After about fifteen minutes, it hit me - I had done a post-breakfast cardio workout of medium intensity, burning around 500 calories, and I hadn't had anything other than my usual yogurt from breakfast. My energy was flagging - fast - and I need something to pick it back up. I wanted something healthy, and not too high-calorie (after all, I didn't want to negate the effects of my workout!) I opted for four crackers with peanut butter.
That said, I thought it might be useful to compile a list of options to have on hand to grab after a workout to avoid a low blood sugar moment like mine.
This website and this one were the best summaries of nutritional requirements I could find after about 90 seconds of Googling. Basically, you need to make sure to keep hydrated both during and after your workout (check - I keep a case of water in our gym area). A snack should have both carbs and protein, though a shake or drink is an acceptable alternative to food.
Unfortunately, most of the suggestions you can find online aren't exactly gluten friendly. (Though I do like Men's Fitness' suggestion of turkey, cheese and apple slices - since apple with peanut butter can get a bit boring, this could really hit the spot).
Here are some protein suggestions:
- Peanut butter (2 Tbsp)
- hummus (2 Tbsp)
- deli meats (a few slices)
- cheese (2 oz)
- yogurt (6 oz)
- cottage cheese (if you can stomach it; I can't)
- nuts (1/4 cup)
- hard boiled egg (1)
- tuna (again, if you're a fan - I don't do mayo)
- skim milk (1/2 cup)
- edamame (1 serving)
Here are some carb suggestions:
- crackers (preferably whole grain - 4-6)
- rice cakes (2-4)
- fruit - apples, grapes, bananas, pears (1)
- baby carrots (a small handful)
- oatmeal (make sure it's gluten free) (1 package)
- latte (12 oz)
So how to put them together? Try peanut butter on rice cakes with a sliced banana. Or have some oatmeal and a yogurt. Or cheese and grapes or crackers. Or one of my favorites, carrot sticks and hummus. Or treat yourself to a nice, skim milk latte.
What are your favorite recovery snacks?