How to Choose Healthy Post Exercise Foods

So, you just finished that 4 mile (6.4 km) run, which is the farthest you have ran in a long time. You feel great! Then you head on home, open the freezer, and pick up that tub of ice cream and a spoon. Not a good decision.

Your post workout meal is just as important as your workout, if not more. Whether you exercise to lose weight, build muscle, or simply remain fit, what you eat in the hour after you work out is significant.


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    Eat protein. After a workout, your body's energy resources are depleted and needs replenishing. Protein, also called amino acids, (the building blocks for proteins) is a good choice. Fatty, sugary, and oily foods should be avoided. You also need to refuel with some healthy carbs, such as whole wheat bread or fruits, in order to refuel your glycogen supply
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    Make a protein shake. One invariably feels hungry - it's the body's way of asking for replenishment. The best way would be to carry a protein shake and sip on it post workout. This works in two ways: it starts the restoration process with just what the body needs without negating the effect of the workout, and it satiates your hunger so you don't indulge yourself and feast on junk food.
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    Replenish lost electrolytes. Vitamin waters, Gatorade, and other sports drinks can restore nutrients lost while perspiring. Coconut water is another great electrolyte beverage, it naturally has the minerals needed to better absorb water and can also be found in delicious flavors like guava. Plain ol' water works too.
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    Avoid junk food. The best way to avoid eating junk food after exercising, or at any time, is to simply not buy any. Of course this is harder if you have kids, because they tend to love junk food. However, you can buy low-calorie versions of foods that you like. Try to buy Fudgesicles, Skinny Cow ice cream, etc. If you love chips/cookies, or other junk food, you can indulge, just in moderation.
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    Eat fruits and vegetables. These are always the best possible snacks you can have. Eat foods like celery and hummus, or apples and peanut butter.
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    Drink more water. Water is the best drink you can have, aside from milk. Protein shakes and mixes can be good, but check them out before you drink.


  • Chocolate milk can help build muscle. Try to drink some low-calorie mixes after you lift weights.
  • Make a whey protein shake for yourself. Add berries to it to make it tastier (also adds carbs to your drink).
  • Peanut butter on toast can hold you until your next mealtime, however try not to put on any honey or banana slices unless you can afford the extra calories.
  • Choose a protein bar of your choice and munch on it post exercise.


  • Soy protein can cause flatulence (gas).

Things You'll Need

  • Protein foods (Meat, Fish, Protein shakes, etc.)
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated

Article Info

Categories: Diet & Lifestyle