Are protein powders necessary after a workout?

No, not at all. It’s recommended that you consume a source of protein within one to two hours post-workout in order to repair and rebuild muscle that is damaged during activity. However, it’s not necessary to consume that protein in the form of supplemental powder. Foods such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy, whole grains, nuts and seeds are excellent sources of protein and will provide the same building blocks for muscle repair as would a protein powder. However, one benefit to using a protein powder is they are shelf-stable and highly portable, meaning you can leave protein powder in your bag or gym locker without needing to refrigerate it. This can be helpful if you’re constantly on the move and know you won’t have time for a meal within the couple of hours after you’re done exercising.

If we absolutely have to late-night eat (which, face it, we usually do), what should be our go to snack?

If your late-night nibbles consist of greasy chips and a soft drink, you’ll need a menu makeover. Try treats that leave you feeling energised and motivated instead of bloated and sluggish. Here are some delish ideas to get you started:

• Non-starchy veggies (like baby carrots, cucumber slices, sugar snap peas, or red bell pepper sticks) with low-cal dip (like low-cal ranch or reduced-fat balsamic vinaigrette), salsa or hot sauce (or for extra staying power, hummus or guacamole). And while baby carrots are a simple option, don’t forget about grape tomatoes, celery sticks, cauliflower, zucchini… you get the idea.

• Air-popped popcorn. Toss 1/4 cup of kernels into a brown paper bag, fold the edge to seal and microwave for roughly two minutes. Kick up the flavour with a few dashes of hot sauce – or, mist a batch of DIY popcorn with oil spray and top with some Parmesan, cinnamon, hot chilli powder or salt. No microwave? Grab a bag of ready-made light popcorn at the grocery store.

• Fresh or frozen grapes are juicy and sweet, plus they cost only about 100 calories per cup. Pick purple grapes – they hit you with a dose of brain-boosting antioxidants.

• Smart-sipping tip: Skip the pricey energy drinks and stick with coffee or green/black tea (cup for cup, tea contains half the caffeine as coffee, so feel free to double your dose).