How to Choose a Post Workout Snack

Two Methods:For Strength Training or Body BuildingFor Cardio or Weight Loss Workouts

Food is fuel for your workout, and fuel for your body after you've tired it out. While everybody says that the hard part of working out is simply getting to it, another daunting task comes after the fact: choosing the best post workout snack for you. What exactly you will choose depends on what you're aiming to accomplish with your exercise. Is your workout based on strength training/body building, or cardio/weight loss?

Method 1
For Strength Training or Body Building

  1. Image titled Choose a Post Workout Snack Step 1
    Pick foods with the right focus for muscle growth. After determining that your workout is purely muscle based, you need to understand what your muscles need in order to grow both in size, and in strength. Working your muscles involves the breaking down of them.
    • You need something high in protein in order to let your body repair your muscles.
    • You need something with electrolytes/salts in order to keep your body from being fatigued.
    • Aim for plenty of fiber in order to keep you feeling full, and to help with digestion.
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    Choose between types of proteins. Proteins can act differently on your body depending on the source. In the end, shoot for thirty to sixty grams of protein for your post workout.
    • Protein derived from whey is commonly used because it absorbs quickly into the body and is immediately put the use in repairing muscles.
    • Protein derived from meat is popular in building lean muscle, but is generally considered more expensive and takes longer to digest.
    • Other proteins can be found in nuts or beans, and can make a great snack. However, these are a bit tougher to make into a post workout as the amount of protein compared to what you may need can be on the low end.
  3. Image titled Choose a Post Workout Snack Step 3
    Whip up a fitting snack. Now based on these things, make your final selection for a snack to have as your post workout.
    • Should have 30-60 grams of protein.
    • Should be quick and easy to eat/drink.
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    Eat your snack directly after your activity. You want all that protein to be absorbed while your muscles are still healing from your intense strength training or body building.

Method 2
For Cardio or Weight Loss Workouts

  1. Image titled Choose a Post Workout Snack Step 5
    Identify the things your body needs after your workout. While you may not have been breaking down your muscles during your workout, you have engaged your metabolism, heart muscles, and blood vessels in a way that demands a rejuvenating snack that, yes, still includes some protein.
    • Carbs are important before your cardio based workout, but keep them out of your post workout (so as to keep your body from storing fat in your cells).
    • Make sure to include protein. You won't need as much as a body builder, but it is still important in keeping your muscles strong (especially your heart).
    • Similarly, try to include fatty acids, like Omega 3's found in fish oil.
    • High fiber is important. Besides keeping you regular, it will help keep you feeling full in place of carbs, and can help fill out your snack.
    • Get enough salts/acids to replace what you sweat out. A little bit of salt or citrus can go a long way into keeping you from feeling fatigued.
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    Find or make the right snack for you. Remember to keep carbs/sugars low, and protein/fiber high. Be sure to have plenty of water with the snack that you choose.


  • No matter what workout you do, drinking plenty of water will help your body digest and metabolize your snack choice. Be sure to include water with every post workout snack you enjoy.


  • Carbs are important. While being sure to avoid carbs is important for your post-workout, your pre-workout should definitely involve carbs, as they are the energy you need to get through your exercises.

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Categories: Diet & Lifestyle