Recovery Foods You're Probably Not Eating (But Should)

Grown-Up Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Throughout his legendary career, six-time Ironman world champion Dave Scott ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches after workouts. It's easy to understand why: It takes no time at all to put together a PB&J after a workout and the nutritional profile is ideal for muscle repair and refueling. Some versions of the American classic are healthier than others, though. Make yours like a grown-up, with whole-grain bread, old-fashioned peanut butter (just nuts and salt) and 100 percent fruit preserves.

More: Gluten-Free Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Brownies

Split Pea Soup

Liquid foods are among the easiest things to consume after a hard workout. On cold days, hot soups work especially well as recovery foods. One of my favorites is split pea soup. Homemade is best, of course, but there are some healthy canned options available, including Amy's Organic Split Pea Soup. A full bowl of this particular product provides approximately 38 grams of carbohydrate and 14 grams of protein.

More: Pea and Leek Soup Recipe

Vegetable Omelet

When you think about recovery nutrition, fat is probably the last thing that comes to mind. But a recent Japanese study found that a high-fat meal eaten immediately after a long workout boosted endurance in a second long workout performed the next day. Some high-fat foods are healthier than others, and eggs are among the healthiest.

Likewise, some ways of preparing eggs are better for you than others, and a vegetable omelet tops the list. After long workouts on weekends, when I have more time to fuss around in the kitchen, I like to saut? some spinach, diced onions and chopped tomatoes, and stuff them inside a two-egg omelet. Washed down with a glass of orange juice makes this a satisfying and effective recovery meal.

More: Fingerling Potato and Swiss Chard Scramble

"Greena Colada" Smoothie

You really can't beat a recovery meal that you can drink. Not only is it easier to drink your nutrition after a hard workout, when your appetite remains shut off, but you also need to rehydrate anyway. Why not take care of your fluid and energy needs simultaneously?

More: Antioxidant-Rich Smoothies

If there's such thing as a perfect recovery food, it's the smoothie. A well-made smoothie has everything you want in a post-workout snack, including the quality of being drinkable and refreshing.

My new favorite smoothie to make at home is the "Greena Colada," which my co-author Georgie Fear created for our Racing Weight Cookbook. It couldn't be easier to make: Add the contents of one 14-ounce can of unsweetened crushed pineapple, one-quarter cup of coconut milk, one cup of baby spinach and a scoop of protein powder to a blender and blend.

After you've tried it once, don't be surprised if you start craving it during subsequent workouts.

More: Nutty Date Recovery Shake Recipe

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