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Work Out Your Post-Workout Snack

/ -- MISSION, KS -- (Marketwired) -- 10/06/16 -- (Family Features) You walked or ran your legs off, biked until you dropped, lifted your body weight at the gym and swam the distance of the English Channel. Now it is time to refuel.

It may seem counter-intuitive to eat and drink after working hard to tone your body and burn calories, but a workout takes its toll on your muscles and other body systems. The key is to make smart selections that provide the necessary recovery without packing on excess calories that cancel out your effort.

Photo courtesy of National Watermelon Promotion Board

Most experts agree that protein plays a role in helping repair and build, regardless of whether it comes from a shake, a glass of milk or an energy bar. Look for a choice with low to moderate sugar content and aim for 10-20 grams of protein for your post-workout snack.

Working out may work up an appetite, but a snack that promotes satiety without making you feel over-full is an effective way to nix the temptation to overeat later in the day. Reach for a snack that combines protein and carbs, such as a handful of nuts and string cheese, hummus and veggies or a container of nonfat Greek yogurt.

Rehydrate with a refreshing food that has high water content, such as watermelon. At 92 percent water, watermelon is an ideal workout buddy for rehydrating, refueling and recovering. This Watermelon Beet Post-Workout Smoothie supplies the right amount of protein to refuel and has the carbs necessary to restock glycogen stores. It also comes with the nutrients that are assembly-line workers in repairing tissues, including vitamins B and C, calcium, iron and magnesium. Prep ahead of time and freeze watermelon, beet and banana for an extra cool treat.

Find more recipes ideal for refueling after a workout at

Watermelon Beet Post-Workout Smoothie
Servings: 2 (2 cups each)

1/2    medium beet, chopped
1      cup chopped watermelon
1      banana, peeled
1/2    cup coconut water
1      cup nonfat, plain kefir
1/2    lime, peeled
2      tablespoons honey
1      teaspoon vanilla extract
2      tablespoons vanilla protein powder

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Nutritional information per serving: 486 calories; 5% fat (2.7 g); < 1 g saturated fat; 4 mg cholesterol; 18% protein (22 g); 77% carbohydrate (94 g); 6.4 g fiber.

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Michael French