Sources: What to Eat After Your Workout, 15 Health Post Workout Snacks (slideshow)
"...be careful not to fall into the very common trap of thinking that it’s OK to eat anything and everything in sight because you just worked out. Many people are very hungry after a workout, making it easy to eat more than you really need, or choose foods that won’t really help your body. Eating too much of the wrong thing can do the opposite of what you want—cause your body to store that food as fat instead of using your post-workout food to refuel and repair your muscles."
The Ideal Post Workout Snack or Meal:
Carbohydrates about 60% of the calories you eat at this time should come from carbohydrates. Contrary to popular belief, your body needs more carbohydrates than protein after a workout, to replace the muscle fuel (glycogen) you used up and to prepare for your next exercise session. Moderate exercisers need about 30-40 grams of carbohydrates after an hour of exercise, but high-intensity exercisers need more—around 50-60 grams for each hour they exercised.
Protein: About 25% of the calories you eat after a workout should come from protein—that's about 10-15 grams for most people.
Fat: Only 15% (or less) of your post-workout calories should come from fat—that's less than 10 grams.
When should I eat?The ideal time to eat after a workout is within 30 minutes to two hours, when your body is ready and waiting to top off its fuel tanks to prepare for your next workout.
- Bread, a bagel, or an English muffin with cheese or peanut butter
- Dried fruit and nuts
- Cottage cheese with fruit
- Fruit juice with cheese
- Yogurt with fruit
- Veggie omelet with toast or roll
- Chocolate milk
- Cereal with milk
- Eggs and toast
- Turkey, ham, chicken, or roast beef sandwich
- Vegetable stir-fry with chicken, shrimp, or tofu
- Crackers with low fat cheese
- Rice or popcorn cakes with nut butter
- Smoothie (with milk, yogurt, or added protein powder)
- A protein or energy bar
- A protein or energy shake
- Pancakes and eggs (watch the topping!)
- Any regular meal that contains lean protein, starch, and vegetables
What to Drink:"Most moderate exercisers will lose about one quart (4 cups) of fluid per hour of exercise, so try to drink about 16-20 ounces of water shortly after your workout to aid the recovery process "
For my binder, notebook, I make a quick reference sheet:
Post Exercise Meals/Snacks