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8 Post-Workout Snacks Registered Dietitians Love

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After a workout is the time to recharge. You’ve literally worked your butt off (well, not literally, but it feels like it). Your energy is gone, and your body is caput. You need nutrients to help you get back to where you started, so that you’re feeling your best by the time your next workout rolls around.

The nutrients you need will vary depending on the type of workout you did. After cardio, you want a lot of carbs and a bit of protein. After strength training, just the opposite will do the trick. Registered dietitians know all about post-workout nutritional needs, and they have the best snacks. Seriously these eight ideas all fit the bill for different workouts, and are so tasty you’ll definitely want to steal them for yourself.

1. Chocolate KIND granola clusters and yogurt

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“Right after an hour-long elliptical workout (in my condo’s fitness center, lucky me!), I often pair KIND Dark Chocolate Whole Grain Clusters with Maple Hill Creamery 100 percent grass-fed plain Greek yogurt. It’s a great post-workout snack because the granola-style clusters have a good mix of carbs and protein for refueling post-workout (10g of protein and 30g of carbs per half cup serving), and the Greek yogurt provides a high-quality protein boost—not to mention beneficial probiotics. It’s super tasty, too!”

Jackie Newgent, R.D.N., culinary nutritionist and author of The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook

2. Fruit and kefir

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“As a runner, my workouts consist of lots of cardio and endurance training. My highest priority post-workout is replacing fluids and electrolytes lost through sweat. I find that fruit is a great snack option because of its naturally high water content. Plus, fruits contain minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium which also support recovery. My go-to post workout snack is fruit, kefir, raw nuts, and seeds. This basic formula tastes refreshing without being overly sweet, and it carbs, protein, and unsaturated fat. In the summer I love using raw berries, cherries, or stone fruits like peaches or plums. In the fall I start using more apples and pears.”

—Cara Harbstreet, M.S., R.D., L.D., of Street Smart Nutrition

3. Peanut butter and banana “sushi”

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“To properly refuel after an intense workout, I like to eat peanut butter and banana “sushi.” I spread peanut butter on a whole grain tortilla, add a banana, roll it up, and then slice it into “sushi” pieces. It’s full of potassium—which soothes muscles—”good” carbs, protein, and heart-healthy fats.”

—Lauren Harris-Pincus, M.S., R.D.N., owner of Nutrition Starring You

4. A handful of nuts

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“Usually I run, row, or do some kind of circuit training. After these workouts, I like to enjoy a snack for around 150 calories, which provides me with the nutrients I need, without too many calories defeating the purpose of my workout. I love a handful of nuts, such as almonds, pistachios, or peanuts—they offer fiber, protein, healthy fats, and slow-burning carbs which is the perfect post-workout formula.”

Sharon Palmer, R.D.N., The Plant-Powered Dietitian, author of Plant-Powered for Life

5. Beets

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“After yoga, pilates, or bar, I like to eat beets—I add them to salads, sandwiches, or even put them on top of avocado toast. Beets are a great source of natural electrolytes, which can help to replete those that I’ve lost through sweating. The nitrates in beets also work to widen blood vessels and improve blood flow to your muscles, which may help to prevent soreness and fatigue.”

Ilana Muhlstein, R.D.

6. Chocolate milk

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“One thing that people don’t realize when they take protein supplements, is that your body can only use about 20 to 30 grams of protein at a time. Any extra protein will be broken down to use as energy or stored as fat. That’s why I love chocolate milk post-workout. Milk has 8 grams of protein per cup and 22 grams of carbohydrates, which is everything I need after a challenging HIIT class. It’s portable so it’s great on the go, and way cheaper and so much tastier than a protein drink. (I do like to emphasize that although there is added sugar here—about 8 to 10 grams—it’s got a purpose. If you’re refueling after a grueling workout, that sugar will help your body function.)”

Rebecca Clyde, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.

7. Smoothies

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Smoothies made with Greek yogurt or milk and fruit are a great option post-workout, because they contain that combination of protein and carbohydrates. Dairy-based options are particularly advantageous because they are rich in a protein called leucine, which appears to kick-off the muscle-building process after a workout. I tend to refuel with smoothies after tougher workouts when there’s more fuel to replace. High intensity exercise is a natural appetite suppressant, and consuming solid food after a workout can be challenging for many, so smoothies are an easy way to kick-start the recovery process when solids are unappealing or can’t be tolerated.”

—Edwina Clark, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., and head of nutrition and wellness at Yummly

8. Sabra’s single-serve hummus

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“I do a lot of Pilates, and some of these classes are pretty cardio-heavy. I love Sabra’s single-serve hummus because the 2-ounce pack is so portable. I’ll have one of these with a small whole-wheat pita after my workout. The protein from the hummus and carbs from the pita help my muscles recover, and the fiber helps keep me fueled post-workout.”

—Amy Gorin, M.S., R.D.N., owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition

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The Best Workout Advice To Get You Going

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No matter how gung ho you are about working out, some days are easier to motivate than others. It’s not realistic to think that everyone looks forward to their jog, hike, spin class or yoga every. single. time. And that’s okay. What’s not okay is to psych yourself out every. single. time.

That’s where these 14 perspectives come in handy. We asked you to tell us your best workout advice and then we compiled a few nuggets that we think are sure to get you going.

Getting started can be the biggest hurdle. And that’s okay.

Be the best you.

Find a routine, with a side of discipline.

Anything is better than nothing.

Think about how great you’ll feel when it’s over.

Take it one step — or second — at a time.

You have to want it. It won’t come naturally.

You’re not fooling anyone. Not even yourself.

Did we miss your favorite? Let us know!

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Slow Cooker Turkey & Bean Chili

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Turkey and bean chili is easy to make, especially if a slow cooker is involved. This easy recipe for chili features lean ground turkey slowly simmered with tangy tomatoes and fiber-filled beans. Set this to cook overnight for eight hours, and you can ladle a warm lunch to-go the next morning.

Photo Credit: Demi Tsasis

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5-Minute Expert Guide to Yoga for Beginners

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If you think you’re “not flexible enough” for yoga, think again.

New York City-based yoga instructor Lauren Taus has taught a slew of people — children, women in their 90s, people with physical disabilities and domestic violence victims. “Yoga is not about women wearing tight clothing making flexible shapes,” she says. “Yoga is for everybody.” And yes, it will help you become more flexible, but yoga also improves strength and balance, helps decrease anxiety and stress, and is great for cross-training since it increases mobility and stability.

So “let go of your expectations of what yoga is,” Taus recommends. “There are a lot of misnomers about what you ‘should’ look like. Your body can do it. Keep an open mind and recognize that you can start at any place.”

Why not start now? This expert guide answers all your questions so you can enter your first yoga class with confidence.


academy-sports-logo-headshotChoosing the right shoes, shorts and shirts can arm you with comfort and complement your workout! Academy Sports + Outdoors® is where you can find Under Armour® apparel for all your yoga and athleisure needs. Shop here.What class should I take?


Hatha yoga is best for newbies. “In a hatha class, the teacher will break down the alignment of each pose and where to put your hands and feet,” Taus explains. This will give you a strong foundation to try other styles later on, adds Jessica Matthews, professor of yoga studies at MiraCosta College in San Diego.You could also try vinyasa, but those classes move faster than hatha ones. You may feel lost at times, Taus says, so be sure you’re comfortable with that before you go in.

Either way, look for a “beginner” or “level 1” class.

What should I wear?

The only thing that matters is that you feel comfortable and confident. A comfortable sports bra and tight-fitting capris, or a looser shirt and pants would all work. You can do yoga in any clothes that you’d work out in, Matthews and Taus say.

That said, if your clothing is too loose, it can prevent your teacher from seeing if your body is in alignment, or leave you adjusting your shirt every other minute. Be sure you can move around free of restriction and the urge to fidget.

You may also want to dress in layers, Matthews adds. Your body will warm up during class, and then you may feel chilly come savasana (a.k.a. corpse pose, where you lie with your eyes closed) at the end. It’s nice to have a long-sleeve shirt such as the Under Armour® Women’s Twist Tech Long Sleeve Shirt to take on and off.

If you buy new clothes for class, remember that in our golden age of athleisure, yoga gear isn’t just good for yoga. You can also wear it to brunch or when running errands around town. One last thing that not everyone knows: Don’t sweat the shoes! Yoga is practiced barefoot.

What do I need to bring?

Most studios have mats you can use for free or a small rental fee. However, you may want to buy your own mat, especially if you’re a germaphobe, Taus says. (Though most studios and gyms have wipes to clean down the mats.)

“You can get a decent mat for about $ 10 and this gives you your own ‘place to be,’” Matthews says. You don’t want just any exercise mat, though: You want a sticky mat. Simply feel the mat between your thumb and index finger. It should feel “grippy,” which means it won’t bunch up or slide — and you won’t slide around on it. If you have joint-related issues, you may also want a thicker mat.

Whether you rent or buy a mat, bring a water bottle to stay hydrated and a towel if you tend to get sweaty working out.

What should I expect from my first class?

Every class and teacher is different, but in general, a yoga class will start with slower, simpler poses to warm up your body. Then you’ll move through some sun salutations, which have more of a “flow” and move fluidly from one pose to the next. Class will slow down toward the end as you do poses seated and on your back, finishing in savasana.

The poses might be entirely new for your body, so remember: “It’s a practice, not perfect,” Matthews says. “You are not expected to have perfect alignment or hold a pose for any certain length of time. Wherever you are that day, it’s a great place to be.” And you may discover things you want to work on in your fitness regimen. For example, are single-leg poses like tree pose hard? Maybe add some balance work.

Many teachers will give hands-on adjustments to help you come into a pose safely. If you prefer not to be touched, politely tell them so, Taus says. If you have any injuries, be sure to tell the instructor before class; he or she can give you variations on poses as necessary.

While your personal goal may be to get good exercise, yoga isn’t just about the poses. Typically you’ll also learn breathing techniques. There may be some chanting (anything from a single “om” to a call and repeat), and the instructor may use Sanskrit at times.

“Hearing words they don’t know can turn some people off, and if the chanting includes names of deities, some people can feel threatened if they have a different religious practice,” Taus notes. But yoga isn’t a religion. The word “yoga” means “to yoke” or bring together. “It’s about a deeper connection with yourself. And that can happen beautifully within any system of beliefs,” Taus says.

How soon will I see results?

It depends on many factors such as the style of yoga, how long classes are and how often you practice. However, Matthews says within 3 to 4 weeks your body and brain connection will be stronger. In about 6 to 8 weeks, you may see changes in muscle definition. That’s right, you do build muscle in yoga (especially if you do lots of chaturanga, which is like the bottom part of a pushup).

What if I don’t like the class?

It happens. We’ve all taken a fitness class and not enjoyed it. If that’s the case with your first yoga class, Matthews suggests reflecting on your experience to figure out why it wasn’t right for you. Did you want more of the spiritual side? Less chanting? Or maybe the instructor’s personality didn’t gel with yours.

Feel free to politely tell the teacher, Matthews says. “Share what you enjoyed as well as what you were hoping to gain that didn’t happen. When students do this, I can direct them to another teacher or class,” she explains. Not every hatha class or vinyasa class is created equal, and we all like something different. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to the instructor, ask the person at the front desk or another student for recommendations.

Bottom line: Keep trying! “Yoga is a practice for everybody. There are a lot of styles and teachers, and there’s a fit for everyone,” Taus says.

Do you have tips and tricks you want to share with beginners in yoga? Share below.


brittanyrisher-headshot-150x150Brittany is a writer, editor and digital strategist specializing in health and lifestyle content. She loves experimenting with new vegan recipes and believes hummus is a food group. To stay sane from working too hard, she turns to yoga, strength training, meditation and scotch. Connect with her on Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.


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