The best workout snacks, according to the world's best trainers
When you’ve just finished a workout, what you eat is important. You need to replenish your energy stores and get some much-needed fuel to your muscles, while not simply piling back on the calories you just burnt. It’s a balance that the world’s best trainers have been trying to perfect for decades, so you don’t have to.
Thanks to the guys at Greatist, where a version of this article first appeared, we’ve got some nutrition tips from the best of the best. Here’s what some of the world’s top trainers have to say about refuelling after giving a workout your all.
1. Erica Giovinazzo, MS, RD, CrossFit trainer and nutritionist
"I have a protein shake mixed with fruit. Because our bodies have used up all our glycogen stores after a hard workout and basically all the energy it had, it is important to refuel it with both carbs, which will be absorbed by muscles first, and protein to help prevent the breakdown of muscles for protein. Plus the liquid [form] helps you absorb those nutrients fast."
2. Nia Shanks, coach, health and fitness writer, and author of 33 Ways to Break Free from Binge Eating
"[My homemade chilli] is perfect after a workout because it's warming, filling, spicy, and loaded with plenty of yummy carbs and protein.”
Check out Nia’s recipe here!
3. Brian Gallagher, co-founder of Throwback Fitness
"I started finishing my workouts and not eating a meal until about 90 minutes after, and still felt great, without noticing slower recovery, decreased performance, or lower endurance. So I decided to stop buying protein powder, and now I just eat something clean, like a salad or eggs, after my workouts. I no longer worry about how soon after, and I actually feel better about not ingesting processed protein powders. I prefer whole foods whenever possible."
4. Adam Gilbert, coach and CEO of My Body Tutor
"Rice cakes are a great source of complex carbs, which give me energy throughout my workout. Nut butter is a good source of protein and fat, which keep me satiated. And cinnamon not only makes it tastier, but it's also been proven to help stabilize our blood sugar."
5. Adam Bornstein, Founder of Born Fitness, New York Times best-selling author
"I have grilled chicken, white rice, grilled veggies like onions, peppers, and bok choy, and [top with] Sriracha. Sometimes I even drizzle a little honey on top."
6. Kira Stokes, celebrity trainer, creator of the Stoked Method and Stoked Series classes
Kira first has a protein shake immediately after working out, then, “about an hour after my workout, I will fuel up with another snack size portion of lean protein and veggies. I graze all day long rather than indulging in large meals. You must feed the machine to keep it running!"
7. Lori-Ann Marchese of Bravo's Game of Crowns, former Miss Connecticut, and CEO of Body Construct Fit
"It's very important to fuel your body within 30 minutes after your workout with protein and branch amino acids for muscle recovery and repair. This will help with muscle growth to get that lean-looking body. And the more muscle you have the more fat you burn!" Lori adds a couple of scoops of branched-chain amino acids supplement powder to her post-workout protein shake.
8. Dolvett Quince, trainer on The Biggest Loser and author of The Biggest Loser Bootcamp
"A huge protein shake made with Progenex powder and handfuls of fruit and kale or spinach is my go-to.”
9. Matt Frazier, author of No Meat Athlete and founder of nomeatathlete.com
"I like to replace sugars immediately after a long workout, ideally within the first few minutes of finishing, so usually that means fruit juice or a half a watermelon or a few bananas. Or sometimes I eat simple carbohydrates, like white bread or rice. It's about the only time I think refined grains are beneficial."
What have you found most helpful pre- or post-workout? Let us know in the comments below!