When you are an athlete, working out to your max and maintaining your diet should be your top priority. While, working out is something you put your mind and body at, diet is something that one can easily overlook.
Contrary to popular belief, having a healthy snack before a workout and after a workout is equally important. Pre and post-workout snacks act as fuel for the body, nourishing it and providing it with energy. Let us take a look at the best pre and post-workout snacks that can fuel your body to the max and boost your workouts!
Get Nutty with Peanuts!
Who doesn’t like peanuts? Peanuts are protein-rich and dense. Just a handful is enough to fuel your workout but make sure you steer clear or roasted and salted peanuts as they tend to be higher in calories!
Taking a handful or even half a handful of proteins before a workout staves off hunger without overtaxing digestion. On the other hand, consuming peanuts, half an hour after a workout, not only help in repairing muscles but also help in stoking your body’s muscle-building machinery.
Brown Rice, Cereal and Oats
All of these foods are rich in carbohydrates that act as the main fuel for your body. These can be taken before and after a workout. If you take a moderate amount, before a workout, the readily-absorbed sugars in cereals give a sugar spike and a shot of ‘use-it-now’ fuel. Oats provide sustained energy to give an extra boost to your workout. A healthy serving of brown rice or oats after a workout, help in replenishing the depleted glycogen stores.
Add a Dash of Dried Blueberries
Though raisins are generally preferred over dried blueberries, owing to their sweetness, it is the dried blueberries that take the cake when it comes to fueling your workout.
Pre-workout, the fiber in blueberries provide sustained energy while the easily digested carbohydrates fuel muscles. Post-workout, the polyphenols in dried blueberries help in preventing oxidative-stress injury to the muscles and in hindsight, are potentially important in preventing soreness and inflammation. Another way of incorporating these super-antioxidants in your diet is to sprinkle them on your cooked oats!
We all need an excuse to indulge in chocolate chips, be it in our energy bars or in our cereal. Make sure, you stick to dark chocolate chips as they are rich in antioxidants. A study has shown that antioxidants in dark chocolate chips help prevent soreness and inflammation in muscles.
Another study has shown that epicatechins in dark chocolate chips help in increasing leg strength and also boost endurance. These are also rich in flavonols, which are known to improve blood flow. An increased blood flow ensures that a steady amount of oxygen and nutrients is provided to the hard-working muscles!
The Magical Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are not only tasty and crunchy to munch on but they are also rich in alpha linoleic acid. Alpha linoleic acid is the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids which help in fighting inflammation and muscle soreness. They are also good for your heart.
Bananas are nature’s powerhouse. Bananas are packed with fiber and potassium which help in maintaining nerve and muscle function. Our body is unable to store potassium for long, so having a medium-sized banana before a workout can help keep nutrient levels high. Having a banana with ½ cup of Greek yogurt, at least 30 minutes before a workout, will give your workout an extra boost!
Fruit and Yogurt
Greek yogurt is high in proteins and fruits are rich in vitamins and carbohydrates. This is a superb combination that can fuel your workout. The carbohydrates in fruits are metabolized quickly, which gives you an initial burst of energy during the workout. Proteins, on the other hand, are metabolized slowly. They not only provide energy during the latter half of your workout but also help in muscle repair.
With this list of must-have snacks to fuel your workout, make sure you keep yourself hydrated with water before, during and after a workout. Avoid fizzy drinks and juices!
Fuel Your Workout with These Super-foods and Give Them a Long-lasting Energy Boost!