When working on your fitness journey, most people think of the actual workout/exercising as the sole focus and most important thing. And while yes it is important to have your workout routine set and be getting in your exercise and movement, there is a second very important aspect that often gets overlooked: Nutrition. What you eat is just as important as what you do! You can’t out-train a bad diet, and if you aren’t fueling yourself properly, you can’t train your hardest and become stronger.
Although all meals are important, I want to focus on 2 specifically in this post–the pre-workout and post-workout snack/meal. These are important because the pre gives your body the fuel to power through your workout and the post helps your body recover and refuel your muscles used.
There are so many guidelines and rules out there for what to eat, but I’m here to say it mostly is going to depend on the person, their body and how their body digests and uses certain foods and nutrients. Generally, you want to focus on more carbs and proteins in the pre and post meal and less on fat; however, again, everybody is different. Take some time experimenting and trying out some of these snack ideas to find what works best for you, your body, and your lifestyle. One of the things I like to try to do is make my pre-workout or post-workout (mostly my post-workout) meal be one of my main meals–either breakfast, lunch, or dinner. But if it works to have a snack at each time and your meals at other times–then do it! Find what works for you! With that being said, here are some of my ideas!
1. Toast with Peanut Butter and Banana
The toast and banana are good sources of carbs for fuel either pre or post workout. You could sub the toast for whole-wheat waffles, english muffins, bagels etc. You could also use any nut butter or fruit!
2. Greek yogurt with fruit, nuts, granola, etc.
This packs in the protein and the carbs from the fruit and granola!
Great source of protein, especially post workout! Try adding some veggies to the eggs (great way to get them in!) along with a side of fruit or toast to get more carbs in post workout to refuel!
4. Protein Shake
This is one of the classics–the protein shake. Either mix the powder with water or milk, or blend it into a shake with other ingredients for a quick snack!
5. Protein Cereal
This is one of my newfound favorites either pre or post workout! Mix your protein powder with milk in a shaker cup like you would for a shake. Then, pour the “shake” over cereal (rice chex works really good here) and you have a bowl of deliciousness! Make sure to even drink the milk after!
Oatmeal is a great source of carbs to fuel you! Instead of adding sugary toppings to it or buying the flavored packages, use plain oatmeal and top with fruit (fresh, frozen, or dried), nuts, nut butter, granola, seeds, etc…the options are endless!
7. Rice Cakes
Rice cakes with peanut butter and fruit is one of my FAVORITE snacks ever–pre, post, or just midday (picture at the top). Rice cakes are so versatile too. Try them my way or top them with avocado, tomatoes, laughing cow wedge, eggs/egg whites, jam, etc.
Whether you use meat or a class PB&J, this is a perfect mix of protein and carbs! Try adding things like veggies or avocado too to really build a great sandwich!
Hopefully this list gave you some ideas to try out for your next workout fuel! If you have any other ideas, I would love to hear them! Comment below and let me know what you love to eat pre or post workout!!