Best Post-Workout Recovery Foods

Healthy eating isn’t always possible, right? I mean that is what I have to keep telling myself when I’m hiding in the pantry, chowing down on Goldfish because I forgot to eat lunch. It’s tough to eat right all day every day, but it IS important to get good recovery foods on board as soon as possible after a workout.

What we doing during our workouts is only as effective as what we also do in between them. Without proper recovery, rest, and sleep, our training will not do us much good.

I talked about the importance of recovery and sleep, and how without it we start that path toward overtraining, but what else can we do to help us recover from our training? That’s when we turn to nutrition.

Refueling post-run is time-critical, when our bodies are at their weakest.  We need to replenish the glycogen that we burned through by consuming 40-60 grams of carbohydrates within 15 minutes. I’m not talking about your favorite ice cream, though. Think fruits like strawberries, cherries, or blueberries and grains like rolled oats.

After an especially challenging workout like speed work or strength training, we are breaking down muscles. Recovery foods rich in protein will fortify the microscopic tears in those muscles, and help us rebuild that muscle faster. 10-20 grams of protein like eggs, drink mixes, or greek yogurt will help those muscles rebuild.

But don’t forget to hydrate, either. Unless you are out for a particularly long run, you may not need anything more than water. However, if you sweat heavily, you might consider an endurance formulated sport drink to replenish the electrolytes your body loses through sweat. Leslie Bonci, Dietician at Runner’s World says that for the best recovery, you should replace 24 ounces of fluid for every pound lost during a run.

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My favorite go-to post-workout is a smoothie. The ingredients I use vary based on what I have in the pantry or fridge, but for the most part, I aim for the following:

2 cups almond milk

½ cup plain greek Yogurt (I use Fage)


One scoop Vega One Protein Powder

2 scoops Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) powder

MCT Oil (Amazon Affiliate link)

1 cup fruit

½ ice

I’ll supplement this with a nutrition bar like Luna Bar S’mores or Peppermint, to round out the carb needs.

If we can remember to refuel properly after a workout, we’ll find we get stronger, faster. Without proper refueling, we aren’t doing justice to the work we just put ourselves through.

What are your favorite post-workout recovery foods? Please let me know in the comments!

The information contained here is for general information purposes only. Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise or nutrition program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional.