Most fitness experts will tell you that it takes a combination of physical exercise and a balanced diet to lead a healthy lifestyle. The key to healthful snacks is balancing both protein and carbohydrates to help build muscle and steady blood sugar. But many people find that after pushing through a challenging workout, they’re too exhausted and too pressed for time to figure out how to replenish their bodies. If this is you, consider preparing and packing these easy, nutrient-dense snacks before you leave for the gym and enjoy a smooth post-workout recovery.
Hummus and Veggie Sticks
Looking for a snack that’s savory, creamy and crunchy? Try baby carrots and cucumber slices dipped in hummus. The protein and carbohydrate rich dip is made from chickpeas, lemon juice and olive oil. You can whip some up in the blender or find prepared hummus at the supermarket. Many stores carry individually packaged single serving portions, making this an extra convenient snacking choice.
Nut Butter and Fruit Roll-up
Perhaps you crave something sweet and substantial as an after-exercise reward. Flatbread, like that available from companies like Klosterman Baking Company, is incredibly versatile for many different food ideas. Spread a whole wheat flatbread or tortilla with your favorite nut butter. Peanut is a standard favorite, but almond and cashew butters are also delicious and full of nutrients. Next, top the flatbread with thinly sliced apple or potassium-rich banana and roll it up for a portable and delectable treat.
Greek Yogurt and Berries Smoothie
If thirst is your main concern after working up a sweat, consider this protein-packed shake. Blend a cup of plain or vanilla Greek yogurt with antioxidant rich blueberries, raspberries or strawberries and a drizzle of low glucose-index agave nectar. Sweet, nourishing and thirst-quenching, this smoothie will revitalize you after you’ve experienced the burn.
This humble favorite of hikers and trail runners never goes out of style. If you’re looking for a workout recovery snack that can go anywhere, requires very little prep and no refrigeration, try a trail mix of your favorite nuts, seeds and dried fruit. To keep this snack exciting, try out some more unusual additions: Brazil nuts offer B-vitamins to give a bump to your metabolism. Sweet dried mango is a great source of vitamins C and A as well as fiber.
Calming the hunger pangs after an intense workout doesn’t have to be complicated or unhealthy. In fact, with the above suggestions, you can ensure that you support your body with the protein, carbohydrates and nutrients that will keep you going strong.