Snacking can be your best ally when it comes to working out. Consuming the most optimal pre-workout and post-workout snacks gives your body enough energy to power through a workout class before breakfast, then put in a long day at the office or watching the kids. When you eat the right foods, you replenish energy stores and burn fat more efficiently.
Here are some fitness-friendly snacks that can fuel you through your exercise session and beyond.
3 Pre-Workout Snacks
Before your workout, you need carbs to boost your glycogen stores. Try these three tasty ideas:
- Bananas: Bananas offer sugar and carbs that can keep you going during your workout. Combine half a banana, a handful of ice cubes, half a cup of frozen strawberries, and your favorite milk or non-dairy milk for an excellent smoothie you can drink on the way to the gym.
- Quinoa: This fiber- and iron-rich food will keep you satisfied through an intense workout. Eat it cereal-style by adding milk, sliced almonds, and dried apricots.
- Apples: The high fructose content in apples makes them an ideal way to power your workout. To bulk up the snack, slice up the apple, add a smear of peanut butter and a few raisins.
3 Post-Workout Snacks
Post-workout foods should center on protein to aid with muscle recovery. Throw in some healthy fats, too, to assist with the breakdown and absorption of the protein. Here are a few delicious combinations:
- Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes aid in recovery with a dose of potassium that promotes muscle control. Add a dollop of hummus for healthy fats and protein.
- Nutritional yeast: Often used as a substitute for cheese by vegans, nutritional yeast has loads of protein and B vitamins. Heap it on kale along with a dash of olive oil and enjoy.
- Spirulina: The micro-algae spirulina comes in powder form and has enough protein to assist your ailing muscles after a tough weight workout. Add it to a berry smoothie with yogurt for even more protein.
3 Healthy Snacks to Enjoy Anytime
Snacking isn’t just for pre- and post-workouts. You can enjoy these guilt-free snacks any time of the day:
- Grapefruit: Rich in vitamin C, grapefruit makes a satisfying snack when you crave something in between sweet and savory. Broil and drizzle with honey for a tasty dessert substitute.
- Cottage cheese: This snack offers a combination of fats and protein, and you can find it in small containers that are easy to pack in your bag for a post-lunch treat to munch on while on the go. Accompanied by fresh fruit and nuts, cottage cheese will fill you up for a few hours without many calories.
- Avocado: The amazing avocado makes a substantial between-meals snack. It includes both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and counts as a serving of fruit. Put it on toast for an easy mid-morning pick-me-up.