10 Best Nutritious Post Workout Snacks

Camille Freking, MS Translational Pharmacology and Clinical Research
10 Best Nutritious Post Workout Snacks

When it comes to maintaining an active lifestyle, the moments after your workout are almost as crucial as the exercise itself. Refueling your body post-workout is paramount, not just for physical recovery, but also to nourish your brain.

You see, physical fitness doesn't just sculpt the body. It also plays a significant role in brain health, sparking a fascinating connection that we'll delve into in this article.

In the coming sections, we'll explore the importance of post-workout nutrition, the role it plays in both your physical recovery and brain health, and the best snacks that can help you achieve this balance. 

We'll also introduce you to a specially formulated snack that might just revolutionize your post-workout routine.

Why Is Post-Workout Nutrition Important?

The physical toll of exercise on your body is undeniable. You burn calories, break down muscle fibers, and use up your energy stores. As much as this is a part of building a stronger, healthier you, it's equally crucial to replenish and restore after the exertion. This is where post-workout nutrition comes in.

Nutrients play a key role in recovery and brain health. Protein, for instance, aids in muscle repair, while carbohydrates replenish energy stores. Certain fats like omega-3s are excellent for supporting brain health. While we're careful not to claim any miracle fixes, it's proven that a diet rich in these nutrients can support overall brain and body health.

The 10 Best Post-Workout Snacks

Choosing the right snacks post-workout is crucial in this endeavor. It's not just about getting something into your stomach — it's about choosing foods that fuel both your body and brain, helping you to recover faster and perform better in the long run.

1. Greek Yogurt With Berries

Greek yogurt is a nutrient-dense snack packed with protein, calcium, and probiotics. It's an excellent source of essential amino acids, which are crucial for muscle repair and growth

A 6-ounce serving of Greek yogurt typically contains around 15-20 grams of protein. When combined with berries, this snack also offers a rich supply of antioxidants, vitamins, and dietary fiber.

⇒ Why It Makes a Good Post-Workout Snack: 

Greek yogurt with berries is a fantastic post-workout snack, as it delivers a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. The protein in Greek yogurt supports muscle repair, while the natural sugars in berries provide a quick energy boost. 

Berries are also high in antioxidants, which combat oxidative stress, a contributing factor to brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases. 

Moreover, the probiotics in Greek yogurt promote gut health, which has been linked to better cognitive function and mood regulation.

2. Whole Grain Toast With Avocado

Whole grain toast is a healthy source of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber. It's also rich in B vitamins, which are essential for energy production and brain function. 

Avocado, on the other hand, is loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamins K, E, and C, as well as potassium. One slice of whole-grain toast with half an avocado can deliver a balanced mix of nutrients to aid post-workout recovery.

⇒ Why It Makes a Good Post-Workout Snack: 

The combination of whole-grain toast and avocado offers a perfect balance of complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and essential nutrients. 

The carbohydrates in the toast replenish your energy stores after a workout, while the healthy fats in avocado support brain health by supporting healthy blood flow. 

Additionally, the fiber and B vitamins in whole grains contribute to improved digestion and cognitive function, respectively.

3. Smoothie With Spinach, Banana, and Protein Powder

A smoothie made with spinach, banana, and protein powder is a powerhouse of nutrients. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron and folate, while bananas provide a healthy dose of natural sugars, potassium, and vitamin C. 

Lastly, protein powder (whether it's whey, plant-based, or another variety) offers an easy way to add a significant amount of protein to your post-workout snack. Depending on the protein powder you choose, a typical serving can provide between 15-30 grams of protein.

⇒ Why It Makes a Good Post-Workout Snack: 

This powerhouse smoothie is a delicious and convenient way to refuel after exercise as the protein in the smoothie supports muscle repair and growth, while the natural sugars in bananas help replenish energy stores. 

The high levels of antioxidants, iron, and folate in spinach contribute to brain health by supporting cognitive function and promoting the production of mood-regulating neurotransmitters. 

Additionally, the potassium in bananas aids in maintaining proper electrolyte balance, which is essential for muscle function and overall health.

4. Quinoa Salad With Grilled Chicken

Quinoa is a complete protein, providing all nine essential amino acids. It's also an excellent source of fiber, iron, magnesium, and manganese. A one-cup serving of cooked quinoa contains approximately 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of dietary fiber. 

Grilled chicken is a lean protein source, with a 3.5-ounce serving offering around 31 grams of protein and minimal fat. Combining these two ingredients in a salad creates a nutrient-rich meal ideal for post-workout recovery.

⇒ Why It Makes a Good Post-Workout Snack: 

A quinoa salad with grilled chicken is a great post-workout meal option, as it provides a balanced mix of protein, complex carbohydrates, and essential nutrients. 

The protein in both quinoa and chicken helps repair and build muscle tissue, while the complex carbohydrates in quinoa replenish energy stores. 

Furthermore, quinoa's high levels of magnesium and iron contribute to proper brain function, and the B vitamins in chicken support a healthy nervous system.

5. Tuna on Whole Grain Crackers

Tuna is a nutrient-dense food that's high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. A 3-ounce serving of tuna typically contains around 20 grams of protein and a significant amount of DHA and EPA, two essential omega-3 fatty acids.

Whole grain crackers are a source of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber, as well as B vitamins and minerals. Pairing tuna with whole-grain crackers creates a balanced post-workout snack.

⇒ Why It Makes a Good Post-Workout Snack: 

Tuna on whole-grain crackers offers an ideal combination of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates for post-workout recovery. 

The protein in tuna supports muscle repair, while the omega-3 fatty acids support brain health. 

Meanwhile, the complex carbohydrates in whole grain crackers replenish energy stores, and their fiber content supports digestive health.

6. Almonds and Dried Fruit

Almonds are nutrient-rich nuts packed with healthy fats, protein, fiber, and vitamins, particularly vitamin E. 

A once-ounce serving of almonds contains approximately 6 grams of protein, 3.5 grams of dietary fiber, and 14 grams of heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. 

⇒ Why It Makes a Good Post-Workout Snack: 

Almonds and dried fruit together create a satisfying and nourishing post-workout snack. The protein and healthy fats in almonds help repair muscle tissue and support brain function, while the natural sugars in dried fruit provide a quick energy boost. Additionally, the vitamin E in almonds acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from damage and contributing to overall brain health.

7. Cottage Cheese With Pineapple

Cottage cheese is a protein powerhouse, with a single cup offering approximately 28 grams of protein. It's also a good source of vitamins B12 and D3, which are essential for brain health

Pineapple, on the other hand, is a fruit rich in vitamin C and manganese, and also contains dietary fiber and natural sugars. Combining cottage cheese with pineapple creates a tasty, well-rounded snack.

⇒ Why It Makes a Good Post-Workout Snack: 

Cottage cheese with pineapple is an excellent post-workout snack due to its mix of protein, carbohydrates, and essential nutrients. The high protein content in cottage cheese aids in muscle recovery and growth, while the carbohydrates in pineapple replenish glycogen stores. 

Furthermore, the vitamins B12 and D3 in cottage cheese, along with the manganese in pineapple, contribute to brain health, supporting cognitive function and mood regulation.

8. Apples With Peanut Butter

An apple paired with peanut butter combines the crispness of fresh fruit with the creamy richness of a protein-rich spread. A medium apple provides about 4 grams of dietary fiber, while two tablespoons of peanut butter offer around 8 grams of protein. 

As if that weren’t enough, apples are a good source of vitamin C and potassium, while peanut butter provides healthy fats, vitamin E, and magnesium.

⇒ Why It Makes a Good Post-Workout Snack: 

Apples with peanut butter make for a balanced post-workout snack. The natural sugars in the apple provide quick energy replenishment, while the protein in the peanut butter aids muscle recovery. 

The healthy fats in peanut butter, along with the vitamins and minerals in both, also work to nourish both the body and mind. 

9. Hummus With Baby Carrots

Hummus, a spread made from chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste), olive oil, and spices, is high in protein and fiber. Two tablespoons provide approximately 2 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. 

Baby carrots, a rich source of beta-carotene (which the body converts to vitamin A), complement the hummus beautifully, both in taste and nutritional profile.

⇒ Why It Makes a Good Post-Workout Snack: 

Hummus with baby carrots offers a balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, making it an excellent post-workout snack. 

The protein in the hummus helps with muscle recovery, while the beta-carotene in carrots not only supports eye health but has also been associated with cognitive benefits. 

Meanwhile, the healthy fats in hummus, mainly from olive oil and tahini, are beneficial for brain health, supporting neuronal function and promoting a positive mood.

10. MOSH Protein Bar

The MOSH protein bar is a brain-fueling snack that includes adaptogens, superfoods and vital brain nutrients to help rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul, especially post-workout.

MOSH protein bars are high in protein, with each bar delivering 22 to 25 percent the recommended daily value of protein, while also boasting no added sugar and 1 gram or less of total sugar.

Plus, our bars are gluten-free, non-GMO, kosher, and keto-friendly, making them a versatile option that caters to a range of dietary preferences and needs!

The Bottom Line

Post-workout nutrition is a cornerstone of a holistic approach to fitness. It's not just about building muscle or increasing stamina – it's also about nourishing your brain and supporting your overall health. 

The snacks you choose to consume post-workout (and pre-workout) can make a significant difference in your recovery, your future performance, and your brain health.

Remember, a quality snack is more than just empty calories. It's an opportunity to deliver essential nutrients to your body and brain, fostering wellness from within. 

Whether you're reaching for a MOSH protein bar, a Greek yogurt, or a handful of almonds, remember that your post-workout snack is a vital part of your fitness journey and your pursuit of a healthier, happier life. 

After all, fitness is not just about looking good – it's about feeling good, both in body and mind. So, here's to healthier snacking and a lifestyle that embraces ageless vitality and wellness!


Benefits of Physical Activity | CDC

Effects of Protein Supplements on Muscle Damage | NCBI Bookshelf

Carbohydrates - The Master Fuel | U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)

Essential Amino Acids and Protein Synthesis | NCBI Bookshelf

Effects of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Brain Functions | PMC

Potassium | The Nutrition Source | Harvard School of Public Health

Protein and Amino Acids - Recommended Dietary Allowances | NCBI Bookshelf

Magnesium, Iron, and Zinc Supplementation for the Treatment of ADHD | PMC

Omega-3 Fatty Acids | NIH

Health Benefits of Dietary Fibers Vary | NIH

Why You May Need Vitamin B12 and D3

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