7 Post-Workout Snacks That Help Maximize Your Results

After a long, hard workout, it can be tempting want to indulge in a hearty, heavy meal. After all, you just kicked butt, so you deserve a reward, right? Not so fast — your work isn’t done yet! Following a workout, it’s important to eat the right types of food to maximize your results, whether it be weight loss, muscle gain, or both.

“Within one hour of completing your workout, you want to consume a good source of protein to help build and repair muscle,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, LDN, CPT. “You should also eat a good source of carbohydrates to refuel and replenish glycogen stores that were used during exercise.”

Though it’s important to fuel your body with the right nutrients, having a huge meal after a workout isn’t always necessary. With the help of a couple nutrition and fitness experts, we have come up with a list of seven easy snacks to eat after you exercise to help you achieve your best results.

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Cottage Cheese

“Cottage cheese provides you with 13 grams of protein per half cup serving and also provides a good source of calcium, which helps promote the repair and rebuilding of muscle,” says Palisnki-Wade. You can also add some fruit or vegetables for added fiber and vitamins.

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Nuts

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Nuts contain not only protein and carbohydrates, but vitamin E, which prevents free-radical damage after a workout. Studies have shown that nuts lead to more developed muscles and less body fat, so try spreading almond butter over toast for a filling but nutritious post-workout snack.

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Hummus and Pita

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“If you are looking to satisfy a crunch, try snacking on whole grain pita chips with a side of hummus,” says Palinski-Wade. “The hummus provides you with healthy fats and muscle building protein, while the pita chips help you take in a healthy source of carbohydrates to refuel glycogen stores.”

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Hardboiled Egg and Veggies

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“Not only are you getting the benefit of the veggie-based phytonutrients, but you’re also getting plenty of nutrients from the protein-packed eggs,” says Traci D. Mitchell, personal trainer and weight-loss coach. This includes choline, which helps muscles contract.

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Greek Yogurt and Berries

Greek yogurt is another healthy source of protein and calcium, but adding berries gives your body an extra boost of nutrients. Bonus: add some chia seeds for an extra punch of omega-3s, suggests Mitchell.

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Tart Cherry Juice

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Drinking a glass of tart cherry juice after a workout helps reduce inflammation and improve muscle strength recovery, which reduces muscle soreness. Tart cherry juice is also rich in antioxidants and vitamins, which will help replenish what was lost from any perspiration.

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Apples and Cheese

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Something like Brie and apple slices may seem like a fancy dinner appetizer, but the combo is actually a great way to incorporate a healthy source of glucose, protein, and carbohydrates to replenish your muscles after your workout.

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