For most of us fitting in a workout into our busy schedule can be quite a challenge. While you may take the time and effort to do just that, perhaps you are not thinking about the nutrition that your body requires pre and post workout.
Trainers and nutritionists recommend that you enjoy healthy and nutritious pre workout snacks as well as post workout snacks. They have a clear and specific function and should not be neglected at any cost.
Pre workout snacks aim to offer your body the nutrition and energy it requires to facilitate optimal performance during your workout.
On the other hand, snacks eaten after you are done with your exercise routine help repair and heal it. Ideally the snacks should include fruit, carbohydrates with medium to low glycemic value, proteins and essential fatty acids.
It is a great idea to plan ahead for your pre workout snacks as well as the post workout snacks. This way you can ensure that you have just the right snack to enhance the impact of your workout.
30 Pre Workout Snacks
The size of your pre workout snack would depend on several factors and this includes what kind of food you are going to snack on, your metabolic rate and how hungry you are.
Do try to eat at least 30 minutes to an hour before you head to the gym. There a variety of foods for you to choose from. Here is a list of 30 that you may enjoy.
1. Crunchy Fruity Yogurt
Make yourself a delicious dessert snack. Whip up some non-fat yogurt, add a handful of whole grain cereal and top up with chopped fruit.
2. Power Protein Shake
Blend a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, you could also choose another flavor that you love, with a cup of 100% fruit juice and a handful of ice. A cool, refreshing protein shake will keep you strong and agile through your routine.
3. The Caffeine Pick me Up
If you love your coffee cold, then this is just the pre-workout snack for you. Put a cup of iced coffee in the blender and add a scoop of chocolate or vanilla flavored whey protein powder, and blend up a delicious dose of nutrition. The caffeine improves muscle performance.
4. Shake it Up
Blend a scoop of flavored whey protein powder with a cup of ice and a cup of berries. Get your protein and vitamin boost in a glass.
5. Go Bananas
Put a chopped banana into your blender with a cup of low fat milk and mix well. Go bananas with this shake that is super nutritious and lip-smacking.
6. PB and A
No, you have not read it wrong. This is not your classic PB&J, but a serving of a medium sized apple with two teaspoons of peanut butter. It is light and will sustain you through your hour long workout.
7. Hurry Berry
If you do not have time to blend your favorite pre workout shake before you leave home, just enjoy a bowl of seasonal fruits. Do remember to add a banana.
8. Not Just Cut and Dry
For the days when you just do not have time to fix a fresh snack, go dry. Eat a handful of dried fruit and nuts.
9. Energy, Bar None
Here is another one for the days that seem to spin out of control. Make sure your gym bag has an energy bar ready to be eaten prior to the workout. Pick one with natural ingredients, and very little sugar.
10. Egg on Toast
This is as simple as it gets, and full of nutrition. Eggs on toast is a wonderful snack, perfect for days when you feel hungry before a workout. Place slices of boiled eggs on a whole wheat toast, and enjoy.
11. Cottage Straight Up
Spread some soft and delectable cottage cheese on your whole wheat toast. It will see you through your reps and much more.
12. Oat it Up
If you are headed out the door early in the morning, make sure it is after you have eaten half a cup of cooked oats. Add a side dish of boiled eggs; it is just what the trainer ordered.
13. Chicken in a Bun
For the days when you are hungrier than usual, fill a whole wheat bun with some grilled chicken and lettuce.
14. Tuna-thon for You
The Tuna-thon For You is for the days when you are not feeling too hungry but would love to munch on something special. Spread some tuna on whole wheat crackers, and start munching.
15. The Veggie Omelet
Make an omelet with two eggs and a handful of your favorite veggies. You can use onions, mushrooms, bell pepper or any other seasonal vegetables. To this also add half a cup of rolled oats, and you have a healthy and satisfying snack.
16. The Verdant Munch
If you feel like getting in some greens before you head out to the gym, toss up some salad greens, seasonal veggies with a chopped, hardboiled egg. Add your favorite low fat salad dressing, and it is ready to eat.
17. Snack in a Bottle
If you are in a rush and have no time for a snack, opt for a low sugar sports drink. You could also consider adding a scoop of supplement to the drink.
18. Grilled Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
Perfect for a late afternoon workout, the grilled chicken offers the body protein while the sweet potatoes provide it complex carbohydrates.
19. Fruity Cottage
Mix together half a cup of cottage cheese, and half a cup of chopped fruits. You can choose any fruits that you enjoy, but do add a banana to help enhance endurance.
20. Blueberries to Go
Whip up a cup of thick, creamy non-fat Greek yogurt, and add a handful of blueberries to it. The yogurt is rich in protein and the berries add a healthy dose of nutrients and antioxidants to your snack.
21. Almond on a Stick
Nut butters are high on proteins and healthy fats. This makes them a great pre workout snack option. Spread almond butter on celery sticks and treat yourself to a light, tasty snack.
22. Turkey Wrap
If you are looking for a light but wholesome pre workout snack, this is an excellent choice. Roll lettuce leaves with chunks of turkey, finely chopped tomato and bell pepper. Add a touch of mustard.
23. Oats in a Bowl
A bowl of steel cut oats offers your body energy for a long time. To a cup of cooked oats you can add a sprinkle of cinnamon powder, some dried fruit like almonds or walnuts and a scoop of whey protein.
24. Fruit Leather
It is delicious and fun to eat, and not just meant for the kids. Fruit leather is a great pre workout snack and packs in a healthy punch of vitamins and minerals.
25. Choco Coco Shot
Into a scoop of chocolate flavored whey powder stir in two teaspoons of coconut oil, the extra virgin kind. The high protein Choco Coco shot is perfect for the days you lift weights.
26. Sunny Side on Whole Grain
Eat your sunny side up on a whole wheat toast. Do ensure that you eat your snack at least an hour before your workout.
27. PB, B&H
Spread peanut butter on whole-wheat toast and top it with sliced bananas and a drizzle of honey.
28. Chicken and Fries
Serve yourself a portion of grilled chicken with a side dish of baked potato wedges.
29. Energy Balls
Mix together a cup of oatmeal, one fourth cup of powdered flax seed, half a cup of peanut butter and a scoop of protein powder. Create your energy balls and chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
30. Tangy Vanilla Frappe
Blend together a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, a tall glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and a cup of ice.
30 Post Workout Snacks
A long and strenuous hour at the gym tires out the body and leaves it fatigued. A post workout snack can not only replenish your energy reserves but also help muscle tissue rebuild and heal. The snack will make you feel great, and ensure that you gain maximally from your time at the gym.
1. Simply Cereal
This one is easy. Enjoy a bowl of whole grain breakfast cereal with a cup of low fat milk. It is filling and will restore the glycogen lost during the workout.
2. Turkey on Whole Grain
Enjoy a satisfying turkey sandwich. The wholegrain bread keeps you full and the turkey offers protein to your body. Do add some lettuce and tomatoes.
3. Tuna in Your Salad
Salad greens, seasonal vegetables and water packed tuna make a delicious salad.
4. Crunchy Yogurt
Whip up some Greek yogurt and add half a cup of granola to it. Sprinkle some chopped nuts and raisins, and you are ready to eat.
5. Nut Butter Cracker
Spread some nut butter of your choice on crackers and enjoy a quick but wholesome post workout snack.
6. Slice it Up
If you are on the move, feast on slices of fruit, cheese and turkey slices.
7. Peppy Pancakes
To your regular pancake mix add a scoop of rolled oats, some cottage cheese, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a half a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
8. Banana Shake
This is as simple and tasty as it gets. A banana blend together with a glass of low fat milk and a cup of ice.
9. Go Green
Blend together four cups of spinach with half a cup of vanilla yogurt and a cup of almond milk. You can also add a banana and some nut butter to make the shake creamier.
10. Protein Bar on the Go
Do choose a protein bar that is low in sugar and high on proteins and fiber.
11. Scrambled Eggs
Scramble two eggs with finely chopped vegetables such as bell pepper, mushroom and spinach.
12. Boiled Eggs and Toast
Boiled eggs are a convenient snack to enjoy after your gym routine. Do enjoy them with whole grain toast.
13. Nuts About Juice
Enjoy a glass of 100% juice in a flavor of your choice with a cup of dried and toasted soya beans.
14. Hummus and Pita Bread
Eat a whole wheat, pita bread with a healthy serving of creamy, delicious hummus.
15. Chocolate Milk
There is nothing quite as comforting as a glass of low fat chocolate milk after a long, strenuous workout.
16. Greek Yogurt and Fruit
Mix together a cup of Greek yogurt with a serving of fruit of your choice.
17. PB and Banana Shake
Blend together a banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter and a cup of fat free milk. You could also add one fourth teaspoon of vanilla extract.
18. Chicken Salad
Mix salad greens, seasonal vegetables and chunks of grilled chicken, to make a wholesome snack.
19. Recovery Drink
In a crunch, a recovery drink bought from the store can offer your body enough nutrition to help it recover from the exercise.
20. Rice Cakes with a Topping
Top your rice cakes with almond or peanut butter.
21. Cottage Cheese with a Crunch
To a cup of cottage cheese add half a cup of cereal, the whole grain kind. Mix together with a drizzle of honey and a pinch of cinnamon.
22. Omelet a la Bean
Make an omelet with three egg whites, a scoop of cottage cheese and canned black beans.
23. Cheese and Apple
Add string cheese to a bowl full of chopped apple.
24. Nuts About Bananas
Mix a handful of nuts and dried fruit into a bowl of sliced banana.
25. Sandwich Wrap and a Soup
A whole grain Turkey sandwich wrap with a bowl of soup is filling and nourishing.
26. Fruit Salad
A bowl of mixed fruits such as kiwi, banana and pineapple is rich in antioxidants and nutrients such as carbohydrates.
27. Tuna Sandwich
Use water packed tuna along with finely chopped seasonal vegetables and whole grain bread to make a wholesome sandwich.
28. Fruit Yogurt Blend
Blend a cup of low fat yogurt and fruit of your choice to make a deliciously creamy snack.
29. Cheese and Crackers
You cannot go wrong with this classic snack. Top your crackers with slices of cheese.
30. Chicken Stir Fry
Stir fry chicken with vegetables such as broccoli, bell pepper, tomato and carrot.
It is important that you spend a little time planning your pre and post workout snacks. It is important to keep your body nourished and cared for before and after you make it work hard at the gym. For more healthy snack ideas, check this out.
Any other pre-or post-workout snack you like? Share it in the comment box below!