Now that you know what to eat before a workout, it’s time to figure out what to eat after a workout. After exercise, your body needs to refuel, repair, generate muscle growth and restore energy. When you’re in the gym lifting weights, you aren’t building muscle, you’re actually breaking it down and creating small tissue tears. It’s what you do afterward to recover that helps to build the muscle back up and repair those small muscle tears. The right nutrition will help optimize your recovery.

My tips for optimal recovery:

Easy Post-Workout Shake Formula:

Optional add-ins for bonus nutrition:

Need some caffeine? Replace the milk in your smoothie with cold brew coffee! Or, add Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee powder (sounds weird, tastes awesome AND gives you a brain boost)!

Be careful of ready-to-drink shakes on the market– MOST of them are full of sodium and additives. There aren’t many that get an A, but I have reviewed all of them here. My favorite is Svelte because it’s delicious and easy to find. The Capuccino flavor is the best– it’s like drinking an iced coffee that’s actually good for you.

As far as protein powders and bars go, most of them also have artificial ingredients that aren’t good for your body and aren’t made from real food. Read the label! If your brain doesn’t recognize an ingredient as food, neither will your body! Read my post on the best and worst protein bars here.

Some of my favorite brands of protein powder are:

Tera’s Whey
Naked Nutrition
Designer Whey
MRM Veggie Elite Performance Protein

Read more about what makes these the best protein powders here.

Do you have any tried and true post-workout go-to’s?