After a workout or physical activity, your body needs to refuel with a high-protein snack.
The consequences of failing to consume protein after any grueling exercise can be fatigue and aching muscles, so be sure to eat about half an hour after exercise.
Aside from consuming protein-rich foods afterward, staying hydrated before, after, and during your workout is also a good idea. This can go a long way to reducing post-workout soreness and weariness.
However, for many people, the entire purpose of the exercise is to lose weight, which makes it crucial to know which healthy snacks can provide protein after physical activity.
In this article, we suggest healthy high-protein post-workout snacks to help you stay trim, energetic, and fit.
Avoid Refined Post Workout Snacks
After a workout, most people’s go-to snacks tend to be a protein supplement shake or a protein bar.
But these sources are highly refined protein products that may cause allergies and digestive issues, such as soy and isolated whey protein.
Yet another issue with drinks meant to provide protein or hydration after a workout is that they can contain incredibly high amounts of sugar—38 to 50 grams. This can cause glucose intolerance, pre-diabetes, weight gain, and fatigue.
Also, highly refined foods, such as supplement powders, often have artificial colorings, preservatives, and flavorings. These are known as “dead” food sources.
Your best sources of post-workout nourishment are whole live foods sourced from living plants rich in healthy fats and natural glucose.
Which Healthy Snack Can Provide Protein After Physical Activity?
Here is a list of the best healthy snacks that support muscle building and weight loss after physical activity.
Low-Fat Greek Yogurt
After a workout, your muscles are depleted of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.
Greek yogurt with a low-fat content combined with either honey or maple syrup and then topped with fruit is an ideal post-workout snack. The high vitamin C content of berries assists in fighting the inflammation caused by working out.
Just make sure that the low-fat Greek yogurt you choose is not low-sugar. These yogurts can contain extra amounts of sugar or an artificial sweetener to make them more palatable.
Plain Greek yogurt contains 15 grams of protein.
It is best with frozen or fresh fruit. You don’t necessarily need any sweetener, and its thickness makes it taste more like a dessert.
Soaked Oatmeal With Banana and Chopped Almonds
This is a portable high-protein snack with a full amino acid profile that you can eat with dairy or yogurt to increase its protein content.
There is no need to cook the oats. Simply place them with raw almonds and banana slices in a jar. Pour the low-fat milk over the oats, cap it tightly and let them sit in the fridge overnight.
This is an excellent portable high-protein mini-meal to take to the gym, as it can stay cold in your gym bag for hours.
Crackers, Nuts, and Dried Fruits
This combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fruit is a nourishing post-workout snack that helps to fight sore muscles and joints while at the same time replenishing your muscles.
Simply pack these treats in a Tupperware container and take them along to the gym or your hike.
Fruit and Cottage Cheese
A quick, simple, and easy post-workout snack is cottage cheese and fruit. Mixing it with a natural jam or fruit compote is a good idea!
Cottage cheese can also be mixed with tomato, garlic, and onion salsa for a refreshing food after your workout.
Pita with Tuna Salad
A whole-grain pita or wrap served with a tuna salad made from tuna, onions, celery, and olive oil is a healthy way to have a snack that provides carbohydrates and protein.
Toast with Nut Butter
Perhaps the simplest way to have a quick and easy high protein meal after a workout is to have a nut butter on toast.
Peanut butter is always a good choice if it is all-natural and not sweetened with sugar.
Almond butter and cashew butter are other great after-workout high-protein choices. The omega-3 oils in nut butter also combat post-workout fatigue.
Whole grain, rye, or sourdough toast is your best choice of bread if you are eating carbohydrates.
A very simple high-protein fix for those on the go is simply 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs.
Take them to the gym or with you on a hike. Simply peel, and add a bit of salt and pepper to eat them whenever you need a low-fat nourishing protein fix.
High Protein Waffles
High protein waffles get a mention here because you can make stacks of them in advance and freeze them. Then when you are ready to have a high-protein meal, you can pop them out of the freezer and into the toaster or microwave.
To make the waffles:
Assemble the following ingredients:
- 1 cup oats
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 2 eggs
- 3 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
- A dash of vanilla
- A pinch of ground cinnamon
- Set a waffle iron to preheat.
- Blend all ingredients in a blender or with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy.
- Spoon the waffle batter into the waffle iron and cook the layer of batter until golden (about 5 minutes).
- Repeat until you have used all the batter.
These waffles go well with bananas, berries, and a dash of real maple syrup. You can also top them with a dollop of yogurt.
Healthy Snack Tips
Here are some tips about shopping for protein snacks, preparing them, and taking them on the road with you.
- If you are lactose intolerant, buy lactose-free Greek yogurt.
- Buy fresh berries at a bargain price and freeze them to save money.
- Before buying dried fruits, make sure that they are free of sulfates, which can cause headaches and migraines in some people.
- Remember to balance out your protein consumption with healthy carbohydrates unless you are on a keto or paleo diet.
When choosing a post-workout snack, remember that carbohydrates plus protein help refuel muscles and reduce fatigue.
The snack that you choose must have carbohydrates, as that becomes a way of replacing the glycogen in our bodies needed for physical activity. However, this may not apply if you are on a specific carb-free diet.
Protein is crucial, as physical activity breaks down our muscles, and they need to be regenerated. Consume a high-protein snack about 30 minutes after exercise for best results.