7 Lunch Ideas to Eat After a Workout

Jun 15, 2021

What you eat after a workout is more important than you can imagine. Training puts stress on the body and what many people don’t know is that just as pre-workout meals can help power the workouts, support nutrition goals and make you train harder, what you eat afterward also has influence.

Eating the proper foods after training can help you build muscle, help you recover, and prepare you for the next training.

However, what you eat after a workout might vary based on the intensity and duration of your training, so the type of exercise is a significant factor.

For endurance activities like cycling or running which last more than 60 minutes, higher carbs meals are more beneficial. When it comes to strength training, however, a protein with moderate carbs is the right choice.  Another important factor here is the timing.

The ideal timing for eating your after-workout lunch is within 45 minutes, but you can also feel the benefits even if you eat up to two hours after your workout.

What to Eat After a Workout

#1 Peanut Butter Combinations

This is a fast option for days when you are in a hurry. You can spread some peanut butter on a whole-grain sprouted toast, put it in your bento box and have it on the go.
Do not use jam, however, since it contains sugar. A better and healthier option is honey. Fast meals with peanut butter are full of nutrients and contain plant protein, lots of fiber, and healthy fat.

#2 Power Smoothie

This is another fast option when you don’t feel like cooking or you simply don’t have enough time to cook a more complex lunch. To make your post-workout smoothie, use some plain yogurt with your favorite fruit. Feel free to add water, ice, or dairy.
For a boost of healthy fats, add one big spoon of any type of nut butter. Sounds delicious, isn’t it?

#3 Whole-Wheat Toast and Egg

Foods for After Workout

The toast has carbs which are good as they can help to put back the energy you burned during your workout. It also contains a significant amount of fiber which can help keep your blood glucose levels even.

To boost your results add one egg. This meal is a complete protein which means it contains all 9 essential amino acids the body needs in order to build muscle.

In case you don’t have time to make a scramble, there is even a faster option. You can boil the egg a day before your workout, as well as use a whole grain cracker.

#4 Vegetables, Chicken and Brown Rice

This is an all-time favorite for most people who work out regularly. Skinless chicken breast is believed to be a slim-down food since half of it has around 27g of protein and only 142 calories. Also, it contains a lot of vitamin B-6, which is a crucial nutrient for the immune system.

To make the proper combination of nutrients and carbs you need to add vegetables of your choice and some brown rice. Healthy and delicious all at once.

#5 Whole-Grain Turkey Wrap

This is a healthy version of the usual wrap, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. The whole grain comes with high-fiber carbs and the turkey contains 19g of protein per three-ounce serving.

Instead of using mayo, you can use creamy avocado as a dressing. It’s healthier, and high in magnesium and potassium which are important minerals that may help you avoid muscle cramps. Also, the avocado comes with many vitamins and heart-healthy unsaturated fats.

#6 Protein Shake

This is another fast option when you are in hurry or when you are out of ideas for lunch. You can make a protein shake with two scoops of whey protein, half a banana, and water. It’s fast and easy. Not to mention super delicious.

#7 Tuna and Whole Grain Toast

This is a favorite meal for most vegetarians because it’s yummy and healthy. You need one slice of whole-grain toast and around four ounces of tuna. It’s that simple.

If you want some other lunch ideas to eat after a workout, check out the following ingredients and use your imagination to make some mouth-watering, post-workout lunches.

More Foods to Eat After a Workout

easily digested food

The foods you consume after training need to be easily digested in order to speed up the absorption of nutrients. Such foods are whole foods which are packed with micronutrients.  

Options to consider include:


  • eggs
  • cottage cheese
  • chocolate milk
  • tofu scramble
  • Greek yogurt
  • protein shake (animal or plant based)
  • chicken
  • peanut butter
  • turkey
  • tuna
  • salmon

Healthy Fats

  • nuts
  • avocado
  • nut butters
  • coconut oil
  • flax seed


  • whole-grain cereal
  • chia seed pudding
  • sweet potatoes
  • crackers
  • rice cakes
  • fruit
  • quinoa
  • oatmeal
  • whole-grain bread
  • Drink Water

Another important thing that can help you with recovery and doing well on your next training is drinking a sufficient amount of water before, during, and after the training.

To know if you had enough water you need to pay attention to the color of your urine. You are hydrated enough when the color of your urine is pale yellow.

To Sum Up

These are some great options for lunch ideas after your workout. However, finding what works best for you needs to be through trial and error. This means trying out foods until you find out the best options for your body.

One of the most important parts of achieving your fitness goals is eating the right foods after training as they will fuel your body. Do not skip meals and stay hydrated. Give it your best and you will soon see results.

Article Posted In: Workout Lunch

Tags: healthy lunch, healthy lunch ideas, lunch ideas, workout, lunch for work out

Milena Popova

Milena is an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in writing articles on her favorite topics - food and health. In her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, reading, listening to music, and walking in nature.

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