You just busted out those last 30 seconds—on the treadmill, doing burpees, or bench pressing. It feels good to finish strong. With so much energy exerted, it's inevitable that, in a half hour or so, your body will be begging you to refuel.
Have you ever been there, made an unhealthy choice, and regretted it? We certainly have! After a hard workout, you can find yourself so ravenous that you'll eat whatever's handy—even if it's not something you'll be proud of later.
Let's get better prepared. It's more simple than you think. Below, the Y's registered dietitian, Casey Seamon, offers a list of recommended "gym bag snacks." You can literally toss most of them in your bag for whenever hunger strikes.
Add these 7 combos to your next grocery run!
1. Carrots + Celery + Hummus
The fiber from the raw veggies helps curb your appetite after a big workout, which promotes weight loss, and the hummus is full of plant-based protein and anti-inflammatory properties to keep your growing muscles from aching.
2. Banana + PB
Carbohydrates from the banana help refill your depleted glycogen stores, and protein in peanut butter helps keep you full until your next meal.
3. Raisins + Unsalted Cashews
The simple sugars in raisins will be readily absorbed by your fatigued body, and the cashews provide a low-sodium, heart-healthy protein boost.
4. Whole Wheat Crackers + Almond Butter
Whole wheat crackers are a complex carb that provide your body with extra fiber and B Vitamins, and almond butter has tons of Vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps prevent inflammation in the body.
5. Blueberries + Turkey Jerky
Blueberries are full of nutrients called polyphenols, which boost muscle recovery; with anywhere from 10-15 grams of protein per ounce, turkey jerky gives you the protein punch you need to get stronger.
6. Clementine + Low-Fat Cheese Stick
The clementine will give you a boost of carbs for energy, and the cheese gives your body protein to build bigger muscles.
7. Berries + Nuts Trail Mix
This all-in-one snack provides carbs, fats and protein in perfect ratios to help refuel after an epic workout.
Get support for healthy living
Stay accountable and inspired with the YMCA’s Weight Loss Program, a 12-week course offering weekly small-group discussion and tools to help you establish personal goals, track progress and set yourself on the path to a healthier lifestyle.