15 Healthy Post-Workout Snacks

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15 Healthy Post-Workout Snacks

You've just finished a tough workout and your body is screaming for some nourishment. What should you eat to refuel and repair your muscles? Something high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and low in fat. Here are some satisfying snacks and meals that will help your body recover from your workout and prepare for your next exercise session!

Note: Slideshow photos are for illustration purposes only and do not represent accurate portion sizes. Choose a portion size that fits your calorie range, whether you want a snack or a full meal after working out.

Fruit and Low-Fat Yogurt

Yogurt gives you a good dose of protein and a small amount of fat, while the fruit provides a boost of carbohydrates, vitamins and fiber. Choose a variety of berries (or other fruits of your choice) and try different yogurt flavors.

Cereal with Skim Milk

Make sure to choose a cereal that is high in fiber and low in sugar and fat. Steer clear of granolas—the calories can add up quickly without fully satisfying your hunger. Top it with low-fat milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk), and you're set!

Dried Fruit and Nuts

Nuts pack a huge punch of protein and healthy fats. Eat them with dried fruit when you’re craving a mix of salty and sweet, but make sure to keep your portions in check—the serving size for most dried fruit and nut mixes is 1/4 cup. One small handful should do the trick!

Turkey Sandwich

A simple turkey sandwich can often be the most satisfying thing to eat after a workout. The mix of protein from the meat and the carbohydrates from the bread is a winning combination. Garnish your sandwich with plenty of fresh lettuce and tomato to sneak in a serving of veggies.

Veggie Omelet

Eggs are an excellent source of protein, which helps rebuild your muscle tissue. Add veggies to an omelet for a dose of fiber and extra vitamins. Pair it with a slice of whole-grain toast for some carbohydrates.

Fruit Smoothie

Make yourself a fruit smoothie with skim milk or low-fat yogurt and frozen fruit. Include a scoop of protein powder for the ultimate refreshing post-workout fuel—and a thicker texture.

Cheese and Crackers

If you're craving something salty post-workout, make yourself a small plate of cheese and crackers. Choose crackers that are high in fiber and pair them with a reduced-fat cheese. You could also try adding some turkey to make mini cracker sandwiches.

Energy Bar

There are countless energy bars out there to help satisfy your body's needs after a workout. Choose one of the many flavors that taste just like dessert! For a guide to picking the best energy bars, click here.

Rice Cakes

Rice cakes are a versatile way to get in your much-needed carbohydrates. You can add proteins and fats to these snack cakes by topping them with peanut or almond butter, low-fat cottage cheese with fruit, or lunchmeat and reduced-fat cheese. Rice cakes are low in calories (usually only about 30-40 calories per cake) and fill you up fast!


Eat several servings of vegetables at once with a stir-fry. Add some chicken or shrimp for lean protein and extra staying power. If you're a vegetarian, toss in some extra-firm tofu or shelled edamame.

Pancakes and Eggs

If you make them correctly, pancakes can be a healthy source of carbohydrates. Just make sure not to load them down with calorie-laden extras like butter and syrup. Instead, top them with cinnamon or a thin layer of fruit preserves. On the side, scramble one or two eggs or egg whites for added protein.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a versatile food that you can mix with pretty much anything to make it sweet or savory. Try it mixed with fresh fruit or with tomatoes and chives for a savory dish. Pair it with a slice of whole grain toast for a carbohydrate boost.

100% Fruit Juice

Fruit juice, when made with 100% juice, is a great source of vitamins and minerals. To maximize the nutritional content of your juice, make your own at home in a juicer. Enjoy a serving of your favorite cheese on the side for some protein and fat.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt has about 50 percent more protein than regular yogurt and is much lower in sugar, too. Just make sure you opt for the low-fat or fat-free variety to keep your calories in check. Mix in some mixed berries or peaches with a touch of honey, or use it to make a savory vegetable dip.

Lightened-Up Pizza

With a few simple tweaks, you can turn pizza into a sensible post-workout meal. Start with a whole-grain crust (or pita), a thin layer of tomato sauce, a small sprinkle of low-fat cheese, and load up on the veggies for your toppings. Stay away from fatty meats like sausage and pepperoni and go for lean cuts such as chicken or turkey instead. Get creative with your spices, too. Above all, make sure to keep your portions in check: One or two slices should be plenty to re-energize you after a workout.

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Member Comments on this Slideshow

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8/25/2009 4:11:21 PM

all sound good to me.


8/25/2009 2:42:29 PM

Wow, all those foods look good! I never thought of cottage cheese as a good food for after a workout. Thanks!


8/25/2009 2:17:41 PM

TERIDAN's SparkPage
That omelet looks delicious! I'm going to try that with egg beaters and a whole lot of veggies after tomorrow morning's workout!


8/25/2009 1:54:31 PM

FRANCLYN's SparkPage
It actually says eggs or egg whites and that's not a granola so much as whole grain oats from the look of it.


8/25/2009 1:48:57 PM

Note that the pancake picture has egg yolks, but the text says to use egg whites! Also there's some sort of grain cereal in the fruit and yogurt photo, but in the next slide (cereal and milk) it says to watch out for granola because it's calorie-dense!

Basically, go by what the text says and not necessarily the photo - and obviously, if you are looking for a snack eat something small; if it's a meal go for one of the bigger ones.

On finding Greek yogurt - most supermarkets are starting to carry this. Some brand names are Fage and Oikos (made by Stonyfield Farms). If you have a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's nearby, they should have it; otherwise try a food co-op or natural foods store. I think Greek yogurt tastes almost exactly like sour cream, which makes it too sour for me to eat straight, but I love it as a garnish.


8/25/2009 1:44:20 PM

Great ideas - agree that some won't work @ work!! Diva


8/25/2009 1:36:35 PM

Good ideas, but some of them aren't possible if you work in an office. Also, too many things w/milk or dairy. I have mucus levels and excercised induced asthma; am working to cut out all milk products.

Also, where do you find Greek yougurt? I live in one of the most health concious states in the USA and I've never see it.


8/25/2009 1:04:23 PM

THEBAILEY1's SparkPage
I think posing an article about post workout meals is important as many people can skip this altogether . Many forget that because they worked out means it's important to put healthy food in and not just anything. Some live with the mindset that "because I worked out I can eat anything". This article is a clear reminder that healthy can be delicious and sustaining but it is also a necessary part of overall health.

It's nice to see people be supportive of each other on this site in the comments section...positive feedback and additional information will help people continue on their journey. With so much negativity around, I enjoy coming here for a pick me up and valuable information. (I know we are all smart enough to understand that it needs to fit within our calorie allotment).


8/25/2009 12:53:51 PM

JOANN1212's SparkPage


8/25/2009 12:51:38 PM

PKLOSH's SparkPage
Next time, I'll be sure to include a sweat towel and a dumbbell in my post-workout snack.


8/25/2009 12:48:57 PM

NANCY-GIRL's SparkPage
Great ideas! Thanks!!
(Where's Nancy's chocolate milk???)

((ps, don't waste your time & energy trying to be defensive to stupid people. The info's there if they look for it. Some people just like to look at the pictures & draw all sorts of conclusions from that. Hmmm... could be why there are so many misunderstandings & hurt political feelings in the world - people draw conclusions w/o finding out all the facts... hmmm...))


8/25/2009 12:42:25 PM

This lists includes some very useful suggestions. I'm definitely going to check out Greek yogurt--haven't tried that. Some of these things seem to me more like meals than snacks.


8/25/2009 12:37:26 PM

LHSCOTT's SparkPage
Nice to see that I already eat some of the items as snacks


8/25/2009 11:06:47 AM

MHAYDEN32's SparkPage
I think most of us are smart enough to know that pictures aren't always accurate (we've all seen restaurant commercials). And apparently no one reads what the pics are saying about egg whites, no syrup, and such. Also, it's not healthy to obsess about calories, fat, and such. Obsession can be just as bad, if not worse than, voluntary ignorance. Someone suggested an apple and water for an after workout snack?! How does that refuel your body? There has been so many articles about what to eat after a workout-how many carbs, proteins, fats, etc, that an apple and water seems a step backward. When I eat after a workout (depending on how close to dinner), it usually involves......well, food! Fruit and cheese or peanut butter, a small sandwich, cottage cheese w/ fruit, even eggs and toast! (usually poached and unbuttered) I haven't had any problem gaining weight or hitting plateaus by eating after a workout.


8/25/2009 10:47:12 AM

Hey SCORPIO180 I would suggest that you eat something light before you go off to do your workout. That way you body is not starving and make sure you are taking you water with you. Many times we mistake hunger for thirst. Since you don't have a lot of time what I do is I separate snacks out that way I can grab and go. Also I read on one of the SP articles that the time you eat doesn't really matter it is all about what goes in. That said if you are like me you don't want to get in the habit of eating late so try eating something small before and you likely wont eat as much after.

Hope this helps...I know its long

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