What you put into your body directly impacts what you get out of it. This holds especially true for those who work out frequently. Your body is working around the clock, whether you’re realizing it or not, to break down the foods that you eat. These foods, when broken down, play various roles throughout your body. This is why it’s important to be aware of what you’re eating, and to make sure that you’re eating enough. For many people, this means snacking once or twice throughout the day. Disregard what you’ve heard in the news: Snacks ARE important. Super important, and super good for you— if you pick the right one. It’s important to recognize that not all snacks were created equal, and some are better suited for certain scenarios.
For those who work out frequently, you may realize this; and you may be wondering what the best pre/post workout snacks are. We want to fill you in on this, but first, we want to break down what some of the many nutrients that aid in muscle building and fat burning can do for you (then, we’ll tell you where to find them!).
Vitamin E: Helps your body to repair any muscle damage done during the workout process and aides in immune system support.
Iron: Boosts your energy and helps to get oxygen circulating throughout your body.
Magnesium: Reduces muscle cramping and fatigue and helps your muscles contract, both during and after your workout!
Vitamin B12: Helps your brain and muscles communicate effectively.
Calcium: Makes your bones stronger!
Vitamin D: Helps your body digest calcium (should be ingested with calcium, especially for adults, who tend to have a harder time metabolizing calcium).
Omega 3’s: Keeps your heart healthy and your blood flowing effectively, makes your hair and skin healthier, and suppresses hunger.
Protein: Keeps your body from burning muscle mass instead of fat and keeps you full longer.
So, with that key in mind, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite pre and post-workout snacks to help you make the most of your workout long after it’s finished.
Banana & almonds: Carbohydrates and potassium, which aides in muscle cramping throughout your workout, come from the banana; and the almonds pack a protein & fatty acid punch.
Apples & peanut butter: A dynamic protein & carbohydrate duo, perfect before just about any workout!
Pistachios: a few handfuls go a long way— They replenish electrolytes that are lost through sweating! It’s like the food equivalent of drinking a Gatorade.
Milk or Soymilk: A serving of either will fuel your body with calcium, protein, and carbohydrates.
Sliced chicken and sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes give your body rich antioxidants, fiber, and carbohydrates; while the chicken gives you protein. We recommend several slices of the chicken and a full sweet potato.
Dried fruit, nuts, and seeds: Iron, protein, fatty acids, fiber, everything you need for a perfect small post-workout snack. You can create a homemade trail mix to keep on hand and have ½-1-cup servings.
Egg white & spinach omelet: A few egg whites give you protein, and packing them with spinach gives you iron, which will help you keep your energy levels up and get oxygen flowing through your muscles.
You can mix and match various different aspects of these snacks to create one that works well for you— Many people like to find one or two snacks that work well for them and stick with it. It can be hard to eat right after an intense workout, but it’s extremely important to re-nourish your body after working so hard. Start by eating a little at a time, and eventually your body will become used to eating food right after a workout. And make sure you’re re hydrating with plenty of water, too! For more awesome tips to maximize your protein intake through healthy snacking, visit Nuts.com! They’re experts on Healthy Snacking and have an amazing High Protein Snack Guide, perfect for your pre or post-workout needs — And you can shop directly from their site for whatever you need!