OH-Blog Logo

Tough Workout? Top 5 Foods for Recovery

Infographic listing top 5 foods for recovering after a workout


Working out is important, but recovery is key. Whether your goal is to get stronger, fitter or faster, what you eat — and when you eat it — matters.

Follow these guidelines after your next run down the Scioto Mile to make sure you reap the benefits and feel great:

  • Choose good sources of carbohydrates, protein and fluids within 30 minutes of a workout.
  • Eat about half your body weight of carbohydrates in grams to replenish muscle glycogen stores.
  • Add 20 grams of protein to help repair muscles.
  • Include 16 to 24 ounces of fluids to rehydrate.

The following five options have a healthy balance of carbohydrates and protein to help you recover better and faster.

Chocolate Milk

This childhood favorite has all the nutrients your body is needs for recovery − quickly digestible carbohydrates and protein, small amount of fat and fluids. Being delicious certainly doesn’t hurt!

Tart Cherry Juice

Research suggests tart cherries reduce muscle and joint soreness and can help speed recovery. Plus, they’re a great source of carbohydrates (and fiber!) to help refuel your energy stores. Pair a glass of juice with half a sandwich or use it to make a smoothie.

Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich

Whole grains and banana provide needed carbohydrates. Peanut butter provides protein and heart-healthy fats. Make sure to measure it, though; one serving goes a long way.

Fruit Smoothie

Combine plain low-fat Greek yogurt, a frozen banana and tart cherry juice (or frozen fruit). Yogurt is a great source of calcium, vitamin D and protein.

Yogurt and Granola

Try plain yogurt to limit added sugars. Add granola and fresh fruit for a hearty snack. Tip: Granola can often be high in fat. Look for a high-protein version instead, or make your own!

Workouts feeling flat lately? Check out these group fitness classes at OhioHealth that are sure to help you work up a good sweat.