You don’t have to sacrifice flavor to get the protein your body needs to refuel and recover after a hard day at the gym. There are many healthy and high-protein snacks that will make your mouth and muscles happy. These nine stand out from the rest, however!
Lenny & Larry The Complete Cookie
With a flavor like chocolate donut, you might think that Lenny & Larry Complete Cookies are a diet-busting snack. But with 8g of protein per serving, you can have your cake and eat it, too. Let yourself “indulge” after a long week of consistently hitting the gym by rewarding yourself with some high-protein chocolate.
NuttZo’s 7 Nut & Seed Butter 2Go packets are 100 calorie portions of paleo, gluten-free, vegan energy. Harnessing the healthy fats of cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, hazelnuts, and hazelnuts, NuttZo’s packets also have 3g of protein, 2g of dietary fiber, 98 mg of Potassium, and are a good source of iron. It’s the perfect portable refuel after a great workout!
Chickpeas are power-packed with 21 grams of carbs, so a handful will replenish the energy you expended on the treadmill. Their 5 grams of protein also give your muscles what they need to recover. Try dry-roasted chickpeas for a crispy, full-flavored snack. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can even pop fresh chickpeas into a blender to make your own hummus at home, paired with raw veggies and pita chips.
You might enjoy pumpkin seeds around Halloween, but this healthy snack should haunt your pantry year-round! With 8 grams of protein per serving, they’re a tasty way to repair your muscles. A serving of pumpkin seeds also contains 3 grams of fiber that can reduce your risk for illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. Eat them alone after a workout or mix them with those peanuts mentioned earlier for a nutty, wholesome snack.
If you like to feed your inner carnivore, jerky will be your favorite post-workout snack. Jerky is a great way to eat the protein your muscles need to recover after lifting weights without the added carbs and fat you can find in other protein-packed foods like nuts. A serving of jerky has 11 grams of protein for your muscles, and because it’s dehydrated, you can easily eat it on the go.
Edamame and exercise go together like two soy beans in a pod! You can enjoy it freshly steamed or even dry roasted to eat like a nut. Edamame contains 18 grams of protein and 4.5 grams of fiber to help your muscles rebuild and reenergize. Bonus: All of that protein is beneficial in keeping you full between meals, so you won’t be so tempted to grab a bag of chips before dinner.
It turns out everyone’s favorite ballpark snack is actually a great post-workout food. Sunflower seeds have 6 grams of protein per serving, as well as potassium and phosphorous that are essential for muscle repair. You can munch on this snack solo or pitch the seeds into smoothies and baked goods to hit a protein home run.
Quinoa packs a protein punch, making it a favorite of fitness enthusiasts who eat vegan or vegetarian diets. A single cup of these little seeds offers up to 18% of your daily protein needs. It’s also incredibly easy to cook and work into your daily meals: You can use quinoa to replace rice and pasta, or you can add it to sandwiches, casseroles, or soups.
If you’re on the go immediately after the gym, there’s no better snack to pack than peanuts. Peanuts contain 9 grams of muscle-mending protein in a 1-ounce serving. They’re also high in monounsaturated fats, which decrease your overall risk of cardiovascular disease and ensure you’ll be reaching your fitness goals for years to come. This snack is delicious on its own, but you can also mix peanuts with dried fruits such as raisins, cranberries, and apricots for a salty-sweet treat.