How the Nutrition Pros Recover

To follow up the series on fueling your workout, here is a quick recap of pre-, during- and post-workout nutrition.

Pre-Exercise (Carbohydrate + Fluid)

3-5 days prior to a race/competition – increase carbohydrates

Hydrate 1 oz per lb body weight

Day of: high carb + moderate protein + 24 oz water ~2 hours prior to exercise

During-Exercise (Carbohydrate + Fluid + Elec)

1-2 hours: water + sports drink

<2-5 hours: sports drink + protein

32-40 ounces per hour (no more than 48oz)

Post-Exercise (Carbohydrate + Fluid + Protein)

Recover ASAP with protein + carbohydrate

Replace every pound lost with 16-24 ounces water


Here are some of your favorite nutrition and/or fitness bloggers & pros sharing their favorite post-workout eats! Follow the link to their blog or twitter to find out more!


Tina Haupert

Founder & Author at Carrots N Cake

Tweet her!

My favorite post-workout snack/mini meal is yogurt with cereal and trail mix or an English muffin with peanut butter and banana. 


Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD

Ben Hogan Sports Medicine Dietitian
Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers & TCU Sports Dietitian

Tweet her!

My favorite post-workout meal is oatmeal with whey protein powder, a little peanut butter and low-fat milk


Karen Ansel, MS, RDN

Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Contributing Editor, Woman’s Day Magazine

Find her here

Tweet her!

My favorite post workout snack is plain 2% Greek yogurt with fresh berries. The yogurt provides plenty of protein for muscle recovery and the berries provide simple carbs that enhance the uptake of amino acids into muscle. Another fave is non-fat ricotta on an Ezekiel sprouted whole grain cinnamon raisin english muffin. Ricotta is the best food source of whey protein which has been shown to aid muscle growth and recovery so it’s the perfect workout food paired with a complex carb rich english muffin.


Kath Younger, RD

Founder & Author of Kath Eats

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My favorite post workout snack these days is cheese, crackers and apple slices. When Mazen and I come home from the gym we share a few slices of cheese, whole wheat crackers and an apple. This snack is about 250 calories for me, and is the perfect bite to tide me to lunch. 


Lindsay Livingston, RD, LD

Founder & Author of The Lean Green Bean Blog

Tweet her!

Quinoa breakfast bars are chewy and delicious- perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack. They’re packed with protein and fiber and they’re gluten-free, as long as you use GF oats. Follow this link for the recipe.


Alexis Joseph, Future RD

Founder & Author of The Hummusapien

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I try to get my protein from whole foods sources whenever possible, but let’s be real… there’s nothing better than chugging an ice-cold smoothie with a bit of plant-based protein powder after a sweaty lifting workout.  For a while I was doing a combo of banana, cinnamon, almond milk and SunWarrior vanilla protein powder, but ever since I switched to a chocolate version, I’ve been totally hooked. I like to throw in a handful of spinach for extra veggies, but that’s totally optional. Remember that you’re breaking down muscle when you lift, so do your best to drink this as soon as you’re done working out for maximum benefit. I’m telling you folks, this seriously tastes like a chocolate milkshake. What a dream! 

Chocolate Banana Recovery Smoothie:

1 overripe banana, sliced and frozen

1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I like MCT Lean’s vegan natural cocoa flavor)

Handful of spinach (optional)

3/4 – 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 ice cubes

Blend and sip!


The Nutrition Twins

Tammy, RD, CDN, CFT and Lyssie, RD, CDN, CFT

Authors of The Nutrition Twins blog

Tweet them!

One of our favorite recovery snacks is a Berry Detox Smoothie from our book The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure.  It has berries, yogurt, milk, and spinach so not only is it delicious but it’s packed with antioxidants and protein to aid in muscle recovery.

Another favorite is a simple muesli.  We mix 1/2 cup rolled oats with yogurt and berries.  Delish and packed with antioxidants, quality carbohydrates and protein to refuel the muscles and aid in muscle recovery.


EA Stewart, MBA, RD

Author & Founder of Spicy RD Nutrition

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One of my favorites is Breakfast Bananas Foster… Although can be eaten any time :-) 


  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax meal
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
  • 2 teaspoons virgin coconut oil
  • 2 bananas, peeled and sliced in to 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt


  1. For Streusel: Combine walnuts, flax meal, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in food processor. Pulse ingredients together until walnuts are very finely chopped. Set aside. {Note: You can make a large batch of this ahead of time and store it in the fridge.}
  2. For Bananas: Heat coconut oil in sauté pan then add sliced bananas and cook on medium heat for approximately 1 minute. Sprinkle bananas with remaining cinnamon and brown sugar, then reduce heat to low and cook for approximately one more minute, or until bananas are nice and caramelized.
  3. For each serving, place 1/2 cup Greek yogurt in a cup or bowl, then top with bananas and cinnamon streusel mixture.
  4. Enjoy!


Chelsea Allen, Future RD

Founder & Author of Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

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My favourite post workout breakfast is oatmeal made with milk with chia seeds and cinnamon stirred in, topped with sliced banana, blueberries, and almond butter. It’s got the perfect amount of carbs and protein to refuel, along with healthy fats from the chia seeds and almond butter, antioxidants from the blueberries, and potassium from the banana. 


Anne Mauney, MPH, RD

Founder & Author of fANNEtastic Food

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Honestly, my favorite post-workout snack for immediately after a long weekend run is 2% chocolate milk! Perfect ratio of carbs to protein. Then an hour or so later, I have a normal meal – usually something brunchy like scrambled eggs with veggies, a piece of toast and/or fruit. For weekday early morning workouts, afterwards I usually have my perfect microwave banana oatmeal with cottage cheese, blueberries, and chia seeds mixed in


Hillary Parker

Founder & Author of Nutrition Nut on the Run

Tweet her!

I am a fan of exercising in the morning, especially if means a run on a cool, fall morning or an intense HIIT or Tabata strength workout. My favorite way to refuel after an a.m. workout is with a hot bowl of homemade oatmeal, including all macronutrients: carbs, (healthy) fats, and protein.

Banana Cherry Coconut Steel Cut Oatmeal

Serves 1

  • 1/4 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. quick-cooking steel cut oats
  • 1/2 ripe banana, sliced
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 T ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 T unsweetened coconut
  • 1 T dried cherries
  • scoop of almond butter
  1. In a small saucepan, bring almond milk, water, oats, and sliced banana to a boil.
  2. Reduce to low heat and simmer; stir frequently.
  3. Add vanilla and flaxseed.
  4. Continue to cook over low heat until thick, creamy, and fluffy in texuture (appox. 8 minutes).
  5. Top with coconut, cherries, and a big scoop of almond butter.


My personal favorite right now is low-fat chocolate milk OR Greek yogurt with frozen berries + drizzle honey.

I hope this gives you guys some great ideas on post-workout meals or snacks. It’s always helpful to get some new ideas and change it up a little!


Please comment below and share your favorite recovery meal or snack…



  1. I’m lovin’ all these fabulous ideas! Thanks for this awesome post, lady :)

  2. Me too! Awesome ideas, ladies. So glad you could all contribute!

  3. Great ideas! Thanks for including me. :)

  4. Cool post! My post workout meal for powerlifting type training where I need my protein and calories:
    – 2 c whole milk
    – PBJ on white
    – banana
    21 g protein, 72 g carb, 21g fat.


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