Just as it’s important for us to plan our workouts, it’s just as essential to fuel our bodies with the proper nutrients it needs before and after exercising. They don’t say 30% fitness and 70% diet for nothing! Our bodies recover and grow outside the gym, and the foods we eat before and after workouts make a huge difference in our fitness goals. Check out our top foods and snacks to eat for pre and post-workout!
Pre and Post-Workout Meal/Snack Ideas
Besides your carbohydrate and protein intake, greek yogurt is a great snack before heading to the gym. Try mixing fresh fruit into your yogurt. This type of carb breaks down very quickly and is easily stored as fuel for your workout. The protein in your yogurt is also great for preventing muscle injury.
Not only are oats packed with fiber, but they provide carbohydrates that maintain your energy levels throughout your exercise. Oats also a slow digesting carbs for a consistent increase in blood glucose and insulin response. If you’re looking to up your protein intake even more, try mixing your protein powder into your oatmeal.
Support your muscle and nerve function before working out with bananas. They are packed with carbohydrates for fuel, potassium, and fiber, which make them an easy powerhouse snack before the gym. You’ll feel a difference in energy levels while getting that pump!
Protein is an essential key to a post-workout meal or snack because it promotes muscle growth and repair. Avoid lean protein like tuna, salmon, turkey and chicken, lentils, and even peanut butter. Sure, a protein shake is better than nothing, but real foods are where you’ll receive clean, quality nutrients.
Especially if you’re fitness goals require muscle growth, complex carbohydrates are vital for post-workout consumption. Complex carbs like whole wheat, quinoa, nuts, and brown rice allow your body to recover effectively with tissue repair and glycogen restoration. Be sure to pair your complex carbs with a healthy protein!
Cottage cheese and low-fat mozzarella cheese are great options for a post-workout snack. You can pair them with your protein and complex carb sources for maximum support and recovery. Cheese is an excellent source of protein, and they even contain your calcium intake for healthy bones.