How soon should you refuel? A study published in the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism says immediately. Your stomach might not be able to handle much after a tough workout, so as long as you have a snack with carbs and protein between 30 minutes and three hours of the effort, you should still reap benefits. If you feel queasy when you finish your workout, start sipping a recovery smoothie 10 to 15 minutes after the workout, then try a snack or small meal an hour or two later when you're hungry.
These easy-to-make recipes using Greek yogurt will set you up for post-workout success. Protein- and calcium-rich, nonfat, plain Greek yogurt contains 22 to 23 grams of protein and 8 to 11 grams of carbohydrates per 8-ounce serving. Our post-workout recipes bump up the carb content of the thick, creamy yogurt to provide ideal recovery snacks.
Yogurt Berry Wraps1 of 8
Mix ½ cup of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt with ½ teaspoon cinnamon, 1¼ teaspoon ground ginger and 2 teaspoons honey. Spread a whole-wheat tortilla with two heaping spoonfuls of the spiced yogurt. Put two handfuls of mixed berries (sliced strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries) half and inch from the right border, and sprinkle chopped almonds or hazelnuts on top for added crunch and flavor. Fold the bottom portion of the tortilla up then, starting with the right side, roll to the left.
Creamy Sweet Potato Mash with Candied Pecans2 of 8
Boil or microwave one peeled sweet potato until it's soft. Mash sweet potato until it resembles a chunky puree. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon white pepper and ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg. Stir in one 8-ounce container nonfat, plain Greek yogurt. In a small nonstick skillet over medium heat, toast ¼ cup chopped pecans for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally. Add ½ teaspoon canola oil, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 pinch of cayenne pepper and ⅛ teaspoon dried rosemary; toast until sugar has dissolved and nuts are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Scatter candied pecans on top of mashed sweet potatoes.
Kale, Spinach and Olive Yogurt Dip3 of 8
In a food processor, pulse 2 cups kale, 2 cups spinach, 2 scallions and 1 clove of garlic into tiny bits. Stir chopped veggies into 2 cups of plain, nonfat (or low-fat) Greek yogurt. Add 2 teaspoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon dried oregano and 2 tablespoons pitted, chopped green olives, and stir to combine. Eat with multigrain pita or tortilla chips to boost the carbs in this recipe.
Cookie Dough with Bananas4 of 8
Stir together 1 container Greek yogurt (you choose the fat content), 1 tablespoon cashew, almond or peanut butter, 1 tablespoon honey, ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Mix in 1 tablespoon of mini chocolate or peanut butter chips. Top with banana slices. Enjoy as is or with graham crackers.
Pumpkin Spice Spread for Bread5 of 8
Combine 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt with 4 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese, ½ cup pumpkin puree, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, ⅛ teaspoon allspice and ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional). Spread on top of whole-wheat toast topped with apple slices or a handful of dried golden raises or cranberries.
Creamy Zucchini and Avocado Soup6 of 8
Cut 1 zucchini into chunks and put into microwave-safe bowl with 1 teaspoon water. Zap on high for 3 to 4 minutes, or until zucchini is tender. In a blender, combine cooked zucchini, flesh of 1 large, ripe avocado, 1 scallion, 1 small garlic clove, 3 cups vegetable stock, 1 container nonfat Greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper and 1 large slice of cubed multigrain bread. Blend until smooth. Enjoy with toasted bread or croutons.
Oat and Apple Parfait7 of 8
Prepare 1 package of plain instant oatmeal. Stir together 1 container nonfat Greek yogurt, 1 cup organic, all-natural applesauce, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and oatmeal. Top apple yogurt with apple cubes, crushed graham crackers and 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts (optional).