Post-Exercise Nutrition


It is important for children and adults to refuel their “engines” after exercise in order to replenish the nutrients lost. As soon as possible post-workout, eat a snack with carbs and protein. Carbs replenish the glycogen lost through exercise and protein helps muscles rebuild and repair.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Christine Gerbstadt, MD, MPH, RD, CSSD suggests fueling within 20 minutes post-training with a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrate and protein for optimal muscle repair and recovery.

Post-Exercise Snack Ideas:

  • Smoothie (made with milk, fruit, Greek yogurt, and spinach)
  • Turkey on a whole grain wrap with veggies
  • Humus and whole wheat crackers
  • Greek yogurt with berries
  • Oatmeal with milk and/or fruit
  • Banana with peanut or almond butter
  • Apple with cheddar cheese
  • Handful of nuts and raisins (two parts raisins: one part nuts)

Our Favorite Post-Exercise Snack: Apple Sandwich

  1. Cut the core out of an apple
  2. Make “sandwich slices” with the apple by cutting it in half down the side
  3.  Spread on peanut or almond butter
  4.  Add chocolate chips, granola, or nut


Notice that each of the above snacks includes some protein as well as carbs. Carbs are the fuel, and protein is what rebuilds and repairs. Getting protein and carbs into your system is extremely vital post-workout.

Also, do not forget to rehydrate post-exercise. If you notice weight loss after exercise, it is probably due to water loss. For every pound lost, replace it with two to three cups of water. There is no need to consume sports drinks unless you are an elite athlete or training over a two-hour duration.

What is your favorite post-exercise refueling snack?


This post was adapted from the article Timing Your Nutrition by Christopher R. Mohr, PhD, RD, CSSD, originally posted here:

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