15 Quick & Easy Pre and Post-Workout Snacks to Fuel Your Workouts
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Pre and post-workout snacks are an important part of any exercise regimen. Eating before and after a workout can help increase energy levels, fuel your body for peak performance, and even aid muscle repair. Without the right combination of nutrients before and after a workout, you may experience fatigue during your workouts or an inability to reach optimal results.
Consuming healthy foods around 30 minutes before exercising can give your body time to digest and convert it into glucose for quick energy. To maximize recovery time, consider eating within 20 minutes after a workout session.
Prepping with a Pre-Workout Snack
Pre-workout snacks are used to enhance mental focus and physical performance by providing additional energy sources for muscles during intense exercise. This can allow you to train with higher intensity levels because of the assisted energy levels and increased stamina. Here are some pre-workout snacks that can keep you energized.
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Highly nutritious and easy to eat, bananas provide energy in the form of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. They also contain naturally occurring sugars that can help fuel an athlete’s body before physical activity. One banana provides around 110 calories, enough energy to give a boost without taking away from the workout session itself.
Peanut Butter Toast
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Peanut Butter Toast is the perfect pre-workout snack. Not only is it a convenient, affordable, and tasty option, but the combination of complex carbohydrates and healthy fats provide an energy boost that can carry you through your routine.
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Nuts are a great source of healthy fats, dried fruits provide carbohydrates for energy, while seeds offer additional protein sources. Mixing these ingredients creates a delicious trail mix that can fuel your body during workouts.
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Smoothies can be tailored to fit any diet or nutrition goals. Adding healthy fats such as avocado or nut butter helps keep you fuller for a longer time and provides lasting energy so that you can power through your training without feeling depleted halfway through.
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Hard-boiled eggs are another power-packed snack helpful in fueling up before a workout as they contain essential nutrients such as protein, choline, and essential fatty acids. Eating eggs before a workout can promote muscle growth, support blood sugar levels, and aid in energy production while exercising.
Whole Grain Cereal
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Whole grain cereal provides your body with carbohydrates, which are essential for providing energy during exercise. It also supplies fiber, which can help keep blood sugar levels stable before and during exercise. Whole grain cereal is also known to be rich in vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and B vitamins.
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Rice cakes can power your performance in the weight room or on the track during a pre-workout. They have a low glycemic index, meaning they don’t cause drastic spikes in blood sugar while providing sustainable energy over time.
Post-Workout Muscle Care
Post-workouts are designed to promote muscle repair and growth following exercise. During intense physical activity, muscles experience microscopic damage that needs to be repaired for optimal strength gains. Adequate rest and nutrition often help and support this process.
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Avocado toast is simple to make but still packs in plenty of nutrients. The combination of carbohydrates from whole grain bread, healthy fats from avocado, vitamins, minerals, and fiber makes it an excellent choice for a post-workout meal.
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Chocolate milk is an often overlooked post-workout nutrient powerhouse. Rich in protein, it can assist with muscle recovery after exercise and help athletes reach their fitness goals faster. It also has the perfect balance of carbohydrates and proteins for optimal muscle repair after a workout.
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These bars contain both fast-acting proteins like whey and slow-release proteins like casein, allowing for a sustained release of amino acids into the bloodstream during recovery. They are also a compact and great-tasting post-workout snack.
Fresh Fruit Salad
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Fruit salads are a brilliant addition to post-workout meals as they provide natural sugars, carbohydrates, and electrolytes which help replenish energy stores. As a bonus, fresh fruits are high in antioxidants which protect against oxidative stress caused by exercise.
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Tuna is an outstanding source of nutrients that helps build muscle, repair bodily damage resulting from exercise, and replenish glycogen stores for use by the body during further exercise.
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Roasted chickpeas are packed with fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates, which provide the macro and micronutrients needed to help replenish energy stores after a tough workout. Not only that but they can be made or bought in a variety of flavors.
Greek Yogurt & Berries
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Greek yogurt is full of protein to help rebuild muscle fibers that are broken down during exercise, along with calcium for strong bones. Berries add more than just flavor; they provide essential vitamins like vitamins C and E for healthy skin and metabolism, plus antioxidants to reduce inflammation.
Hummus & Veggies
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Hummus and vegetables can make a delicious, nutritious post-workout snack. Rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats, hummus is an ideal post-workout food as it helps repair muscles and replenish energy stores. Conversely, vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support overall health.
If you’re considering using supplements for your training, there are plenty of options available. Creatine is one of the most popular supplements for pre-workouts and post-workouts because it helps promote muscle growth, gains in strength, improved power output during exercise as well as increase nitrates for heightened endurance levels.
Caffeine is also widely used in pre-workouts due to its stimulating effects that can increase alertness, focus on tasks at hand and even increase physical performance when taken prior to exercise. Before taking any supplements, consult a doctor or health professional.