The 9 Best Post-Workout Snacks to Buy Online of 2022

Fairlife Core Power Protein Milk Shake provides carbs, protein, and electrolytes

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What you eat after a workout plays a key part in your ability to recover from that workout and prepare you for your next one. Whether you are engaging in cardio or strength-based exercise, it is important to consume adequate amounts of fluids, carbohydrates, and protein throughout the day and after exercise in order for your muscles to properly recover. 

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American College of Sports Medicine, carbohydrates are needed to help replenish energy stores, while protein helps to repair and build muscle. You should aim to eat within 2 hours of exercise—whether a snack or a meal—and continue to refuel with regular meals throughout the day. The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) further recommends eating carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes after exercise and eating a high-carbohydrate meal within two hours after exercise lasting longer than 90 minutes.

Post-workout snacks can help you meet your recovery needs, especially if you aren’t able to consume a full meal right away. They can be most helpful after workouts that are at least 60-90 minutes or longer. “Most people who exercise can benefit from a post-workout snack, but it's especially important for those who train intensely, such as runners, cyclists, and triathletes,” says Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, founder of Greenletes. According to Rizzo, putting carbs and protein back into your system after a workout keeps energy levels up and helps the body recover in time for the next workout. 

Here are our best post-workout snacks you can buy online to help you bridge the gap between meals after a workout.

Verywell Fit Approved Post-workout Snacks

  • Best OverallFairlife Core Power Protein Milk Shake is our top pick because it contains a good amount of carbohydrates, protein, water, and electrolytes needed to help start the recovery process after exercise. 
  • Best Bar: For a post-workout snack option you can throw into your bag and take on the go, we recommend Rise Whey Protein Bars. They contain minimal ingredients, don’t need to be refrigerated, and pack 20 grams each of carbohydrates and protein.

Best Overall: Fairlife Core Power Protein Milk Shake Chocolate Flavor

4.7
Fairlife Core Power Protein Milk Shake Chocolate Flavor

Amazon

Pros
  • Higher in carbs and protein

  • Good source of calcium and potassium

  • No artificial sugars or sweeteners

Cons
  • Not suitable for those with dairy allergies

For an ideal post-workout snack, look no further than your favorite childhood beverage: chocolate milk. Research shows that chocolate milk can serve as an excellent recovery drink because it contains everything you might want after exercising—carbohydrates, protein, water, and electrolytes. While regular chocolate milk can provide all these post-workout nutrients, we like that Fairlife Core Power Protein Milk Shake has a higher amount of protein compared to regular chocolate milk.

Fairlife Core Power Protein Milk Shake contains 26 grams of protein and 28 grams of carbohydrates, a combination that can be hard to come by in a post-workout snack. It doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners but, rather, is sweetened with cane sugar and honey. It also has 50% of the daily value for calcium, along with 20 percent of the daily value for vitamin D, which are both important for active individuals. Plus, it has sodium and potassium, electrolytes we lose in sweat that may need to be replenished after exercise.

A post-workout drink can also come in handy after hard workouts which can sometimes temporarily suppress your appetite. In these situations, you might prefer turning to a drink to get your recovery started. Since this drink is milk-based, it is not suitable if you have a dairy allergy. It is, however, lactose-free.

Price at time of publication: $29 ($2.45 per bottle)

Protein: 26 grams | Carbohydrates: 28 grams | Electrolytes: Sodium, potassium, calcium | Sodium: 160 milligrams

Best Vegan: Mush Honey Nut Crunch Overnight Oats

Mush Honey Nut Crunch Overnight Oats

Amazon

Pros
  • Higher levels of carbohydrates

  • Higher levels of sodium

  • Suitable for vegans

Cons
  • Lower levels of protein

  • Requires refrigeration

If you’re a fan of overnight oats, you will probably love Mush Overnight Oats. Mush took the classic overnight oatmeal and turned it into a ready-to-go, delicious snack that can serve as both a great pre-workout and post-workout snack you can take with you when you’re on the move.

These oats contain 32 grams of carbohydrates per container, so they can help you kickstart your post-workout recovery. Mush Honey Nut Crunch flavor also contains 230 milligrams of sodium, the main electrolyte lost in sweat. It can be particularly important to replace sodium after a long workout or in the heat. In these instances, focusing on post-workout snacks that have some sodium can help you replenish electrolytes and help avoid dehydration. These oats are a bit lower in protein, with 7 grams per container, so we recommend pairing this with a higher protein option, such as yogurt to support your muscle recovery.

Mush Overnight Oats come in a variety of fun flavors, including blueberry, vanilla bean, vanilla almond crunch, dark chocolate, strawberry, apple cinnamon, peanut butter swirl, and coffee coconut. Made with almond or coconut milk, these oats are also dairy-free and suitable for vegans.

Price at time of publication: $60 ($3.75 per serving)

Protein: 7 grams | Carbohydrates: 32 grams | Electrolytes: Sodium, potassium, calcium | Sodium: 230 milligrams

Best Yogurt: Siggi's Fat-Free Vanilla Yogurt

Siggi's Icelandic Style Skyr Non-Fat Yogurt, Vanilla

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Higher in protein

  • Good source of calcium

  • Source of probiotics

  • Available in vegan varieties

Cons
  • Needs to be refrigerated

  • Lower in carbohydrates and sodium

Yogurt contains protein and carbohydrates, making it an excellent post-workout snack. Greek yogurt, in particular, typically contains more protein than regular yogurt—which is why we love Siggi’s yogurt, an Icelandic yogurt that is thick and creamy, as a good post-workout snack option. We also like that each serving of Siggi’s yogurt provides 15 percent daily value of your calcium needs and is a source of probiotics to help support gut health.

Siggi’s Vanilla Yogurt contains 16 grams of protein and 11 grams of carbohydrates. If you need more carbohydrates after a long workout, you might consider mixing in granola or fruit—like berries. This will provide you with a bit more carbohydrates. Berries will add antioxidants, which can help with post-workout soreness. If you are doing a longer workout or exercising in the heat, you may also benefit from adding to this snack an extra electrolyte source like a sports drink or pretzels to help replace sodium.

In addition to vanilla, this yogurt comes in other flavors, such as raspberry or peach. If you’re vegan, you might be interested in Siggi’s plant-based yogurts made with coconut milk and pea protein. However, these options are somewhat lower in protein, with 10 to 11 grams per container.

Since yogurt needs to be refrigerated, this may not be a great option to take with you on the go unless you have a small cooler. However, if you’re working out at home or have a fridge nearby, then this post-workout snack can help you start the recovery process.

Price at time of publication: $1.50 per 5.3 ounce serving

Protein: 16 grams | Carbohydrates: 11 grams | Electrolytes: Sodium, potassium, calcium | Sodium: 55 grams

Best Savory: Sabra Hummus with Pretzels Roasted Red Pepper

Sabra Hummus with Pretzels Roasted Red Pepper

Walmart

Pros
  • Higher levels of carbohydrates and sodium

  • Convenient

  • Suitable for vegans

  • Source of iron

Cons
  • Sodium level may not be appropriate for everyone

  • Lower protein

If you prefer savory and crunchy snacks over sweet ones, Sabra hummus with pretzel cups can be a great post-workout choice. These portable containers are easy to use, convenient, and delicious. Sabra hummus cups are a good post-workout snack because they have 40 grams of carbohydrates and 790 milligrams of sodium. This makes them a good choice for having after long workouts or workouts that are extra sweaty. However, because of the higher carb and sodium amount, they may not be the preferred choice after shorter or less sweaty workouts.

Sabra hummus cups contain 10 grams of protein from chickpeas and tahini, so they’re vegan and vegetarian-friendly. We would recommend pairing this with another protein-rich snack, such as hard-boiled eggs, or follow up with a later meal higher in protein to meet your needs. These cups also come in a few savory flavors, including classic, roasted red pepper, and roasted garlic.

Price at time of publication: $2.77

Protein: 10 grams | Carbohydrates: 40 grams | Electrolytes: Sodium, potassium, calcium | Sodium: 790 milligrams

Best Shake: Kate Farms Organic Vanilla Nutrition Shake

Kate Farms Organic Vanilla Nutrition Shake

Amazon

Pros
  • Higher in carbohydrates and sodium

  • Suitable for vegans

  • USDA organic

  • No gluten, corn, or soy ingredients

Cons
  • Some may not want or need the phytonutrient, vitamin, and mineral blend

  • Expensive

Shakes are a popular post-workout option because they provide you with a good dose of protein in a convenient, ready-to-go bottle. We like Kate Farms Nutrition Shakes because, unlike most protein shakes, they contain higher levels of carbohydrates for post-workout recovery. One bottle has 38 grams of carbohydrates along with 16 grams of protein from organic pea protein. It also provides you with fluid and electrolytes to help you rehydrate from exercise sweat loss.

These shakes contain a blend of phytonutrients, or plant nutrients, with extracts and concentrates from broccoli, green tea, turmeric, carrot, and others. They also add a vitamin and mineral blend that offers 10-80 percent daily value of various vitamins and minerals. If you are taking any medications or other vitamin/mineral supplements, you may want to check with a healthcare provider before consuming this shake to avoid any potential interactions.

Kate Farm Nutrition Shakes are USDA organic, vegan, and free of gluten, soy, and corn ingredients. They are also free from artificial sweeteners and are available in three flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and coffee.

Price at time of publication: $48 ($4 per 11 fluid ounce shake)

Protein: 16 grams | Carbohydrates: 38 grams | Electrolytes: Sodium, potassium, calcium | Sodium: 260 milligrams

Best Bar: Rise The Simplest Protein Bars 12 Pack

Rise The Simplest Protein Bar

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Doesn’t need refrigeration

  • Whole food ingredients

  • High in protein

  • Good source of calcium, potassium, and fiber

Cons
  • Not suitable for those with nut allergies

  • Lower in sodium

Bars can be a convenient option when you’re on the go, especially since they don’t require refrigeration. Rise Whey Protein Bars are made with only three ingredients: almonds, honey, and whey protein isolate. Whey protein isolate is a form of whey that is lower in fat and lactose and is typically easily digested.

In addition to protein, Rise Whey Protein Bars contain 20 grams of carbohydrates. The sweetness comes from honey rather than artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols. These bars are a good source of fiber—thanks to the almonds—and higher in potassium compared to other snacks. They are a bit lower in sodium, with 25 milligrams per bar, so you may want to pair these with a higher source of electrolytes if you had a sweaty workout. 

Other regular flavor options include chocolate banana, chocolate chip almond, mint chocolate chip, mocha almond, and snickerdoodle. Since these bars are made with whey protein, they are not suitable if you have a milk allergy or do not consume dairy products. However, this company does offer vegan varieties made with pea protein in flavors such as chocolatey coconut and lemon cashew. 

Price at time of publication: $28 ($2.37 per bar)

Protein: 20 grams | Carbohydrates: 20 grams | Electrolytes: Sodium, potassium, calcium | Sodium: 25 milligrams


Best Crunchy: Enlightened Bada Bean Bada Boom Crunchy Broad Beans Sea Salt

Enlightened Bada Bean Bada Boom Crunchy Broad Beans Sea Salt

Amazon

Pros
  • Doesn’t need refrigeration

  • Suitable for vegans

  • Source of iron and fiber

Cons
  • Lower in protein 

Beans are a source of plant-based protein and carbohydrates, which fits the bill for a nutritious post-workout snack. You probably don’t want to snack on beans right out of the can, though—and you don’t have to. Bada Bean Bada Boom Crunchy Broad Beans are dried fava beans that come in snack-sized bags you can take on the go. Since they don’t require refrigeration, you can pack them in your gym bag for later.

One serving provides you with 16 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of protein, and 6% daily value of your iron needs, which is an important nutrient for athletes to get enough of in their diet. They also contain 4 grams of fiber which can help keep you full until you’re able to eat a complete meal. Since one pack is a bit lower in protein, we would recommend pairing this with another protein-rich snack such as hard-boiled eggs, nuts, or yogurt. The beans also come in a variety of flavors, including sea salt, sweet onion & mustard, sweet sriracha, zesty ranch, spicy wasabi, and sweet cinnamon.

These non-GMO beans are naturally vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free.

Price at time of publication: $27 ($2.25 per ounce serving)

Protein: 6 grams | Carbohydrates: 16 grams | Electrolytes: Sodium, calcium | Sodium: 160 milligrams

Best Whole Food: Bumble Bee Snack on the Run Tuna Salad with Crackers Kit

Bumble Bee Snack on the Run Tuna Salad with Crackers Kit

Amazon

Pros
  • Convenient and portable

  • Contains omega-3 fats

  • Affordable

  • Good level of sodium

Cons
  • Not suitable for vegetarians or vegans

  • Lower in protein

Crackers and canned tuna fish are an easy, whole food, portable snack option that can get you the carbohydrates and protein you need after working out. We like that this snack kit doesn't need refrigeration, can easily be thrown in a gym bag, and you don’t need any extra utensils. This snack option provides 21 grams of carbohydrates, but you can easily add more crackers or fruit if you want more carbohydrates to fit your needs.

Canned tuna is an affordable option that provides you with protein, iron, and omega-3 fats, which can help with post-exercise inflammation. Tuna is also a good source of selenium, a mineral important for athletic performance and recovery. This tuna and crackers snack kit is lower on total protein amount, so you could add a tuna pouch or protein shake as a way to bump up protein if desired.

Price at time of publication: $18 ($1.48 per serving)

Protein: 6 grams | Carbohydrates: 21 grams | Electrolytes: Sodium, calcium, potassium | Sodium: 325 milligrams

Best DIY Ingredient: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts

Amazon

Pros
  • Can adjust amount to your liking

  • Contains healthy fats

  • Can be added in many ways

  • Good source of many vitamins and minerals

Cons
  • May require some preparation and measuring

  • No sodium

If you have a bit more time to prepare your own post-workout snack, one of our favorite options is adding hemp seeds—also called hemp hearts—to your own DIY snack. For example, hemp seeds can be sprinkled on top of peanut butter toast with banana or mixed in yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothies. Hemp seeds have a soft texture and a slightly nutty flavor making them a versatile addition to many snacks or a tasty option on their own.

A 3-tablespoon serving of hemp seeds may be too much to pile on one snack. However, keep in mind you can sprinkle a smaller amount on a snack, simply eat the rest of the hemp seeds on their own, or save the rest for later. Each serving provides an impressive 10 grams of protein, a source of omega-3 fats, and a good source of many vitamins and minerals. While hemp hearts don’t have sodium, we like that they are a good source of other electrolytes potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

Price at time of publication: $10 ($0.67 per serving)

Protein: 10 grams | Carbohydrates: 1 grams | Electrolytes: Potassium, calcium, magnesium | Sodium: 0 milligrams

How We Selected Post-Workout Snacks

When selecting the best post-workout snacks, we considered products that contain adequate amounts of carbohydrates and protein, as well as products that contain the electrolytes lost in sweat. Rizzo says, “If you worked out for at least an hour, you want something that has at least 15-30 grams of carbs and some protein. There is some research to show a 3:1 carb to protein ratio is ideal for replenishing tired muscles.” 

Post-workout protein needs can depend on the length and type of exercise. In general, around 20 grams of protein after a workout has been shown to support rebuilding muscle after exercise. We also looked for snacks to select that offer electrolytes, are convenient, ready-to-go, and portable. 

What to Look For in Post-Workout Snacks

Carbohydrates

It is important to consume adequate amounts of carbohydrates after exercise to help replenish glycogen stores which can often be in the form of added sugars. So, keep in mind products with artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols may be under the recommended 15-30 grams of carbohydrates after exercise. 

Rizzo says, “When evaluating products, most people look for things that are low in calories, sugar, carbs, etc., but that's not necessarily the best way to go about it. For example, 8 ounces of chocolate milk has 24 grams of carbs and 8 grams of protein. Carbs sometimes come in the form of added sugar (like some of the carbs in the chocolate milk), so you don't have to avoid added sugar at all costs." She adds, "That said, don't go overboard with the sugar and refuel with something that resembles a candy bar. Choose snacks that have minimal ingredients and look for ingredients that you recognize, so you know the food isn't too processed. ”

Some products also contain fiber, which can help keep you full until you’re able to consume a full meal. 

If you choose an option such as a protein shake that is lower in carbohydrates, you might consider pairing it with a carbohydrate-containing snack such as a banana, crackers, or pretzels.

Protein

In addition to carbohydrates, it is important to consume protein after exercising and throughout the day to help repair and rebuild your muscles. Choosing a post-workout snack that contains protein can help get this process started for muscle repair. Ideally, around 20 grams of protein after exercise can help support muscle growth. Post-workout snacks can help meet this amount of protein by themselves or in combination with a later meal after exercise.

If you choose a snack option that is higher in mainly carbohydrates, we would recommend pairing it with another protein-rich snack such as a protein shake, eggs, yogurt, or cottage cheese.

Electrolytes

When we sweat, we lose not only water but also electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Replenishing these electrolytes—sodium in particular—can help you avoid dehydration. This is particularly important when you are exercising for longer than 60-90 minutes, in the heat, or at altitude.

While some people prefer to replace electrolytes with electrolyte drinks, choosing snacks that are high in sodium can also be a great option.

Fluid 

Replacing fluids post-exercise should be a top priority. While you might opt for water or a sports drink alongside your post-workout snack, options such as chocolate milk provide you with fluids in addition to carbohydrates and protein. It can be helpful to weigh yourself before and after exercise to determine sweat loss. The ISSN recommends replacing every pound lost during exercise with three cups of water.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should I eat a post-workout snack?

    We recommend eating a post-workout snack, especially when you exercise for at least 60 to 90 minutes, in order to replenish muscle energy and repair muscles. If you are not able to eat a full meal within a few hours after exercise that contains carbohydrates and protein, then you will benefit from a post-workout snack.

    Most people working out less than one hour most days of the week can meet their nutritional needs when following a normal diet. Adding in extra snacks on top of your normal eating schedule may not be needed assuming you are already meeting your nutritional needs. If your workouts are long, at a high intensity, or you have a short recovery time before the next long workout, you could benefit most from an additional post-workout snack to your diet.

  • Is fruit a good post-workout snack?

    After working out, you should focus on consuming carbohydrates and protein. Different fruits contain varying amounts of carbohydrates, which is a good start. For example, a medium banana contains around 25 grams of carbohydrates, while an orange contains around 12 grams of carbohydrates. For more complete recovery, we also recommend pairing fruit with a source of protein such as yogurt or cottage cheese. 

    Fruits can be a good source of the electrolyte potassium but are low in sodium. Therefore, if you are looking to replace electrolytes after exercise, pair fruit with an electrolyte drink, salty crackers, and a protein source for balanced recovery.

  • What should I not eat after a workout?

    Following a workout, you may want to avoid foods that are high in fat but low in protein and carbohydrates. Incorporating snacks with some fat is fine, but you want carbohydrates and protein to be the main feature.

  • Is Greek yogurt a good post-workout snack?

    Greek yogurt provides you with a good amount of protein and so can be an excellent post workout snack to support muscle repair. While yogurt contains some carbohydrates, it may not be enough to help you fully recover. To further replenish your glycogen stores, we would recommend pairing yogurt with fruit, oats, or cereal to increase the carbohydrate content.

  • Is a high-protein food a good post-workout snack?

    Protein is necessary post-workout for muscle repair. It is important, however, to be sure to also include fluids and carbohydrates after exercise. For example, we would recommend pairing high-protein foods like eggs with a side of toast with jam or fruit. Protein powders and drinks are a common sports nutrition supplement, but they may not have the carbs needed for post-workout recovery.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Tamar Kane, MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian and marathon runner. Tamar has her master's degree in nutrition and exercise physiology from Teachers College Columbia University and specializes in working with plant-based athletes in need of quick protein sources. Her goal is to help people understand how to properly fuel their bodies (and supplement if needed!) to optimize performance and well-being.

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