Overnight Oats: The Best Post-Workout Nutrition Solution

Mike Wines
Written By: Mike Wines
June 11th, 2015
Updated: June 13th, 2020
Categories: Articles Nutrition
175.9K Reads
Best Overnight Oats Recipe For Energy And Recovery
Looking for the best possible way to fuel up after an intense session at the gym? Try this quick and delicious Overnight Oats recipe on for size!

It’s no surprise, you work lots of long hours. You're up before the sun rises and still working long after it sets. But yet, even in spite of all of that, you somehow find a way to fit in your workouts during the week.

Whether it be a crossfit WOD, insane circuit, or maybe just lots of heavy deadlifts (HINT: deadlifting is always the answer when someone asks "What should I do today?"), you're going to need to fuel up before and after your session.

However, with everything else you have going on in your life, the last thing you want to do is prep a mountain of food, dirty a ton of dishes, and have to clean up everything in the end. Sound familiar?

Well, I've got a go to recipe that is simple, quick, and nutritious.

Step 1: Assemble The Ingredients

Ingredients For Overnight Oats

Here's what you're going to need:

  • Oats: Any version is fine: whole, steel cut, or quick. One isn't superior to another. However, just be aware that steel cut may require more time to soak.
  • Whey ProteinPreferably one that isn't spiked with glycine, taurine, and/or creatine monohydrate to inflate label claims.
  • Cocoa Powder: This works exceptionally well to enhance the flavor of chocolate protein powders but also provides some powerful antioxidants known as flavonoids. (Not pictured)
  • Fruit:  Fresh or frozen works equally as well.
  • Greek Yogurt: Get the real stuff, not that high fructose, diabetes inducing yoplait nonsense.
  • Coconut Oil: Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are good for the soul.
  • Peanut or Almond Butter: If you've never tried almond butter, do your mouth a favor and pick up a jar today.
  • Flax or Chia Seeds: You can pick up a big bag at Sams Club, Costco, or Trader Joes.
  • Cinnamon: Because what isn't better with cinnamon? Not to mention it helps regulate insulin sensitivity; thus, a win-win in my book.

Now, I know what you're thinking..."Wow, that's ALOT of calories!"...Don't use all of them at once. I'll go over exactly how to pick and choose what works best for what YOU enjoy and what meets your caloric needs.

Step 2: Combine All The Dry Ingredients

At this point, find the largest tupperware container available. Don't mess around when it comes to your gainz...

Measure and add the following ingredients (if desired): oats, whey, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and flax/chia seeds.

Adding Overnight Oats Dry Ingredients And Mixing With Water

Step 3: Add Wet Ingredients & Water

Alright, now it's time to add your coconut oil, nut butter, and/or greek yogurt depending upon what sort of mix you're concocting (more on this in the tips and tricks section below).

Once you've measured and added all of the wet ingredients, begin mixing and add water until the oats are fairly well covered.

It will take a little trial and error to get the right amount of H2O but once you find the consistency you like, it'll be easy to replicate.

Step 4: Leave In The Fridge Overnight

Now, this is where the magic happens. Once you've added all your ingredients, simply snap on a lid, and toss it in the back of fridge for 8-12 hours.

The oats will absorb most of the excess water and begin to gain a rather chewy texture.

Tips & Tricks!

If you want a THICKER mixture, use one or more of the following:

  • Less water.
  • A protein powder containing thickening agents like xanthan or guar gum.
  • Chia or flax seeds.
  • Coconut oil.
  • Greek yogurt.
  • PRO TIP: The longer it sits, the thicker it gets.

If you want a THINNER mixture, use one or more of the following:

  • More water.
  • A neutral protein powder without thickening agents like those listed above.
  • Don't allow it to sit for as long - however, be aware that the oats will be slightly tougher to chew.

Adding Fruit Toppings To Overnight Oats

"What's the optimal ratio for oats to protein powder?"

Well, without getting into a huge discussion on post workout nutritional recommendations, I'll keep it simple and say 1:1 scoop of whey per cup of oats. However, this will really depend upon the entire macronutrient context of your diet and your total daily protein intake.

For example, I'm currently taking in a little over 4,000 calories a day to fuel my active lifestyle and help me reach my goals so my typical concoction usually clocks in around 1200-1400 calories of anabolic goodness. Something along these lines:

  • 2 Cups of oats
  • 1.5 Scoops of whey
  • 1 Tbsp of coconut oil OR 2 tbsp of flax
  • 0.5 Cups of greek yogurt (I use less whey when I add GY)
  • 2 Tbsp of cocoa
  • 2 Servings of frozen or fresh fruit
  • Liberal amounts of cinnamon
  • 1 Cup of granola for topping

I've been crushing this at least once, sometimes even twice a day for the last 2 years as it's something very simple and quick you can make, take on the go, and still get in some solid nutrition.

People might give you some weird looks and I’ve caught some flack for it since most have no idea what you’re eating that resembles spackling paste. Trust me, they have no idea what they're missing out on until they try it.

Like I said, it really depends upon how many calories you're taking in but this is something that you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or postworkout. Play around with the ingredients, ratios, and potential combinations; there are literally endless possibilities.

It's as simple as that; try it out and let me know what you think. If you want to follow the mastermind behind this anabolic concoction, you can find him on Facebook @ Michael Joseph Wines.

LeaAnn Pohl
Posted on: Wed, 01/04/2023 - 13:33

I don't eat dairy. Is there an alternative to the yogurt?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 01/17/2023 - 13:40

Any protein source you feel you can eat would work as a substitute.

Posted on: Mon, 03/22/2021 - 13:38

Once you allow the oats/protein/GY/Water to sit overnight, do you just add these to a container and add the fruit to complete it or do you blend it or do anything else? How does this change if you have frozen vs fresh fruit?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 03/23/2021 - 09:58

Hey Harry - once you add all of your ingredients, you'll mix everything together and put in the fridge. Frozen fruit will have a bit more liquid than fresh fruit, but it shouldn't affect your overall outcome.

Stephen Regan
Posted on: Wed, 12/02/2020 - 12:41


I was just wondering do you add milk to this at all or is that an option depending on the person?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 12/03/2020 - 08:58

Hey Stephen - this recipe uses greek yogurt as the liquid. You can replace the greek yogurt with milk if you would like.

Posted on: Fri, 01/31/2020 - 20:06

Is this good with milk?

Jaryen Haughey
Posted on: Mon, 08/12/2019 - 08:44

Can you help me set up some meal requirement base on my body type and adverage exercise levels? I would find it a lot more relevant if I could get some numbers on a personal level, how much food I should be consuming based on fats, protein and carbohydrates daily. I feel like I have been over eating based on the portion sizes I see from other people and don't know if I really am taking in the nessecary nutrition that should be going into my body. Could you help me with this? Giving me a personal recommendation on my "personal consumption statistics for bulking" would be a huge help. Thank you so much.

Posted on: Mon, 10/26/2015 - 21:12

When you mix in all of the ingredients is this just one serving.thanks

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 10/27/2015 - 09:30


That depends upon a large numer of factors:
> how much you added (actual amounts)
> your current caloric intake
> meal frequency
> context of your entire diet

Can you eat the whole thing in one sitting? Sure, I do it all the time. I also eat 4-5 times a day and put down 4,000 calories most days so I'm not your typical sedentary individual. Thus, my individual serving size is much different than others.