Power-packed post-workout meals

During a grueling training session, your muscles take a thrashing that needs a little extra TLC post-workout. While a hot shower and massage may soothe your muscles' surface, a well-balanced carbohydrate- and protein-packed post-workout meal can help restore your muscles from the inside out.

"When you exercise, you basically create little tears in your muscle tissue. As they heal and grow, they get stronger," said Lisa Esposito, a registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute in Illinois. "Supplying protein within the first 30-minute window after exercise helps enhance that recovery and growth process." Providing carbohydrates with the protein enhances this effect even further while replenishing used glycogen (energy) stores.

Take advantage of all the hard work you put into your training by giving your body what it wants and needs to help it regenerate stronger, leaner muscles. Feed your muscles these simple post-workout meals made up of a balanced combination of protein and carbohydrates.

Whole-wheat PB&J sandwich

Kiddie classics peanut butter and jelly combine to make a complete protein that delivers 15 grams of the muscle-restoring macronutrient.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon jelly
2 slices whole-wheat bread

The good stuff
15 grams protein
48 grams carbohydrate
10 grams fiber
19 grams fat

TLR wrap

Bring lean turkey to life with a spread of satisfying cream cheese and sweet raisins for great-tasting, high-protein post-workout wrap.

Ingredients
2 ounces turkey
Lettuce
1 tablespoon light cream cheese
2 tablespoons raisins
1 whole-wheat tortilla

The good stuff
19 grams protein
48 grams carbohydrate
6 grams fiber
10 grams fat

Previous power-packed post-workout meals:
• Black bean and 2-percent shredded cheese wrap
• Hummus and veggies on whole-wheat pita
• Fruit, yogurt and nut wrap