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Post Workout Recovery Foods - Yeah!! (recipes below!)

Whew! Killer Workout Did And Done! What Next?


You can't finish a hard workout and think, 'That's it. I am done my workout. I can relax now.'

If you do, you are missing an important part of training! Don't forget about post-workout nutrition!! After exercise, your body lacks the energy and important nutrients it needs to recover. Restoring this energy store is part of the workout. More: Nutrition Recovery Guidelines

In order to recover adequately, you need to refuel properly. Begin with a snack or meal within 15 to 60 minutes following exercise. Remember to replenish with:

Fluid and electrolytes to replace what was lost in sweat

  • Carbohydrates to replace muscle and liver glycogen

  • Protein to aid in the repair of damaged muscle tissue and to help develop new tissue

It's more important to refuel with the right amount of food at the correct time. Learn how to plan a proper workout recovery meal before your next workout. More: 3 Recipes for Fast Recovery

The Specifics


An important component of post-exercise refueling is consuming the right amount of carbohydrates. Athletes should consume 1 to 1.2 grams of carbohydrate/kilogram body weight within the first hour of finishing.

For example, if you were a 68-kilogram athlete (150 pounds) you would need 68 to 82 grams of carbohydrates within the first hour of recovery. Choose from whole grain bread, cereal, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice and other grains. Pair any of these with nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, like broccoli and spinach, to further help the recovery process along. More: 5 Best Carbs for Athletes


Recent research has shown that getting essential amino acids from good quality proteins soon after your workout improves the muscle rebuilding process. Consume 15 to 25 grams of protein within the first hour. Add carbohydrates to your snack or meal for more efficient recovery and repair. Indulge in leans meats, poultry, low-fat or nonfat dairy, fish, beans, legumes, eggs and soy.

Liquid Recovery

If you find it hard to consume solid food quickly after exercise try chocolate milk or a smoothie that provides carbohydrates and proteins. Blend this smoothie recipe after your next workout.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie Recipe

6 ounces nonfat plain Greek yogurt 1 small banana 1 cup frozen strawberries 1/3 cup uncooked, rolled oats 1/2 cup milk 1 tbsp peanut butter (optional) *Adapted from Tropical Fruit-Yogurt Smoothie

Want more smoothie recipes? Try these four recipes

Once you can tolerate solid food, it's important to build a well-rounded, nutrient-rich meal. Try these quick and easy workout recovery meals:

  • bowl of whole grain cereal with low-fat or nonfat milk and 1/2 cup of your favorite berries

  • turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce, tomato and avocado with a side of pretzels

  • peanut butter and banana sandwich with low-fat or nonfat yogurt

If you have time to cook, give this quinoa salad a try.

Mediterranean Grain Salad with Avocado

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 2 tbsp. loosely packed fresh dill 1/2 lb. quinoa, cooked and cooled 1 ripe large avocado, cut into ? inch cubes or 2 small avocados 1 cup cherry tomatoes 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, cut in half 1/2 medium hot house cucumber, cut lengthwise in quarters and sliced 1 cup artichoke hearts, cut in half 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed *Adapted from Mediterranean Pasta Salad with California Avocado


  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions (2 cups of water/1 cup quinoa).

  2. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice and dill together until mixed well.

  3. Pour over quinoa to coat.

  4. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve.

You can substitute kidney beans, black beans or lentils for the white beans, and use brown rice, bulgur or whole wheat pasta instead of quinoa. Add any of your favorite vegetables and toss in chicken instead of the beans.

Whether you're finishing a ride, run, or swim, nutrition is an important part of recovering properly. Remember the session isn't complete until you eat a well-balanced, nutrient-packed meal.

(Thank you's Michelle Ulrich for this article!)

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