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The Best Healthy Snacks for Post-Workout Recovery

In collaboration with Nuts.com --thank you ladies!

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Eating healthy might seem pretty easy and straightforward for those who lead an active lifestyle and exercise regularly. Have everything in moderation, control portion sizes, and make sure that the weekend isn’t spent undoing all of the hard work put forth in the gym. Right? Well, that’s part of the equation, but our bodies require a little more attention in order to stay in tip-top shape.

During periods of intense exercise, the body uses carbohydrates for energy and protein for repair. Proper post workout nutrition is vital in terms of fueling those tough workouts, aiding in recovery, and priming yourself for the next sweat session. It all starts with making sure to have the right healthy snacks on hand. Here are a bunch of great ideas and how they help:

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Trail Mix
The go-to snack for those crunched for time, trail mix is the perfect way to combine carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats into each bite. It’s recommended to create your own blend of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. This will help you save money, and control your desired sweetness level. Pistachios are a great addition since they contain the electrolyte potassium which we lose through sweating.

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Shakes & Smoothies
Protein drinks are a fan favorite because of their versatility, portability, and simplicity. With just about as many flavors and varieties as you could wish for, there’s definitely something for everyone. Most brands pack a whopping 25-30 grams of protein per serving and mix quite well with water or milk. Being a liquid, they also require less effort to digest. The nutrients hit the bloodstream much faster and are able to start replenishing and rebuilding within minutes.

 

Non-fat Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt has been growing in popularity and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Just a cup contains over 20 grams of protein and it can be combined with almost everything. Try it out in smoothies and parfaits, or even in sauces and baking if you’re feeling a little more adventurous. The plain variety is best for recovery since it won’t have any added sweeteners and flavors.

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Fruit
This almost seems too simple, but fruits like apples and bananas make a perfect post-workout snack. They contain fast-acting carbohydrates, which even though they’re often deemed “bad carbs”, are actually very beneficial after exercise. Fast carbs work to restore glycogen stores in the body which help repair muscles, reduce soreness, and even out blood sugar levels.

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Chocolate Milk
This may be a surprise to some, but chocolate milk has been a large topic of discussion within the fitness community. Quick and easy solutions for post-workout recovery are important, and chocolate milk is essentially everything you need in a glass. It contains protein and carbohydrates for recovery, the water content helps rehydrate after sweating, and it’s absorbed very quickly in the body similarly to shakes and smoothies.

Lean Protein
Protein is one of the best, if not the best nutrient to have after a tough workout. Lifting weights and periods of intense exercise create small tears in muscle fibers. Taking in 25-30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of finishing your workout will help rebuild these tears and make your muscles better equipped over time. Lean sources of protein like fish, chicken, and eggs are perfect after a workout. Salmon is one of the best since it also contains omega-3 fatty acids which will help to soothe aching muscles.

There’s a lot that goes into post-workout nutrition, but this is the perfect place to start. Try some of these ideas and you’ll feel more prepared and recovered than ever before. Eating for a healthy lifestyle isn’t supposed to be overcomplicated, and making sure to have the right foods readily available will make your life so much easier. Many nutritious snacks can be stored right in your hipS-sister and readily available for post work-out replenishment!

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