Though we would typically recommend paleo options - like lean meats and fish - after the gym, we're well aware that we don't always have the opportunity to pick on a fresh rotisserie chicken. So, we have certain protein-packed, grocery store favorites that aren't as messy and easier to eat on-the-go. [Disclaimer: we don't normally recommend packaged foods at TCM - due mainly to processing and additives - but we find these to be suitable based on their nutritional contents.]
Of course, before any of these options, reach for a piece of organic fruit and either nuts or nut butter. We especially love bananas after a workout, mainly because they contain potassium, a mineral that plays a key role in muscular energy and recovery. You could also opt to make a smoothie at home using your high-quality protein powder (like Sunwarrior) and the right ratio of veggies:fruit:healthy oil. But, for the days that you're in a rush, here's what to grab at the grocery store and/or natural food store. [We've also included the links to buy these products cheaper in bulk and online.]
With low sugar content and next to no common allergens, these organic, protein-packed snacks are healthier than a lot of the other options out there. Plus, they won't make a dent in your wallet.
It's hard to believe these bars are low in sugar and gluten-free because they honestly taste like chocolatey candy bars. I absolutely love the Mocha Chocolate [shown below] and the Dark Chocolate Pretzel with Sea Salt, which is the perfect combination of salty and sweet These are my go-to, post-workout snacks because they're delicious, low in price and high in protein, which is exactly what I need to recover after an intense workout.
I'm not a big protein shake person mostly because I don't love the taste and the ones that do taste good tend to have a lot of sugar or worse, artificial sweeteners. I also find it hard to find a decent one that is dairy-free, which is why I love Orgain's vegan nutritional shakes. Packed with plant-protein (16g in one shake) these are free of all of the common allergens (dairy, soy, and gluten) and come into great flavors -- Sweet Vanilla Bean and Smooth Chocolate.
I always recommend a handful of nuts after a workout because they contain protein and healthy fat. But, sometimes we're craving something more satiating and I find that nut butter does the trick. I especially love Justin's because they're all-natural and come in single packs, so you won't overdo it. [We all know it's easy to consume nearly a whole jar of almond or peanut butter in one sitting.} Gluten free, vegan and fibrous, one pack contains 7 g of protein and only 190 calories. So, snack on! [If you have other nut allergies, it's important to note that Justin's products are produced on equipment that also processes peanut, tree nut & soy products.]
Chia seeds are sort of like nutritional miracles. Just one ounce contains a ton of fiber [11 grams] as well as protein and heathy, Omega-3 fats. These little Chia Bars are super-delicious and low in calories. I like to pair them with a piece of fruit - like an apple or a banana. Plus, every flavor is delicious! I especially love the Banana Nut& Coconut.
Dates have a plethora of unprecedented health benefits. They contain vital nutrients that promote healthy weight, boost energy, reduce allergic reactions, improve digestion and can even prevent abdominal cancer. Natural Delights makes wonderful date-based snacks included these two - coated with almonds or coconut! I especially love the coconut, though the almond contains more protein.