You may think it is counterproductive to eat after a workout because after all, you just burned all those calories; however, a post-workout snack provides crucial nutrients your body needs for muscle and cell repair. Not only does eating a snack restore nutrients to your body, it prevents you from being ravenously hungry a few hours later. Timing seems to be key; aim to get the food in 15 to 30 minutes after the end of a workout, says William Kraemer, a kinesiologist in the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Connecticut. That’s the period of time in which the body seems to get the most bang for its buck from ingesting carbs and protein.
A post workout snack also helps regulate your blood sugar, leaving you feeling energized and revived instead of sleepy and sluggish. Aim for a small snack that contains both carbohydrates and protein such as yogurt, a fruit smoothie or protein shake. Don’t be caught without a healthy recovery snack, plan ahead.