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Three Delicious Post-Workout Recipe Ideas

Contributors: Anne Gao, Samantha Reid


Post-exercise nutrition plays an important role in replenishing energy stores by stimulating glycogen synthesis, increasing muscle mass by increasing protein synthesis, and promoting recovery by decreasing protein breakdown (1). It has been shown that both muscle activity and insulin stimulate muscle glycogen synthesis (2). This has its greatest effect when both carbohydrate and protein are consumed following exercise, which is why this macronutrient combination is recommended for this time period (3).

The following recipes are all examples of adequate post-exercise nutrition given their high-quality carbohydrate and protein content. Additionally, they are delicious and simple to prepare.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1 Serving


1 apple

2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 cup water

1 cup oatmeal

1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (or protein powder of your choice)

1 tsp honey


  1. Boil 1 1/2 cup water and add in chopped apples

  2. When apples soften, add 1 tsp cinnamon and stir

  3. Drain apples but keep the boiled water and pour into a bowl with 1 cup oatmeal, stir

  4. Add in 1 scoop of protein powder and mix

  5. Add apples on top and sprinkle 1 tsp cinnamon on top

  6. Drizzle 1 tsp of honey

Post-Workout Smoothie

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 1 minute

Yield: 1 serving


1/2 banana or steamed sweet potato

3 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp flax meal

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 cup milk/milk alternative

Ice cubes

1/2 tbsp cocoa powder (optional)

1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)


  1. Blend oats flaxseed, cocoa powder, and cinnamon until flour is formed

  2. Add peanut butter, milk, banana, and the ice

  3. Blend until smooth

*Add more milk or ice to reach desired consistency

Power Bowl

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30-60 minutes

Yield: 3 servings


1 ½ cups quinoa/brown rice, uncooked

1 cup chopped spinach

1 medium red and yellow bell pepper, diced

1 white onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

1 tbsp. olive oil or tahini

¼ medium avocado

Pinch of salt + pepper

6 Yves falafel balls OR 3oz chicken breast


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

  2. Cook quinoa on the stovetop

  3. Dice the peppers and onion and put on a foil-lined baking sheet. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes Halfway through, toss veggies and add falafel balls to the sheet (if not using cooked chicken breasts)- Can top with avocado and tahini (instead of using olive oil to roast veggies)

  4. Divide into 3 containers

Download a copy of these recipes and their nutrition facts here:

SNAP Post-Workout Recipes
Download • 452KB


1. Atherton PJ, Smith K. Muscle protein synthesis in response to nutrition and exercise. The Journal of Physiology. 2012;590(5):1049–57. 

2. Jentjens R, Jeukendrup AE. Determinants of Post-Exercise Glycogen Synthesis During Short-Term Recovery. Sports Medicine. 2003;33(2):117–44. 

3. Loon LJV, Saris WH, Kruijshoop M, Wagenmakers AJ. Maximizing postexercise muscle glycogen synthesis: carbohydrate supplementation and the application of amino acid or protein hydrolysate mixture.

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