While protein helps repair the tiny tears in your muscle tissue that occur every time you exercise, carbs provide the pick-me-up you need to restore your glycogen (aka energy) level afterward, explains Keri Gans, RD. Most bars and yogurts, including our winning picks, deliver enough of both nutrients. But you’ll want to pair nut butters and cheese with an apple or a handful of whole-grain crackers, which deliver the 30 grams or so of carbs Gans recommends getting post-workout.
Clif Mojo Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt Trail Mix Bar
Whole almonds, pecans and cashews plus big chunks of chocolate kept one tester’s “sweet-and-salty cravings in check for hours after a grueling Spinning class.” (200 calories per bar)
Simply Balanced Blueberry Greek Yogurt
Staffers gave this Target brand high marks from top to bottom: “The yogurt is really smooth and velvety, and the fruit underneath tastes like actual fruit, not jam or syrup.” (110 calories per containe).
Once Again Organic Crunchy Almond Butter
Made with just one ingredient — dry-roasted skin-on almonds — this spread is “good enough to eat straight from the jar” and “has a chunky texture that’s supersatisfying after a workout,” one tester raved. (190 calories for 2 tablespoons)
Sargento Natural Blends Sharp Cheddar-Jack Cheese Snack
Unlike string cheese, which you peel with your fingers, these sticks are meant to be nibbled. “Easier to eat and rich-tasting, not rubbery? Sold!” a staffer said. (80 calories for one)
Larabar ALT Lemon Pound Cake Fruit and Nut Bar
This snack has staying power thanks to pea protein, dates and almonds, while lemon juice and vanilla extract give it a “sweet-tart, citrusy flavor” that perked testers up without weighing them down. (210 calories per bar)