Most of you know that a meal high in sugar or fat is the worst thing you can eat after a run or any form of exercise. Even though you may have sweated buckets and your legs might be sore, eating foods high in sugar or fat post-workout will only reverse the benefits you reaped from your workout.

There’s a lot of information on what you should eat after a run or workout, but it’s important to know which foods you should avoid at all costs. Here’s your guide some of the worst foods to eat after a run or a workout.

Raw Veggies


Photo by Krista D’Archi

Yes, even healthy vegetables can be a poor choice after a run. Eating raw vegetables with some peanut butter or hummus might be a different story, but eating them alone will not give you the calories (energy) you need to recover from your run. Plus, your body won’t have the energy to keep your metabolic rate up, decreasing the amount of calories you can burn throughout day.

Milk Chocolate


Photo by Sean Keating

Unlike dark chocolate, milk chocolate isn’t full of antioxidants that can help your recovery after a hard workout. In general, milk chocolate has more cholesterol and sodium and less minerals and vitamins like potassium and magnesium. So, if you MUST have chocolate for some reason after your workout, stick with dark chocolate, but it’s better to choose some yogurt and granola rather than chocolate.

Anything Super Salty


Photo by Brandon Guild

Salty snacks like potato chips are high in sodium and chloride, but low in other minerals like magnesium, potassium and calcium which are electrolytes that helps replenish the body in many ways. Specifically, potassium helps regulate blood pressure and the flow of nutrients through somatic cells and are important to consume after a workout.

Bakery Treats


Photo by Phoebe Melnick

Muffins, donuts and other pastries are high in carbohydrates, but it’s not the best way to get the carbs you need for a healthy and full recovery because these treats carry a lot of fat as well. If you want a sweet treat, try these Peanut Butter Chocolate Oat Protein Balls instead.

Fast Food


Photo by Karen Chou

Fast food should be eaten with caution whether you worked out or not, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to find fast food on this list. The pros of fast food pale in comparison to the cons. While high-calorie foods can give you energy, the lack of nutritional content won’t do your body any good when it needs lots of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals after a run.