and protein. Combined with the slow-release energy from a whole wheat pita, it makes for a snack that'll keep you re-fuelled for hours.

You’ll find a delicious range of on-the-go snacks at your local convenience store, including mixed nuts and flapjacks – and with select stores open 24 hours, they’re waiting for you whatever time of day you work out.

Post workout meal ideas

After you have enjoyed your snacks to boost recovery, attention turns to your first post workout meal, which of course will vary depending on the time of day you chose to work up a sweat. Here are a choice of breakfasts, lunches and dinners, quick to prepare and containing all the post workout food types you need.

Recovery Boosting Breakfasts

Mashed avocado and boiled egg on toast – if you have chosen boiled eggs as your after workout snack, you might not fancy this option, but having pre-prepared boiled eggs to hand makes this a post workout breakfast ready to prepare in minutes. Eggs provide the protein, the wholemeal bread and the avocado provide the carbs, and you can also add on a few slices of radish for a warming kick and crunch against the soft textures of the toast topping.

Peanut butter and sliced banana on a bagel – slice your bagel, smother with smooth peanut butter and sliced bananas. You get the carbs from the bread, the slow release energy from your banana and the proteins from your peanut butter. Quick to prepare at home or at the office.

Explore more nutritional and fitness focused breakfast ideas in our blog.

Lean Lunches

 

Chicken and broccoli pasta bake – you can assemble this dish ready for baking a few hours in advance, or prepare the night before and heat up in the microwave to save time. From start to finish you will need around 30 minutes to prepare it. This recipe serves 4 so will help you stay on top of healthy and tasty meal planning for the whole family too.

Boil 350g of pasta shells for six minutes, then add in 200g of broccoli cut into small florets with the stems sliced. Once both are tender, drain and return to the warm pan. Heat two tbsp of olive oil in a wide pan and 340g of thinly sliced chicken breasts and fry until golden. Tip in 175g of quartered mushrooms, four tbsp of tomato paste, 80g soft cheese and a carton of single cream (lots of carbs and some good fats). Simmer until thick and creamy then pour over your pasta and broccoli. Add to a shallow baking dish, top with mature cheddar and bake for 20 minutes at 180°C and serve.

Red pepper prawns with rice – this dish is ready in just 10 minutes and packed with carbs to refuel you after a workout.

In a medium bowl, mix two tbsp of coconut milk, and 55g of Thai green curry paste together. Stir in 155g of raw peeled prawns, four sliced spring onions and a small chopped red pepper, leaving to marinate for around 5 minutes. Heat two tbsp of olive oil and add in your prawns and veg, once the prawns turn orange, add a lid and simmer for a few minutes. Serve with microwavable basmati rice.

Dinner After the Dumbbells

Simple turkey or pork Bologneseturkey or pork mince is much leaner than the beef counterpart and is a rich protein sauce. This simple Bolognese is really fast to prepare and will serve the whole family.

Fry up 500g of mince in a large wok and add in sliced carrots, aubergine and mushrooms. Add in a tin of chopped tomatoes and boiled spaghetti before mixing together and serving. Proteins and carbs in perfect harmony.

Pepper, tomato and ham omelette – even if it is deep into the evening, omelettes are an ideal food to eat after the gym. Quick and light.

Mix three whole eggs a bowl and beat with a fork. Fry a single thinly sliced red pepper in a pan for four minutes until soft. Throw in the white parts of two diced spring onions and cook for a minute before pouring in your eggs and heat until almost set. Sprinkle on wafer thin ham, low fat cheese and continue to cook until firm. Top with the green parts of your diced spring onion and serve.

For quality post workout food, run down to your local SPAR

We hope our selection of post workout meal ideas and snacks will make the food planning phase of your workout regime simpler. Whenever you exercise, head to your local convenience store for healthy snacks and award-winning post workout meal ingredients.