It’s hard to know what your body needs nutrition wise after you workout. Everyone’s workout is different. How much you eat and what you should eat post-workout is influenced by a number of factors including the type of activity you’ve completed, the duration and intensity of the activity, your age and your gender.

Below is a list of ideas for foods that may work for you post-workout but these are suggestions not gospel. To cater the appropriate post-workout nutritional recovery program for your needs it is advised you contact a professional.

1. Bananas

The main fuel source used during physical activity is carbohydrate which is stored in your muscles as glycogen. It is, therefore important post-exercise, to replenish your stores of glycogen. According to Nutrition Australia, “inadequate carbohydrate intake can lead to muscle fatigue which can affect performance.”

Bananas are a great source of carbohydrate which assists in replenishing stores of glycogen. They’re also high in potassium, a mineral which the body uses to break down proteins and “control the electrical activity of the heart.”

2. Smoothie’s

According to Nutrition Australia,”drinks like…smoothies are an ideal snack option after exercise.” The milk used in the smoothie contains protein and carbohydrate, with protein helping “repair and rebuild muscle after exercise.”

Blend some milk and banana and you’ve got yourself a delicious and nutritious snack.

3. Unsalted Nuts

Nuts are high in fat but don’t be deterred, not all fats are bad! Nuts are full of good fats that are essential for bodily function. Nuts are relatively high in energy and are also a great source of protein. They’re easy to transport and snack on after a workout.

4. Cooked Chicken

Skinless cooked chicken is a good source of protein and is also full of essential vitamins and minerals. Transporting chicken can be more difficult but is a good option if you have time to prepare it.

5. Yoghurt

A 200g tub of yoghurt, according to the Australian Institute of Sport, contains approximately 10 grams of protein and is a “valuable source of protein and micronutrients”.

Tubs of yoghurt are easy to transport and eat on the go, perfect for grabbing quickly post-workout. Yoghurt is also a great source of calcium which has a “structural and functional role” in the development of our bones and teeth.  Yoghurt also contains nutrients such as potassium and magnesium.

6. Whole Grain Toast With Banana

This is a carb rich, delicious snack and is perfect to munch on post-workout. This option is labelled by the Australian Institute of Sport as “a carbohydrate-rich recovery snack”. Ingesting carbohydrates soon after working out assists in replenishing your glycogen stores which is beneficial for your recovery.

7. Tinned Tuna

Canned or tinned tuna portions are an easy, inexpensive post workout snack option. Fish is a great source of protein and is high in omega-three fatty acids which are “essential fats” that assist, amongst many things, “genetic function” and “regulating blood clotting.”

Tuna also contains iron, a mineral that helps transport oxygen around the body. The average tin of tuna actually contains more iron per serving size than snapper or chicken.

8. Fruit and Yoghurt

A fruit salad with a couple of dollops of yoghurt is a great, nutritious post-workout snack. If you’re looking for something easier on the stomach after a hard workout, this could be the snack option for you. The yoghurt will provide some protein and calcium.

Fruits are a great source of soluble fibre, a form of carbohydrate that is “important for digestive health”. Fruits are a great source of a variety of vitamins and minerals; for example oranges, raspberries and kiwi fruit contain Vitamin C which assists “immune function” and has “antioxidant properties” according to the Australian Sports Commission.

9. Eggs

Eggs are high in protein with one egg containing around 6 grams of protein. They’re harder to transport and eat on the go but they’re great hardboiled with a bit of salt and pepper.

Eggs also contain various vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B5 and folate.

10) A Whole Grain Wrap With Lean Meat Toppings

The Australian Sports Commission lists a bread roll with lean meat filling as a “nutritious carbohydrate-protein recovery snack”  .

A whole grain wrap or roll contains carbohydrate which will assist in restoring glycogen stores used during your workout. Lean meat filling such as chicken or turkey is a great addition, providing the protein.

11. Roasted sweet potato wedges

This one will take some time to prepare but they are not only delicious they are also nutritious. Sweet potato is a great source of carbohydrate and also contain nutrients being particularly rich in Vitamin A, C and D as well as magnesium and potassium.

Try this easy recipe to get the perfect roasted sweet potato wedges:

1.Preheat the oven at 180 degrees celsius.

2. Peel a sweet potato and cut it in half lengthways. Slice the halves into wedge sized pieces.

3.Place the sweet potato in a bowl and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add some dried oregano and a decent pinch of salt. Toss the sweet potato in the bowl.

5.Line a baking tray with baking paper. Put the wedges onto the baking paper.

6. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes.

You will have the perfect healthy chips!

12. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

This isn’t a post-workout snack but it is an important point. The Australian Institute of Sport writes that athletes should “incorporate strategies to restore fluid balance (and) should aim to consume 125-150% of their estimated fluid losses in the 4-6 hours after exercise”. That’s a lot of water to consume and that recommendation is specifically for athletes.

It does show, however, that rehydrating after exercise is important as you do lose fluid during exercise, such as through sweat.

So there you have it! 12 post-workout snacking suggestions to satisfy your stomach (how’s that for alliteration!)

Posted by Sophia Hatzis

Sophia is a Law and Communications student at UTS and has been a passionate writer her whole life. She runs a blog called The Beauty Breakdown which aims to educate young people about the importance of positive body image. Sophia writes openly about her struggles with mental health problems having battled with an eating disorder and anxiety for most of her adolescence. Sophia is a strong advocate for a holistic approach to health and wellness which is drawn from her own experiences.