What Fitness Experts Eat After They Work Out (Hint: It's Not Cronuts)

It may seem a tad counterintuitive that eating after a workout can really help you achieve your healthiest body (most of us are in the gym because of snacking), but experts say that a quick snack after a hard sweat session can boost your efforts, help with recovery, and rebuild the muscle you’ve so diligently torn down in hopes of getting lean and mean. That, and it can keep you from undoing all your hard work by ravenously diving into a pile of cronuts because “you’ve earned it.”
What you eat makes all the difference, so we nabbed some of country’s top fitness instructors post-sweat session and asked them how they rejuvenated and held off the savage post-workout munchies. Get that shopping list ready — they’re about to dish.
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Jenny Gaither, SoulCycle instructor, San Francisco, CA: “I love to make a yummy protein-packed smoothie with bananas, kale, almond milk, almond butter, flaxseed, and a drop of agave (if you’re craving something sweeter, add cacao). This post-workout smoothie is a tasty and easy way to get all of your essential carbs and proteins needed for muscle repair.”

Kate Albarelli, creator of Figure 4 at Pure Yoga, New York, NY: “The best snacks after workout for me, without fail, are almonds, a banana, and coconut water. They’re filled with potassium, fiber, protein, and electrolytes."

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Kristi Molinaro, Equinox group fitness instructor and creator of 30/60/90, New York, NY: “I like a handful of raw almonds and a piece of fruit, like an apple. They’re both great sources of dietary fiber. Also, the apple alone is a healthy snack with almost no fat, so almonds are a great way to add healthy, unsaturated fat to your diet. Having a little fat in your snacks can help keep you satisfied longer.”

Will Torres, fitness expert and owner of willspace, New York, NY: “After a hard weight lifting or conditioning session, it's important to replenish your energy reserves. I like to use Amplified Recovery Protein, which has about 30 grams of carbs and 25 grams of protein. We have our clients mix it with water and drink immediately after their session (women should use half the dose). This drink ensures that your body gets the right nutrients to start the recovery process, and it also stabilizes your blood sugar so you're not looking for quick snacks later on to boost your energy.”

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Carisa Findley, Core Fusion teacher, exhale Dallas, TX: “ I like to follow a rejuvenating Core Fusion class with warm yerba mate tea. It helps me transition from the sacred space of the studio into the hustle and bustle of the real world.”

Lacey Stone, Flywheel Instructor, Los Angeles, CA: “My favorite thing to have post workout is an açai bowl. It's delicious, filling, healthy, and gives me that added boost to go full force the rest of my day!”

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Denise Griffin Crowe, Core Fusion teacher, exhale Back Bay, Boston, MA: “I love Greek yogurt with blueberries and bananas to cool me down. The mixture of protein and carbs, along with the antioxidants and potassium, helps speed up my recovery so I’m ready for another class tomorrow!”

Claire McKeveny, Yoga teacher, exhale Chicago, IL: "After a super-sweaty class, nothing helps me feel refreshed and rehydrated quite like a really cold coconut water. It's my summertime fix."

Makes you rethink the whole cupcake-as-post-workout reward, right? We’re heading to our local grocers to stock up on some healthier snacks so we get the most out of our workouts, but we reserve the right to break our good habits once a week for a little cheat session. After all, it’s summertime — and there’s plenty of good eatin’ to be had.

Photo: Courtesy of Patchd.com
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