Looking for a great snack to enjoy before or after your workout? Look no further! This week we break down what to look for when choosing a healthy mini-meal, our favorite ones to try, and a list of food blogs to check out for more workout snack inspo!
Snacks before a workout can help boost energy, giving your body the fuel it needs to make the most out of your sweat sesh. A snack after a workout helps aid the repair of muscle damage during your exercise routine. So which are the best snacks to choose from?
What to look for
Ensure your hitting all of these target food groups to make your pre and/or post-workout snack go the extra mile. A pre and post-workout snack should include this top-notch combination:
Protein is an important nutrient known to help your body’s vital functions, keep functioning. It helps repair muscles and tissues and works to keep your fluids and pH levels balanced.
2. Complex Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates serve the vital role of supplying your body with enough energy to not only get through your workout but to keep you focused on it too. Your body and brain need carbohydrates to function and keep you going from one thing to the next. Why choose complex carbs? Complex carbohydrates take longer for your body to digest versus simple carbohydrates, which often convert into sugar and are quickly utilized in the body. Examples of complex carbs include: whole grains (oats, quinoa, barley), legumes (beans, lentils), vegetables (sweet potato, carrots, broccoli) and fruit (berries, apples).
3. Healthy Fats
When it comes to fats, choosing the right ones is key. The two types of healthy fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These two healthy fats keep your body functioning to its maximum capacity by working to repair muscles, build connections in your brain, and even help with inflammation. Research shows that these types of fats can help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke too. Examples of healthy fats include: avocado, nuts, fish, olive oil.
Pro tip: The most essential nutrient to any work is… water! Be sure to hydrate before, during, and after your workouts, and throughout the day!
Blend your own smoothie with your favorite flavors. Use any type of milk or yogurt to serve as your main carb. Add in a nut butter for protein and healthy fats, then top with spinach (or any other leafy green) and a fruit of choice to add in vital nutrients and a great taste. Frozen bananas are a great go-to if you want to keep your smoothie icy cold.
A snack with detail
If you have time to prep a more detailed, satisfying snack, opt for a topped toast. Whole-wheat or multigrain bread serves as your complex carb; then, top with nut butter and fruit for a sweeter taste, or avocado or tuna (or both!) for a mix of healthy fats and omegas.
An easy on-the-go mini-meal
Need something quick and on-the-go? Try a protein bar with minimal ingredients and plenty of nutrition. Some favorites? Larabars, Clif Bars, or RX Bars. These quick and easy snacks will leave you with plenty of energy and taste great.
Need more inspiration?
Check out these food blogs for great ideas on what snacks to make next.
Wellness by Kay offers a variety of healthy- and easy- meals for a filling breakfast, quick snack, or tasty treat.
Cookie and Kate serves up delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You’ll find endless options for healthy servings when you scroll through this blog.
Carrots ‘n’ Cake has a plethora of healthy treats and dives into the details to let you know exactly what you’re putting in your body.
Have a favorite go-to pre or post-workout snack? Share it with us @we_recess and #itsplaytime!