The Best Pre- & Post-Workout Snacks!
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but for those who exercise regularly, having a meal before and after a workout is just as essential. It is crucial to understand that everybody’s nutritional requirements vary depending on their fitness levels and goals, therefore, use this article as a guide to determine the right balance of carbs, protein and fats before and after your workout to satisfy your hunger, get energy, aid in recovery and achieve major muscle gains.
1. Pre-workout: One slice of whole wheat bread with peanut butter
Keep it light and simple. Having a carbohydrate-rich snack a few hours before a cardio workout can help you sprint, run downhill and perform any type of cardio exercise for much longer than on an empty stomach. Apply a thin layer of peanut butter on toast and you’re good to go. Other healthy alternatives for peanut butter include avocado or one sliced hard boiled egg for their hearty omega 3-goodness!
2. Post-workout: Banana shake
Your post-workout snack depends on your level of physical activity. If you run a few miles per week, we recommend a glass of delicious banana shake made with one banana and a cup of low-fat milk. It’s super easy and extremely effective in re-hydrating the body and providing the protein to aid in muscle fiber repair. Other alternatives include low-fat chocolate milk, a whey protein shake or a banana and peanut butter shake if you’re looking for that added kick!
1. Pre-workout: Plain low-fat Greek yogurt with whole grain cereal. While most people like to associate carbohydrate intake with cardio, you need carbs for weight training too. If the glycogen reserves in your muscles are low, your weight training routine will be lacking that oomph too. ¼ cup of Greek yogurt with ½ and ½ cup of whole grain cereal and blueberries will provide you with the complex carbs you need for a power packed workout and slow-digesting casein and whey to build muscle. You can use granola, peanut butter or sliced bananas as alternative toppings for your yogurt parfait.
2. Post-workout: Black bean omelet
After a strenuous workout session, you’ll want something that is rich in protein and is satiating. To make a black bean omelet, you’ll need four egg whites, ¼ cup of boiled or canned beans, and an ounce of low-fat cheese (optional). This will not only replenish your energy reserves but will provide you with a quick surge of protein to stimulate muscle synthesis.
1. Pre-workout: Green smoothie
A glass of green smoothie made with 4 cups of spinach, 1 banana, half a cup of berries and one cup of almond milk with ice is just what you need to fuel your body throughout your entire yoga workout. This smoothie consists of healthy carbs that help your muscles and brain function optimally without dipping into your glycogen reserves. Having the smoothie chilled will help you start your workout in a refreshed and reinvigorated state. Not a fan of green? Try a banana-berry smoothie instead.
2. Post-workout: Fruit and cottage cheese
Fruits such as oranges and strawberries are rich in water and potassium which work hand-in-hand to rehydrate you after a sweaty yoga session. The carbs from the fruit will replenish energy reserves and the slow-digesting protein from cottage cheese will aid in muscle repair.
1. Pre-workout: Eggs & oats
If you’ve been doing Pilates for a while, you’re probably aware of the burning reps done several times during an entire Pilates session. For a workout as vigorous as Pilates, you need a lot of energy which you can get from a carb-rich pre-workout meal, hence, the oats. Just half a cup of cooked oatmeal along with one or two whole eggs can give you the energy and protein you need to survive and enjoy a grueling Pilates workout. If you’re vegan, scrambled tofu is a great alternative for eggs.
2. Post-workout: Tuna on crackers
Whip up a tuna salad using tuna and any vegetables of your choice and add a couple of spoonfuls of it to three whole grain crackers. This snack is not only filling and delicious, but it is also rich in protein, iron, omega 3 fatty acids and complex carbohydrates. Alternatives for tuna include tofu, soy cheese, cottage cheese, boiled eggs or avocado.
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