Recovery Meal: What Should I Eat After a Hard Workout?

Nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment that you experience when you’ve finished a hard workout. However, if you’re not properly fueling your body afterward, that exercise high will quickly turn sour. If you don’t replenish your body with muscle-building protein and energy-providing carbohydrates, you’ll feel depleted of strength and energy. By eating the right foods to help repair your muscles and replace electrolytes, you’ll be ready to take on your next workout with ease.



Bananas are an athlete’s best friend. They are high in fructose and high-glycemic carbohydrates, which your body quickly and efficiently converts to energy. They also contain high levels of potassium, a necessary electrolyte that lowers pH levels in your body. If you lack potassium, which is common after a sweat-inducing workout, then you are at risk for painful muscle cramps. For an added bonus, top your banana with a small dollop of natural nut butter, such as peanut butter or almond butter; the added protein will help your recovery.


Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt contains double the amount of protein than regular yogurt does, and protein works to repair muscles. Greek yogurts is also a good source of carbohydrates, so it will help replenish your energy. For a delicious and nutritious boost, top your Greek yogurt with fresh berries, which are packed with micronutrients that fight against muscle soreness.


Low-fat Chocolate Milk

While you’re visiting the dairy aisle perusing the Greek Yogurt, grab a carton of low-fat chocolate milk as well. This delicious drink contains just the right ratio of proteins to carbohydrates to mend muscles and restore the glycogen you lost during your workout. This winning combination is most useful for endurance athletes like cyclists, swimmers, and distance runners.


Whole Grains Topped with Healthy Protein

Whole grains are loaded with healthy carbohydrates, and by combining them with lean proteins you can have a great recovery food. Try whole wheat bread from Klosterman Baking Company topped with tuna, a whole grain waffle spread with Greek yogurt and nut butter, or a whole wheat English muffin topped with hummus and turkey breast.


Eat a smart combination of healthy carbohydrates and lean proteins after your next workout, and you’ll notice a substantial decrease in your recovery time. This will help you reach your fitness goals that much quicker, and you’ll feel better along the way.

the author

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise as well as researching new topics to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.

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