7 Easy Snacks to Get Your Protein After a Workout


It’s safe to say most people know it’s important to have protein after a workout. But exactly how much protein do you need after a workout? Is it a one-size-fits-all for protein intake? And how exactly should you get this protein?!

Read on to learn the answers to these questions and more, including seven simple high-protein recipes to try.

We all know protein is key, so we’re not dropping a bombshell to state that protein is important, and even more so when you’re living an active lifestyle by working out on a regular basis.

But as much as we hear about protein, there is plenty of misinformation and myths.

The quick and dirty takeaway in terms of how much protein you need post-workout has to start with an overarching clarification about protein in general.

What you eat pre-workout matters too! Read: 7 Perfect Pre-Workout Snacks for Long-Lasting, Healthy Fuel

It’s important to get the straight up facts about protein intake and how much protein you need after a workout…

Here’s the science-based, Harvard-published facts about daily protein intake: the average sedentary woman only needs about 40-50 grams of protein per day. If you’re more active, an athlete, or lifting heavy in the gym, you’ll benefit from more – between 1.2-2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

For a 150-pound person, that means between 82-136 grams per day. (Keep in mind that’s kilograms, not pounds! 150 pounds equates to approximately 68 kilograms.) In other words, you should have around .75 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should have approximately 150 grams of protein per day.
 

 
 

Protein After a Workout: Why Is This Important?

Consider this a brief crash course in the importance of protein, and why it matters what we consume post-workout.

In the most basic sense, protein is the building block of muscles and essential for growth and maintenance of our muscles. When we workout, we’re creating tiny micro-tears in our muscle fiber, from which they grow back stronger as they repair.

Protein is the essential fuel our bodies need to facilitate this process, so if you’re feeling like you’re not seeing as much progress as you’d like in your fitness journey, it’s worth taking a look at your protein intake. If it’s lacking, your workouts may be the equivalent of running your car on an empty gas tank.

Not just the quantity (more on that in a second) of protein after a workout matters, but the timing as well. This is because after a taxing workout, your body is depleted of its energy sources and looking for fuel.

Traditional wisdom and older research once suggested the need for protein after a workout was urgent — the sooner the better. But newer research loosens up the reins a bit, suggesting that protein after a workout has the same benefits even if it’s consumed up to several hours later.

Timing can aid in recovery, but none of us are perfect and with busy lives, we may not always have a protein-heavy snack at the ready post-workout. Don’t stress it. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the totality of your calories and protein intake over the course of the day is adequate, so you’re keeping your body consistently fueled.
 

 
 

So – How Much Protein Do You Need After a Workout?

Is 30 grams of protein after a workout enough? Is 40 grams of protein after a workout too much?

These are just a couple of the many widely-searched questions regarding the question of how much protein do you need after a workout. If you’re fuzzy on what’s fact vs. fiction, you’re not alone.

Depending on your sources, you’ll get a variety of answers to these questions. And advice varies based on the size of the individual and their training goals. But recent research suggests around 20-40 grams of protein post-workout is the golden number to aim for.
 

Recent research suggests around 20-40 grams of protein post-workout is the golden number

 
With protein intake, more isn’t necessarily better. So keep in mind with protein in general, if you’re stressing yourself to pack in as much as possible, that extra protein outside the RDA is either burnt off or stored as fat, and can even tax vital systems such as your kidney function, in some circumstances.

If you’re concerned you may not be getting enough protein in your diet overall, read: 10 Surprising Signs You Aren’t Getting Enough Protein
 
 

7 Post Workout Snacks High in Protein

If protein is king, carbs are its right-hand man, and in fact, carbs are just as important in your post-workout recovery. Both are needed to fuel muscle growth and also replenish those glycogen (AKA carbs!) stores that have been depleted during your sweat sesh.

For the best results, always pair protein and carbs post-workout.

 

Our Recommended Protein

Orgain Organic Vegan Protein Powder

Orgain is Amazon’s top selling protein and hundreds of thousands of reviewers agree that it’s a high-quality, healthy protein option with an affordable price tag. We’ve tested it for ourselves and here at YouAligned, it’s our go-to protein. Here’s what we love most about this Orgain Organic Protein:

  • 21 grams of clean, plant-based organic protein per serving
  • Non-dairy
  • No sugar added
  • Soy- and gluten-free, and with
  • 50 added superfoods (kale, chia, beets, turmeric) and prebiotics with fiber.

That’s why Orgain protein is our protein recommendation!

 

SHOP THIS PROTEIN

 

Here are a few simple snack ideas, all of which happen to be plant based (yes, it’s easy to get your protein as a vegan – read this article to debunk 7 vegan protein myths you may be hanging onto!) to keep in your back pocket (meaning, your fridge.)
 

1. Protein Shake

You can’t beat a classic, and when it comes to protein after a workout, it doesn’t get easier than tossing some frozen fruit like bananas, blueberries, spinach, or mangoes in a blender with plant-milk, ice, and a scoop of your favorite protein powder.

Looking to mix up your protein shake flavors? Try This Delicious Mint Thins Flavored Protein Shake

Pro Tip: Add a handful of oats for extra carbs.

Depending on the type of protein powder you choose — and the options are virtually endless — your shake can easily clock in at 20 or more grams or protein. Plus it delivers carbs from the fruit and oats for a well rounded post-workout snack.

Recommended Protein: We love the Orgain line of plant-based protein. Whether or not you are plant-based, this healthy, organic protein is the best bang for your nutritional buck! It is gluten-, soy- and dairy-free with no added sugars and 21 grams of protein per serving.
 

2. No-Bake Energy Bites

The easiest snack to prep ahead and always have on hand, whip up these No-Bake Energy Balls Recipe with your choice of protein powder.

This is a YouAligned recipe! Click the link above to view the full recipe and ingredients list.

Again, depending on your pick of protein powder, you can easily surpass 20 grams of protein in this recipe. Pop as many bites as you want – they’re easy to keep in your gym back in a ziplock container and keep well in the fridge for several days.
 

3. Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seeds are naturally super high in protein, but bulk this up even more by using a protein-rich plant milk like soy or pea, and topping with hemp hearts for an added bump.

Check out our favorite Chia Seed Pudding Recipe with several customizable variations here!

Not only do chia seeds contain a good bit of protein; they’re also packed with omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Prep several servings ahead of time and keep in the fridge to be enjoyed post-workout all week long. Chia seed pudding is endlessly customizable, so add in your choice of toppings, fruit, even dark chocolate to your liking.
 

4. Rice + Tofu Bowl

It doesn’t get simpler or easier to prep ahead than a basic carb, rice, plus plant-based protein in the form of baked or air-fried tofu. Drizzle on your sauce of choice or sprinkle with soy sauce.

You can measure out your tofu serving to get in at least 20 grams of protein, plus carbs to accompany it from the rice. If you’re looking to sneak in some extra greens, serve with steamed broccoli or sheets of nori seaweed snacks or avocado for some healthy fats.
 

5. Open-Faced Turkey Sandwich

Whether you opt for organic, antibiotic-free turkey, or if you’re plant-based, choose vegan deli meat slices at the grocery store – stack on a piece of bread with mustard, cheese, lettuce, or whatever toppings you desire.

Post workout snacks don’t have to be fancy – a simple, protein-rich sandwich is hard to beat. Vegan deli slices contain a surprising amount of protein in just a few slices, so combined with the protein in the bread you’ll easily top 20 grams of protein. Look for a bread with at least 5 grams of protein per slice.
 

6. Protein Rice Pudding (Or Protein Yogurt)

If the idea of having dessert waiting for you post workout appeals to you, whip up a simple protein-rich rice pudding with cooked white rice, plant-milk, a scoop of vanilla protein powder, plus vanilla, cinnamon, raisins, and a drizzle of maple syrup.
 

For the best results, always pair protein and carbs post-workout.

 
This makes the ideal post workout snack as it’s easily prepped ahead of time en masse and travels well. You’ll get a blend of protein from the powder, carbs from the rice, and a little indulgence and sweetness to boot.

Don’t want the rice? Swap it out with yogurt (Greek yogurt or a plant-based alternative like coconut yogurt) and follow the recipe or simply add a scoop of your favorite protein.
 

7. Your Favorite Protein Bar or Cookie

If you find yourself on the go, it doesn’t get easier than grabbing a pre-made protein bar or cookie from the grocery store — just remember to grab one with a high protein content, ideally 20 grams, and minimal sugar.
 
 

Protein After a Workout: Your Final Takeaway

Now that you know how much protein you need after a workout, you’re ready to maximize the benefits of being active and nourishing your body!

With this knowledge and these high-protein post-workout recipes, fueling your workouts has never been easier. As always, everyone is different, so see what feels best for your body, while following the science about protein after a workout.

Keep some of these high protein snack options prepped each week and you’ll know you’re supporting your efforts at the gym and on the yoga mat by your choices in the kitchen.
 

See what feels best for your body, while following the science about protein after a workout.

 
Remember, as with all nutrition and wellness tips, perfection is the enemy of progress, so don’t hold yourself to impossible standards or stress yourself out about getting the perfect high-protein post-workout fuel.

Take a zoomed out perspective and remember to fuel yourself well with plenty of protein and healthy carbs all day long, not just after your workout.

All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. Always consult your healthcare provider for medical questions and before beginning or changing any dietary, supplementation, and exercise regimen.





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