#10 Chocolate Milk
Although a post-workout snack may make you feel like you are replacing all the calories you just burned, the opposite is actually true. Your muscles are starving for nutrients and can soak them up faster after a workout. Chocolate milk is one of the best snacks, since it has protein and plenty of nutrients to boost your energy.
#9 Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is already one of the best things you can eat, thanks to its high amount of probiotics, which are essential for a healthy gut. It has plenty of lactose, a sugar that is easy to digest after you exercise. Greek yogurt also has two times as much protein as ordinary yogurt.
After a workout, it’s good to eat about 100 to 150 calories within 45 minutes. With its low calories, hummus is a great thing to eat after you exercise. Two or three tablespoons of hummus go great with carrot sticks, celery or cucumber bites.
#7 Cottage Cheese
Few foods have as much healthy benefit as cottage cheese. A cup of cottage cheese is low in fat and high in protein, and will stick with you so you don’t immediately get hungry. Eat with celery sticks or with a slice of bread or English muffin.
#6 Apple with Almond Butter
A few apple slices slathered in almond or hazelnut butter is just what the doctor ordered after a tough gym session. The proteins will absorb quickly. The skin on the apples also contain essential compounds that fight skin wasting.
#5 Nuts and Dried Fruit
Nuts and dried fruit are a winning combination. A hard workout depletes your levels of glycogen. Ideally you want a 4-1 ratio of carbs to protein. Nuts and fruits replenish muscle glycogen quickly. Have a handful of the snacks at the ready so your recovery can begin right away.
#4 Quinoa Flakes
Quinoa is one of the world’s most ancient grains. Quinoa flakes are similar to bran flakes, but they contain natural protein. They also contain a nice amount of amino acids, which are essential building blocks for muscle. You can try quinoa flakes with low fat milk, soy milk, or almond milk.
Kale is an excellent way to help your body recover from cardio or strength training. The dark leafy green is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidants enable your muscles to reduce inflammation, which happily means less stiffness and soreness for women.
Bananas often get a bad rap since they are high in natural sugar. But if you are going to have a banana, eat one after grueling exercise. The fruit will replace some of the glucose your body lost and give you an immediate energy boost. Try it with peanut butter or in a protein smoothie.
#1 Dark Cherries
If you love dark cherries, you’re in for a treat. Dark fruits are excellent at combatting inflammation in the body. Dark cherries include anthocyanins, which are compounds that block inflammation, thus reducing muscle damage. Add cherries (and chocolate!) to a smoothie and relax. You earned it!