A community coordinator with #TeamEnlightened, Gabby (Instagram: @buckeyefitbabee) is a fitness enthusiast and social influencer.
There is often confusion around pre-workout and post-workout snacks. Do I even need to eat a snack before and after I workout? When and what should I eat? What foods have healthy protein? As someone who works out almost every day, I am a strong advocate of a healthy and balanced daily diet that includes pre- and post-workout snacks.
Some people choose not to eat pre- or post-workout snacks because they are not hungry, have a better workout without eating, or are following a certain regime that requires it. I am a fan of pre- and post-workout snacks that feature healthy protein because I find that they help me to see results and perform my best!
No matter how you like to work out, pre- and post-workout snacks are beneficial to your progress and can offer the right balance of fats, carbohydrates, and healthy protein to satisfy hunger, fuel workouts, and aid with recovery. ?
The nutrients from a pre-workout snack offers many benefits, such as increased muscle growth, more energy, and muscle protection. When you have a hard workout, your body shifts into a catabolic state and uses your muscle tissue for energy, something a pre-workout snack can help prevent.
Your pre-workout meal should be consumed 1-2 hours before you exercise.
The snack should contain mostly healthy protein and carbohydrates since these digest fastest. Consuming protein before a workout slowly releases amino acids into your bloodstream, which helps increase the rate of protein synthesis. Consuming low glycemic carbohydrates helps your glycogen refill slowly, and will keep your energy up during a tough workout!
Some Pre-Workout Snack Ideas:
1 packet (or ½ cup) of oatmeal with a scoop of protein powder mixed in
2 eggs/2 egg whites with peppers and low fat cheese with a piece of fruit or ½ cup oatmeal
A mini chicken meatball wrap
Post-workout snacks are just as important as pre-workout snacks. Post-workout snacks replace your glycogen, increase protein synthesis, aid in recovery, and prevent muscle breakdown. Strength training workouts create tears within your muscle fibers, and without proper nutrition, your muscles break down even more to create energy to repair themselves. Restoring your glycogen with carbs helps restore your energy and aids recovery time.
Your post-workout meal should occur within an hour after you exercise.
Dietary fats slow down digestion, so your snack should be lower in fat with moderate protein and high in fast-digesting carbs. Protein in the form of meat takes around 3-4 hours to digest, so drinking a protein shake is the quickest way to get the macronutrient into your bloodstream.
Some Post-Workout Snack Ideas:
Marshmallow Treat (39-42g net carbs per treat makes these a great fast-digesting option) with a protein shake
Serving of cereal with a protein shake
4 oz grilled chicken with 1 sweet potato and broccoli
And of course, don’t forget to drink lots of water! Hydrating your body before, during, and after a workout gives you energy throughout the day and reinvigorates your body.?
Regardless of what time of day you eat them, your pre-workout and post-workout snacks are vital to your performance! Whether you are lifting, running, spinning, etc., your body needs extra protein and carbs as fuel and recovery.
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