It seems like just about everyone these days has a food allergy of some sort. In fact I just discovered I’m not a lactard (lactose intolerant) after all, as it turns out gluten is my arch nemesis. Over the past year what I noticed when reading fitness blogs or magazines is that every post-workout food list I came across was chock full of dairy, soy or gluten. Cool great, and what if I can’t eat those things? Reaching for a healthy snack isn’t hard when you can’t have certain foods (Hello fruit and veggies!) but what if you’re also trying to properly replenish your body after a workout?
KEEP IN MIND IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE PROTEIN!
Yes, while protein is vital after a workout to help repair those hard worked muscles it’s not the only thing that matters. Carbohydrates are also essential post workout because exercise depletes our body of glucose (usable energy) and glycogen (stored energy) which is main cause for feeling lethargic after an intense workout. It is generally recommended to start refueling within 20-30 minutes post workout following a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein.
So keeping all this in mind and after years of navigating an on the go lifestyle and a finicky stomach I decided it was time to put together a list of 10 foods that are great post-workout snacks and take into account common food allergies like Gluten, Dairy & Soy.
1) Hardboiled Eggs – GDS Free
The Scoop: One egg has 6.3g of protein and only 70 calories, not to mention they contain all nine essential amino acids which help repair muscle damage. Plus, they are super portable which is great when you are on the go.
2) Hummus & Veggies – GDS Free
The Scoop: The chickpeas in hummus are rich in iron and Vitamin C and provide both carbs and protein after a workout. Pair it with higher glycemic veggies like carrots to help restore glycogen levels which are the primary fuel your muscles use for energy production .
63) Avocado – GDS Free
The Scoop: While most people fear fats, the monosaturated fats in avocado are great for muscle repair and they are packed with B vitamins that jump start your metabolism. Grab a spoon and dig in!
4) Peanut Butter & Banana on Rice Cakes – GDS Free
The Scoop: If you want a snack that fills a bit more significant Peanut Butter & Banana on a rice cake is a great option. Two tablespoons of peanut butter provides 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of carbs, spreading it on a rice cake is a great way to add extra fiber. Don’t worry about all that sugar in the banana, they are a high glycemic carb which is perfect post workout.
5) Whey Protein Shake or Smoothie – GDS Free
The Scoop: While whey does come from milk it’s considered dairy free. Adding a scoop of your favorite protein powder with a handful of spinach and berries plus your favorite non-dairy milk or water is a great post-workout option. If you aren’t a fan of whey adding peanut butter into a smoothie is another great way to add protein.
(I’m currently in love with my Gym Vixen Sexy Whey in Chocolate with only 96 calories it packs 24 grams of lean protein)
6) Granola – GDS Free
The Scoop: While not all granola is gluten free you can find it or even make your own! It’s the perfect grab and go post workout snack that provides carbs, protein and healthy fats. Mamma Chia has a great option that packs 10g of protein per serving and is gluten, soy and dairy free! Be sure to watch your portions though as granola is very caloric.
7) Tuna – GDS Free
The Scoop: Tuna is an ideal post workout snack because it’s a lean protein but it lacks carbs which are also important after a intense workout. A tuna sandwich is usually recommended to add in the carbs but since we’re skipping gluten I love this Cranberry Tuna Salad recipe served on Apple Slices. Apples are about 13-15% carbs and help to restore glycogen levels not to mention they are packed with antioxidants. To make this recipe a little healthier I either use half the amount of mayo or substitute mayo for just a bit of olive oil.
8) Blueberries – GDS Free
The Scoop: Loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties blueberries are idea for fighting EIMD or exercise induced muscle damage, one cup of blueberries also provides 4grams of fiber. Eat them by the handful or toss some in your favorite smoothie or protein shake to help ease post workout muscle soreness.
9) Nuts – GDS Free
The Scoop: A Handful of cashews, almonds or whichever nut you prefer are a great post workout snack that cover all of you macronutrient bases with carbs, protein and fat. Nuts are also high in Vitamin E which helps repair muscle damage. When reaching for nuts opt for raw unsalted when you can, they are higher in fiber and have less fat and calories than roasted nuts.
10) Yogurt – GS Free (Dairy Free Optional)
The Scoop: Plain Natural Yogurt is made up predominantly of protein, carbs and healthy bacterial cultures that are beneficial for your digestive system. Greek yogurt which is strained of whey is much creamier and thicker than regular yogurt and most brands contain 17-20 grams of protein which is ideal post workout. For those of us who are lactose intolerant coconut-milk greek yogurts are a great alternative, while they have much less protein it is till packed with calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and magnesium. Toss in a handful of granola or some blueberries and non dairy yogurt quickly makes a great post workout snack.