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Try These Post-Workout Snacks for Optimal Recovery in Westchester

Jennifer Derfel, a registered dietitian based in Pound Ridge, tells us the best post-workout snacks and where to get them in Westchester.

Greek yogurt is a great post-workout snack.
Adobe Stock | Sea Wave

We know that exercise is good for our health, but what we eat after working out is also important. Why? The way we nourish ourselves after exercise plays a key role in recovering from physical activity.

Based in Pound Ridge, Jennifer Derfel MS, RDN, CDN, started with an internship at Joy Bauer Nutrition, run by the author and expert on NBC’s TODAY Show. Derfel earned her bachelor’s degree in health sciences with a concentration in nutrition from Ithaca College. She then apprenticed under Leslie Anders MS, RDN, CDN, and earned her master’s degree in nutrition, completing her dietetic internship through Lehman College, with onsite learning through Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.

She has since spent more than six years as a clinical dietitian in longterm care and skilled nursing facilities. Derfel launched her private practice in 2021, serving the greater New York area and Fairfield County. Learn more on her website.

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Regency Studios, New Rochelle NY

Derfel dives into why post work-out nutrition is all about the three “R”s of exercise recovery: refuel, rebuild, and rehydrate.

Refuel

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During cardiovascular activity, we use carbohydrates stored in our muscles, known as glycogen. It provides us with that instant burst of energy we need to get through that Zumba or spin class. When selecting a post-workout snack, we want to make sure it is rich in carbohydrates, says researcher Daniel R. Moore’s July 2015 report in Current Sports Medicine Reports.

Rebuild

Our muscles work hard when we exercise, which actually causes muscle damage (in a good way!). Along with our carbohydrate of choice, we should include high-protein foods in our recovery snack to help promote the rebuilding of muscle tissue, according to Leonarda Galiuto’s 2018 “Healthy Athlete’s Nutrition” report in Medicina Sportiva.

Rehydrate

In general, adult women should be drinking somewhere about 11.5 cups of water a day and men about 15.5 cups of water a day. Working up a sweat causes us to lose fluid and electrolytes, and we should continue to drink water or an electrolyte-rich beverage (like coconut water) until hitting the daily fluid goal, says Barbara Gordon in her June 2022 “How Much Water Do You Need?” report in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Eatright journal. Fluid intake is relative to the intensity and environmental conditions of the workout and body weight. It may be beneficial to work with a dietitian to customize how much fluid you need.

What and when should I eat?

Aim to eat your recovery snack within 30 minutes to an hour after your workout, says Christopher Mohr in his September 2019 report in Timing Your Pre and Post Workout Nutrition.

These options all pair high-quality carbohydrate foods with a protein:

  1. Greek yogurt and blueberries
  2. Hummus and pita
  3. Cottage cheese and fruit or veggie of choice
  4. Peanut butter or nut butter with apple slices
  5. Fresh mozzarella with tomato
  6. Oatmeal with dried fruit
  7. A glass of skim or low fat milk
  8. Turkey slices on an English muffin
  9. A handful of almonds and raisins
  10. A smoothie with berries, ½ banana, and dairy alternative milk (like almond, soy, or oat)

Below are some of my favorite local eateries and food shops where you can get these dietitian-approved snacks:

Hash-O-Nash

441 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck; 914.630.7310

The Kitchen Table

71 Westchester Ave, Pound Ridge; 914.764.3773

Pound Ridge Organics

22 Westchester Ave, Pound Ridge

Ristorante Lucia

454 Old Post Rd., Bedford; 914.234.7600

The Market at Pound Ridge Square

55 Westchester Ave, Pound Ridge

Rochambeau Farm

214 West Patent Rd., Mount Kisco; 914.241.8090

The next time you reach for a post-workout snack after a good run, bike ride, or HIIT cardio class, just remember the three Rs: refuel, rebuild, rehydrate.

Related: Try These Unorthodox Fitness Programs Around Westchester

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