4 Mouth-Watering Recovery Snacks

Photo Courtesy: Fabio Ferrari - LaPresse

By Tasija Karosas, Swimming World College Intern

As swimmers, we train for countless hours in the pool and in the weight room. We push our bodies to their maximum capacity over again, until our physical limitations are exceeded. Long-term, this training will mean a lot less if you do not give your body the proper fuel afterwards to allow yourself to get back in the pool the next time to do it again.

Fueling is one of the easiest ways to restore and help recover your muscles so you can be ready to take on any challenge in your next workout. Refueling should take place 15 to 30 minutes after practice, and should consist of two very important macronutrients: carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates will replenish energy stores and protein will help repair any muscle damage caused during workout.

So what exactly are the direct benefits to recovery? Fueling recovery can lessen muscle soreness, increase your ability to build muscles, and most importantly; recovery can help your muscles feel strong and ready for the next practice.

Here are four delicious and natural foods that are great to eat after a tough training session! These snacks should be paired with at least 8oz of water to maximize full recovery.

1. Banana with Peanut Butter


Photo Courtesy: Chelsey Baldock

Banana with peanut butter is an easy and simple snack. Bananas contain carbohydrate and potassium. Potassium is crucial for athletes to maintain electrolyte balance, which can help reduce the risk of muscle cramps. Peanut butter is abundant with protein and healthy fats. Add these two together and provide your body with nutrients for a great recovery. It is also a delicious snack.

Ingredients: 1 large banana, 2 tbsp. of peanut butter

2. Make your own trail mix!


Photo Courtesy: Cary Bass-Deschenes

If you are lacking time or accidentally forget to pack a post-practice snack, keeping a bag of trail mix in your bag is a perfect back up plan. Of course, pre-made trail mix can be delicious, but that takes the fun away of making it yourself! By making your own trail mix, you can design it to fit your taste buds and individual nutrient needs. Here are some fun ingredients to add to your own trail mix.

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Dried Cherries
  • Sun flower seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Pretzels
  • Banana chips
  • Walnuts
  • Diced dried mango or apples
  • Chocolate chips
  • Greek yogurt covered nuts

It is not crucial to add all these ingredients, but be sure to add at least two kinds of nuts or seeds and one type of dried fruit. You should be consuming ¾ cup of nuts and 1/3 cup of dried fruit after practice.

3. Homemade Granola Bars

Homemade Granola Bars

Photo Courtesy:Flikr

As much love as there is for packaged granola, something about making your own food is so much more fun, rewarding, and healthy. It kills me every time I look at the nutrition labels and notice the added sugars and preservatives. Although additives may make food taste better, that does not always mean it is good for your body. Here is a great homemade granola bar recipe!


  • 1 cup chopped cashews
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • ¼ cup rice cereal
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. flax seed
  • 1 pinch of salt

Recipe: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix together maple syrup and peanut butter. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add maple syrup and peanut butter to dry ingredients. Mix. Transfer mixed ingredients into an 8×8 pan. Use parchment paper to flatten the mixture. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool in the refrigerator and they’re ready to serve!

4. Recovery Smoothie

Recovery Smoothie

Photo Courtesy: Ken Hawkins

Sometimes after a hard practice the lactic acid builds up and nausea kicks in, causing your appetite to subside. Smoothies are an awesome way to refuel your body when real food does not sound like an appealing option. The key ingredients in any recovery smoothie are protein (protein powder or greek yogurt), and carbohydrates, fruits or veggies. Here is an example of a delicious recovery smoothie!

  • ½ cup plain or vanilla yogurt (Greek)
  • 1 medium frozen banana
  • 1 cup Spinach
  • 1 tbsp. Peanut butter
  • ¾ cup coconut water

Steps: Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until everything is mixed together.

There are so many different ways to recover after a hard practice. Refueling is one of the easiest and least time consuming ways! Be sure to eat and drink at least 30 minutes after practice in order to maximize your recovery each and everyday. Recovery is one of the most critical parts of training. Train stronger by enhancing your recovery.

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