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Post Exercise Snacks & Meals: by Lauren

Yeah Lauren is back to share with She Rocks Fitness another amazing piece on Post Exercise Snacks & Meals! Again, Lauren has provided all of you with healthy and easy options to make your training sessions this summer that much more successful. Read and learn and thanks again Lauren!

To enhance your training this week, I am here to discuss the importance of your post-exercise nutrition and supply you with some ideas! A recovery snack or meal after your strength training or cardio session is a key factor in aiding your recovery and increasing the quality of subsequent workouts. Within 45-60 minutes after you are done exercising your body is in a state of increased insulin sensitivity, in which it processes and delivers glucose to your recovering muscles more efficiently. Getting a snack in within this time frame will maximize the amount of glycogen (energy) replenishment in your muscles to help fuel your next workout. The next key aspect of your post-exercise nutrition is its composition. Your goal should be to find a snack composed of about 4 times as much carbohydrates as protein, i.e. 4:1 ratio. The carbohydrates will go directly towards replenishing the energy stores you used during your workout and the protein will help speed the rate at which your muscles absorb those carbohydrates. The protein also helps begin the process of repairing your muscles. Fat and fiber should be avoided to make sure the carbohydrates are easily digestible and delivered to your system quickly and efficiently. Skipping post-exercise meals or snacks in effort to lose weight will only increase your body’s stress levels and leave you feeling sluggish and drained for your next workout.  Once you have consumed a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein snack within the 45-60 time frame you want your next meal or snack to be mainly comprised of protein to aid in repairing the muscles you just broke down during your workout. Here are a few examples to get your started…

Example snacks:

  • Low-fat chocolate milk
  • Smoothie made with 8 oz. skim, almond milk or coconut water, 1 medium banana, 1/2 Tbs ground flax or chia seeds, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, and a few handfuls of spinach (optional)
  • 1 container of fruit juice sweetened low-fat yogurt with 1/8-1/4 C granola
  • A food bar made by Clif, Luna, Kashi, etc. Just make sure the carbohydrate to protein ratio is about 4:1

Example meals:

  • Whole grain pancakes or waffles topped with with 1/4 C part-skip ricotta cheese mixed with 1/2 tsp vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon and 1 medium sliced banana
  • 1/2 C oats cooked with 1/2 C milk, 1/2 C water, 1 serving of fruit (i.e. banana, blueberries, strawberries, etc.) topped with 1 Tbs ground flax or chia seeds and 1 Tbs chopped nuts
  • Egg scramble with 1 whole egg + 2 egg whites, spinach, black beans, peppers, onions, tomato, salsa, and low-fat cheese served with a toasted whole grain english muffin or 1-2 slices of whole grain bread spread with whole fruit jam
  • Chipotle burrito bowl with black beans, rice, pico de gallo, salsa, lettuce, and 1/4 C guacamole
  • Sandwich made with 2 slices of whole grain bread or 1 whole grain wrap, 3 oz. sliced turkey, 1/4 avocado, 1 Tbs hummus, lettuce, and tomato served with a serving of fruit or baby carrots
  • 2 oz. whole grain pasta cooked with 1/2 C marinara sauce and any veggies you may have on hand (i.e. zucchini, spinach, green beans, etc.) served with 8 oz. glass low-fat milk
  • Salmon avocado sushi roll with low-sodium soy sauce and 1/2 C edamame

Remember to experiment with what works for you and your body. If you notice you feel good during a workout, try and remember what you ate after your last workout, and repeat. If you feel drained, make sure you are not skipping post-exercise nutrition and allowing yourself enough time to recover between workouts. Feel free to contact me at with any questions!

She Rocks Fitness offers At-Home Personal Training, Boot Camps, Yoga, and On-Line Training Programs. Make sure to check out She Rocks Fitness.

Contact me at or (973) 978-7359.

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