Get the most out of your workout routine by picking the right snacks for warm up and cool down. By sticking to the right before and after snacks you feel your best and fuel up the right way, making sure your body is getting the most out of your workout. Learn these key rules, and you’ll always know what your body needs – and what it doesn’t – and when.
Best ‘Before’ Snacks:
When you’re gearing up for a workout, stick to carbs, carbs, carbs! Carbs provide valuable energy, and by mixing complex carbohydrates with simple ones you can ensure the energy is slow and steady so that you don’t experience an unwanted crash in the middle of your workout.
- Whole wheat and fruit – think banana and peanut butter on whole wheat toast. The whole wheat keeps you going with steady energy, while the banana adds an extra kick and extra flavor. Training for a marathon? Potassium is your best friend, which dramatically drops when you’re sweating. For an added boost, sprinkle some cinnamon for extra flavor, and for stabilizing blood sugar and getting rid of “brain fog,” providing the focus you need for your newfound workout energy.
- Greek yogurt and trail mix – yogurt is easy on your stomach and provides valuable protein for the workout ahead. Choose a trail mix that is all nuts and dried fruit, without any chocolate or candy. Dried fruit is the right kind of sugar and provides a fast energy boost. Nuts and seeds keep blood sugar where it needs to be so that you can make it all the way through your workout without lagging. Remember seeds and nuts are high in fat, so they take awhile for your body to process. A little bit goes a long way.
Best ‘After’ Snacks:
When you finish a workout, your body begins “recovery” mode, so you need to replace nutrients you have lost. Strive for a nutrient-dense dish – lean proteins and mixed vegetables grilled in olive oil. Stick to fresh and heart-healthy proteins, rich in carbohydrates and energy replenishing after a rigorous workout.
- Chicken and salmon – Pairing chicken or salmon with mixed vegetables or sweet potatoes helps to get your system back to neutral. Chicken provides healthy carbohydrates, replacing energy without making you feel too full. Salmon is ideal for inflammation reduction, regulating blood sugar levels and supporting joint health. Mixed vegetables and sweet potatoes offer valuable nutrients that get depleted after a long workout.
- Chocolate milk – Chocolate milk is the trendiest post-workout snack lately. Athletes have started replacing water and sports drinks. It has everything you need for post-workout – good carbohydrates, protein for muscle recovery, water for hydration, calcium, sodium, and sugar. Every ingredient in this childhood-favorite helps recover fully and quickly.