Locker room and gym talk gives you many different views and opinions on what pre-workout and post-workout meals and snacks should and shouldn’t be. Getting healthy snacks to fuel your fitness right isn’t easy, as there’s so much conflicting information out there.
- Is it safe to eat before I workout?
- Should you use pre workout?
- Will a sports drink help me before a long run?
- Do I need protein or carbohydrates before my spin class?
We are told breakfast is the most important meal of the day, however pre-workout and post-workout foods can be just as important and beneficial. As we are all different and requirements are different depending on our goals and activities, these snacks can offer the right balance of carbohydrates, fats, and protein to satisfy hunger, fuel workouts, and help recovery.
Fuelling correctly means not pigging out on junk, this is just counterproductive, and can leave you feeling rubbish, slow and worse after your workout.
Maximize your energy and gains with the correct food!
There are no magic food or tricks to fuelling your workout, this is a simple list of what I personally consider a good, sustainable and convenient list of snacks to get the most effective workout possible.
Apple Slices and Peanut/Almond Butter Healthy Snacks
This is quick, easy and can be eaten regardless of what time you workout, the apple will give you simple carbs for quick burning fuel and the Nut Butter will give you protein and fibre.
Pistachios and Blueberries Pre-Workout Healthy Snack
A hand full of pistachios and blueberries will give you a power packed protein and carb combo you needs, Blueberries are also full of antioxidant properties to help with recovery and muscle damage.
A Simple Banana Pre-Workout Healthy Snack
A banana gives you high quality complex carbs which are the best sources of energy prior to your workout, rich in potassium to prevent cramp and low in salt. Something you may not know, The correct name for a bunch of bananas is a hand, a single banana is a finger.
Simply Oats Pre-Workout Snack
A scoop of oats and whey protein mixed in water to make an easy all-in-one pre-workout shake or snack. Oats will give you a steady release of energy and the whey will provide protein and muscle protecting amino acids. A hand full of blueberries or a sliced banana added to this makes a tasty efficient snack too.
Plain low fat or no fat Greek yogurt topped with granola Pre-Workout Snack
Greek yogurt and granola is one of my favorite pre workout snacks specifically pre a heavy lifting workout, The whey and casein combination in Greek yogurt means you’re getting a mix of fast and slow digesting proteins, which provide muscle building amino acids during your workout so you’re ready for anything. Aim for 20 grams of protein in your yogurt.
Things To Avoid In Healthy Pre-Workout Snacks
Few things to consider. Certainly avoid fatty foods before working out, fat leaves the stomach very slowly, leaving you feeling full and sluggish and could lead to cramp.
Although carbohydrates are good, you should not get them from raw sugar or sweets. Either of those could cause a sugar rush and probably a crash while you’re mid-workout.
Also, avoid overeating before you workout. These are all snack suggestions, not meals. Eating too much can cause indigestion, sluggishness, nausea and vomiting.
In summery: Healthy Snacks To Fuel Your Fitness
A pre-workout snack should consist of carbs, lean protein, and a little bit of healthy fat. Low GI Carbs will supply your body the steady stream of energy as opposed to that crash and burn you get from high-glycemic carbs such as sugar, cereal, and white bread.
By eating low GI carbs—examples been bananas, oats and pistachios, you’ll have more energy so you can work out longer and harder and faster, subsequently, which can help you burn more fat. Protein helps build muscle and slows down digestion, which is why you add some protein to your meal or snack.
This is just a short snap shot of my healthy snacks to fuel your fitness, this works for me and hope this may be of benefit to you guys.
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Imran Tai is not a medical doctor and the information contained herein should not be taken as medical advice. These are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any health problem. Recommendations by Imran Tai are not intended to replace the advice of a physician or health professional. Please consult your physician or a health professional before beginning any diet or exercise program.