You’ll be pleased to know post-workout meals go way beyond your typical (and, lets face it, mostly boring) protein shake. Our resident dietitian Melissa Meier is here to give you a slew of wallet-friendly options to help you make the most of your sweat sesh.
You woke up early, sprung out of bed and nailed your morning workout (you go, girl) – and now you’re back at home, in your kitchen, wondering what to eat to make the most of your sweat sesh.
Contrary to popular belief, I’m happy to report that protein shakes aren’t the bees knees post-workout (for the average Joe, at least), and you can certainly get enough goodness from real food (hooray for your tastebuds).
What you’re after in a post-workout meal or snack is a combination of both protein and carbohydrates – the former to aid in muscle recovery, and the latter to replenish energy stores. Hydration is also paramount, so ensure you’re following through with plenty of water across the day, too.
To give you a little post-workout inspo, here’s my top five dietitian-approved post-workout breakfast choices. The best part? They’re also good for your bank balance, coming in at no more than $3 per serve (#winning).
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Homemade fruit smoothie = $1.08 per serve
Milk (the dairy kind) is an excellent choice, ticking off all three of the essential post-workout nutrient requirements in one swoop (protein, carbs, hydration).
Use it as a base for your smoothie, along with a tablespoon of Greek yoghurt for extra protein, a frozen banana and rolled oats for low-GI carbs and a sprinkle of cinnamon for some flavour. Delicious and convenient – yes please.
Baked beans on toast = $1.99 per serve
I absolutely *love* baked beans, not only for their health perks, but because they taste damn good, too. They’re an excellent source of plant-based protein and quality carbs, and offer stacks of hunger-busting fibre to keep your digestive system healthy.
Pair a 220g tin of reduced-salt baked beans with a slice or two of wholegrain toast and a sprinkle of cheese for a cheap and tasty morning meal.
Breakkie wrap = $2.43 per serve
The humble egg is another favourite of mine, not only loaded with top-notch protein, but also healthy fats and micronutrients like energising iron and Vitamin A for healthy eyes.
Fill a wholegrain wrap with a couple of scrambled eggs, a slice of cheese and a quarter of an avocado for a delicious on-the-go breakkie.
Muesli and berries = $2.18 per serve
On warmer mornings, nothing beats a bowl of muesli, yoghurt and fruit. For a protein punch, I’d recommend plain Greek yoghurt to which you can add your own fruit for flavour, avoiding added sugar (frozen berries work a treat!).
For quality carbs, opt for natural untoasted muesli rather than sugar-laden toasted kind, and stick to just half a cup (rather than a mountain) to keep the calorie content in check.
Avocado, cheese and tomato on toast = $2.47 per serve
Another option that relies on dairy for protein, cheddar cheese offers a surprising amount of protein in relatively small portions. Just 40 grams, for example, contains around ten grams of protein. Paired with a couple of slices of dense wholegrain bread, you’re sitting at around 15 grams of protein in this humble little meal that also contains veggies and heart-healthy fats from a quarter of an avocado.
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based accredited practicing dietitian. You can connect with her on Instagram @honest_nutrition.