Real food alternatives to post exercise protein shake

Does anyone have any real food suggestions for post hard workouts, rather than protein shakes?

I’ve been adding greek yoghurt to my porridge in the mornings, but am looking to find something quick and easy post evening virtual races/tough TR workouts? Not really wanting to be cooking chicken breasts etc, so wondering if anyone else uses real food and what they eat?

From what I can workout the average protein shake gives a 26g of protein in one measure.

Think I’m going to try these few (from a google) but looking for some more suggestions
Banana, peanut butter and oat smoothie
Greek yoghurt and pita bread crackers
Low-fat chocolate milk



If you don’t like the egg protein, you can leave it out.

1/3 cup greek gods yogurt
1 package nature valley oats ‘n’ honey granola
1/4 cup egg protein (judee’s)
tbsp cashews
tbsp pumpkin seeds
tbsp almonds
(put all the nuts in a chopper and chop them up into ~1/8" parts)
tbsp coconut milk
tbsp shredded coconut

Mix it all in a bowl and eat it. Sometimes it’s a little dry so I’ll pour the liquid that collects in the yogurt container onto the mix.

ingredient kcal f c p
gg yogurt 100 4 12 3.5
granola 190 7 29 3
egg protein 95 0 1 20
cashews 90 7 4 2.5
pumpkin seeds 90 6.5 2 5.5
almonds 80 7 3 3
coconut milk 60 6 1 0
shredded coconut 36.7 3.33 1.33 0.3333
total 741.7 40.83 53.33 37.8333

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Sweet potato, nut butter and sea salt


do you just microwave the potato then add the butter? Is nut butter the same as peanut butter??

Boiled eggs, toast, coffee

I usually have some prepped up sweet potatoes for the week that I bake. But yes you can microwave it, if you do microwave it cool the potato down a little before adding nut butter, it can get messy, and yes nut butter would be peanut butter.
Although many say peanuts aren’t nuts but that’s another rabbit hole :laughing:
One of my favorite post workout meals, I like solid food more than drinking nutrition.
Oats and nuts or peanut butter is also a good one

I usually have something that is similar to a ‘regular meal’, making sure I get 25+g of protein and plenty of carbs and are easy to make:

  • Oatmeal w/ protein powder + toppings
  • french toast (zero sugar syrup, egg substitute + almond milk for the egg wash)
  • grilled cheese (light on the butter, low fat cheese, + misc toppings)
  • frenchtoast grilled cheese (no syrup, egg substitute + almondmilk + garlic / salt / pepper + lowfat cheese)
  • homemade pizza (w/ lowfat cheese, tons of different ways you can do this, i’m lazy and buy pre-made dough at the grocery store which is good for 2-3 pizzas)
  • frozen pirogies with onion / cabbage / low-fat sour cream
  • whatever lunch I meal-prepped over the weekend
  • frozen dumplings
  • pb2 + honey sandwiches
  • korean pancakes (batter of egg substitute and flour + tons of finely cut veggies)
  • good ramen noodes w/ veggies and egg(s) or meat. I just throw everything in the broth to cook.
  • fried rice, light on the oil

I always have salad greens in the fridge and will have a big plateful with some of the options above that don’t include a ton of veggies (and it isn’t breakfast.)

I prefer to eat my calories as smoothies / shakes don’t provide the same level of satiety. I would consider a Greg Doucette-style protein icecream and would add a lot of carbs / toppings, but the volume might be more than I want at the time.

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  • Rice & eggs.
  • Cereal & milk if you’re feeling lazy
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Decent size bowl of museli and milk gives you about 60g carbs and 20g of protein. Plus you get a load of fibre and micro nutrients too.
It’s my standard post workout meal.

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Thanks, great list! Do you have that as the fourth meal of the day effectively??

Rice and eggs is a staple for me too. I usually have some premade rice in the fridge. Dump some of that in a hot pan and crack a few eggs in. quick recovery meal in a few minutes. I like to add a bit of cheese in as well.

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One thing you may notice, is many of these options don’t include any “extra” protein. I’m sure it could be debated here, but one of the most recent Dylan Johnson videos argued that almost all of us already get enough protein and you don’t need to supplement protein. That is contrary to a lot of recent conventional wisdom that suggests a gram per lbs of body weight or other such excess. My suggestion would be to replace the calories you burned with healthy food, whatever you like. Probably more focused on carbs than protein or fat.

For my harder weekend rides, I mix this up beforehand so it’s ready to go as soon as I’m done.

2 bananas, mashed
2 or 3 big dollops of Greek yogurt (I don’t measure things)
2 handfuls of granola
drizzle of honey
1 scoop of vegan protein powder (substitute some peanut butter if you want more protein but want to avoid going with a supplement)


Omeletes with a couple extra egg whites. I vary up the “filling”…beans, pico, cheese, avocado, etc…whatever is on hand that day.

Cottage cheese with some fruit or a dollop of jam/preserves.

Chocolate milk, soy milk, etc.

I know you said “real food”, but I always keep a few packaged protein options on hand in a bind.

Here was my breakfast after my workout this morning…I drank about 8oz of chocolate milk right after the workout while making my omelete. Total about 22-25 grams of protein.

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Whey was good enough for Little Miss Muffet, it’s good enough for me… But I’d rarely have it as a shake. I have it with porridge/ oatmeal post workout in the morning and mix it with greek yogurt for consumption with with a fruit and/ or berries.

Whey is no more processed than some of the other options you seem to be ok with?

One could probably argue about whether I have 3 meals and a couple of snacks vs 5 meals a day, but effectively I treat it like a meal. I also live like an animal so what I do for meals probably differs from normal human beings. :rofl:

During the week I’m on the bike right after I get up, so I basically treat it as a post-ride meal / breakfast combo. On Saturdays I have a breakfast and finish around noon, so I consider it part of lunch. On Sundays I also have a breakfast and finish mid-morning so that day it is basically another meal.

I will also mix / match / add-on things like air popped popcorn, toast, avocado toast, random things to bump up the carbs / calories depending on how high the calorie burn was during the ride. I only aim for 25+g of protein because of recent studies about the leucine threshold for muscle protein synthesis. Other than that I have veggies and fruits that vary week to week and hopefully give me a variety of vitamins and micronutrients. But generally I don’t treat post-ride meal much differently from any other meal.

I just took it to mean the OP was looking for solid foods instead of a carb / protein shake for post-workout consumption.

Personally I prefer not to do shakes as drinking calories is not as satiating as eating solid foods and I want to be feel satiated.


OOOh thanks for reminding me about this. One of my favorite things is healthy fried rice. Brown rice is perfect for fried rice, and actually lasts quite a long time in the fridge. Its firmness I think makes it last longer, and holds up better to being recooked in a pan.

Brown rice, some veggies (I like frozen peas, plus some onion or green onion), egg or egg white, fish sauce, soy sauce, and the chili/garlic sauce that comes in the clear container with the green lid. Can never remember what the stuff is called…but a spoonful or two of that with fried rice is fantastic. Make it in a non-stick pan…don’t really even need oil.

Spicy, salty, tons of flavor, a hit of protein, very filling, and healthy. Checks all the boxes IMO.


Yes :sunglasses:

Big plate of baked beans on toast, as a bonus with kale or chard ripped up and added to the beans while cooking. And for a bit more protein, a poached egg on top.