What is the best snack for after a workout?
The timing and type of snack you eat after a workout depends on your exercise frequency.
If you CrossFit 3-4 days per week for the overall fitness, fun, and health benefits with an alternate day schedule, your healthy meals should be adequate to replenish your glycogen stores (energy) so that you are ready for your next workout.
If you CrossFit every day, or more than once per day, then the carbohydrate timing is much more crucial. If you just finished a workout and your next scheduled workout is less than 24 hours away, get snackin’!
The guidance below is based on a “real food first” philosophy. Practically, we know that for convenience, sometimes a pre-packaged item is going to be needed and so some of those items are also included.
Who: Athletes who work out daily, multiple times per day, or will have their workout in less than 24 hours.
Immediately (ideally within 30 minutes): Simple Carbohydrate (These are broken down quickly to be used for energy)
- Fit Aid, Milk (white or chocolate), Fruit or Fruit pouch, Coconut Water, White Potato, Fruit Juice, Sports Drink, Sports Gel, Granola bar.
These items typically go down easily after intense workouts, when it is imperative to ingest carbohydrate, but the body may feel food averse.
Within 2 hours: Nutrient Dense, Complex Carbohydrates and Quality Protein. (The difference between complex and simple carbs, is how quickly they break down)
- Beans, Peas, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Rice, Quinoa, Oatmeal, Barley, Whole-Grain Bread or Cereal or Crackers or pasta with Chicken, Fish, Eggs, Beef, Pork, Tofu, etc.
“But Coach, what about a beer?” That’s a whole different blog post!