Pre- and post-workout foods are super important. While everyone’s nutritional requirements are different depending on their goals and activities, these snacks can offer the right balance of carbohydrates, fats, and protein to satisfy hunger, fuel workouts, and aid in recovery. Read on for Greatist’s favorite pre- and post-workout snacks.
Also check out: 7 Post Workout Recipes To Keep You Energized Throughout The Day
“The body works to build muscle and recover 24 hours a day, not just during that one-hour session at the gym. Luckily, smartly timed snacks can give the body the fuel it needs to gain muscle, burn fat, and recover as best it can. Pre-workout, that usually means grabbing a snack about 30-60 minutes in advance, depending on its size and contents, and how much that stomach’s actually grumbling. All ready to go? Check out these 10 options to start things right:
1. Protein Creamcicle: Put a twist on the classic kids’ treat by blending 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, 1 cup orange juice, and 1 cup ice.
2. Fruitsation shake: Blend 1 scoop of your favorite whey protein flavor with ½ cup ice, and 1 cup frozen berries for a sweet energy boost.
3. Cha-Cha coconut shake: Infuse 1 scoop chocolate whey protein with 2 teaspoons of extra virgin coconut oil.
4. Star-buffs shake: Need a pre-workout pick-me-up? Try blending 1 cup iced coffee (keep the ice) with 1 scoop chocolate whey protein.
5. Dressed up oats: Load up on carbohydrates for a longer workout with ½ cup cooked steel-cut oats topped with 1 tablespoon dried fruit and 1 tablespoon shaved almonds.
6. Perfect yogurt parfait: Feeling fancy, huh? Top ¼ cup nonfat yogurt with ½ cup whole grain cereal and ½ cup fresh strawberries.
7. Yoberries a-go-go: For the perfect blend of carbs and protein, try 1 cup non-fat vanilla bean Greek yogurt — which often packs more protein and probiotics than regular plain yogurt — with ½ cup fresh blueberries.
8. Eggs n’ toast: Have a heartier appetite? Try 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs with 1 slice of whole-wheat toast.
9. Fruit and Cottage: Top ½ cup cottage cheese — a low calorie and higher protein option — with ½ cup fresh pineapple, berries, or melon. And voila!
10. PB Apple: For a quick carb fuel-up, slice 1 medium apple and serve with 2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter.
After a tough gym session, post-workout snacks are an important way to restore energy and rebuild muscle, too. Downed within two hours after exercise, protein-packed shakes and snacks are a great way to rebuild tissue that breaks down during exercise. Here are 10 ways to end that workout on a high note:
1. Protein pancakes: mix 4 egg whites, ½ cup rolled oats, ½ cup low fat cottage cheese, 1/8 teaspoon baking powder, and ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Cook on preheated griddle (medium low heat) until it bubbles, then flip and cook another 30-60 seconds. Top with fresh berries or sliced banana.
2. Chunky Monkey shake: Monkey around with 1 medium banana, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, and 1 cup low-fat chocolate milk blended with ice.
3. Double Trouble shake: To lengthen the delivery time of nutrients to your muscles, combine ½ scoop of whey protein blended with ½ scoop slower-digesting casein protein, plus a handful of your favorite fresh or frozen fruit.
4. Bananarama: One medium sliced banana with 1 cup low fat milk — it doesn’t get any easier than this!
5. Protein bar: For a quick, store-bought fix, feed those muscles with a protein bar. Just watch the sugar content. Look for bars with 10-30 grams of protein, less than 10 grams of sugar, and the fewest number of ingredients you can’t pronounce!
6. Tuna crackers: Mix up a batch of light tuna salad for a quick bite. Add two heaping spoonfuls to a handful of whole grain crackers, and chomp away.
7. Bagel with egg whites: Half a medium-sized whole grain bagel with 2 eggs whites makes a great post-workout sandwich.
8. Milk and cereal: Any time is a good time for cereal. Add 1 cup of low-fat milk to 1 cup of whole-grain cereal. Nosh loudly.
9. Chocolate milk: One to two cups of low-fat chocolate milk seals the deal with extra carbs and protein.
10. Black bean omelet: Four eggs whites, 1 ounce low-fat cheese, and ¼ cup canned black beans — then spice it up with a savory salsa, if you dare.”