In order to stay energised throughout the day and give myself the right fuel for a workout I always make sure I eat good healthy snacks. Snacking can easily make or break your results, especially if you are one to go for sugar filled, empty calorie snacks like muesli bars, crackers, chips etc. I get asked all the time what the perfect pre and post workout snacks are for the body. Eating the right food at the right time both before and after your workout can definitely help the body with energy levels, hydration, endurance and recovery. To take some of the guess work out for you, I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite pre and post workout protein snack ideas that provide the body with key nutrients to help you workout stronger and recover quicker.
Before your workout:
Before your workout you want to have a snack that will provide your body with good carbohydrates so you have sustained energy that will last throughout your workout. It’s good to eat around 60 minutes prior to working out so have had time to digest your food.
Nut butter and banana
This is one of my favourite snacks that can kill a sweet tooth craving. Banana is a good source of energy whilst you then get some good fat and protein from the nuts. I like to go for an all-natural almond butter that doesn’t contain any added vegetable oil, salt or sugar. If you have a good blender or food processor it’s super easy to even make your own nut or seed butter. You can make it raw or roasted. Be careful not to goo too heavy handed on the nut butter, and keep it about 1 tablespoon per serve.
Hummus and vegetable sticks
Hummus is a great source of carbs and protein from the chickpeas and tahini, so it’s a great combo to have before a workout. I like to have mine with cut up cucumber, carrot and peppers. You can also flavor the hummus with things like roasted sweet potato or pumpkin which makes it super tasty. I posted my favourite hummus recipe recently on the blog here.
Chocolate protein balls
I have a few different protein ball recipes that I love to make up in big batches for the week. My favourite though is this chocola.te one I posted on the blog. You can find the recipe here. The ingredients has protein powder, nuts, pumpkin and dates. The carbohydrates from the dates and pumpkin make them a great pre workout snack to give you that energy boost, whilst you have protein from the protein powder and nuts.
After your workout it’s still good to have a snack with carbohydrates to replenish your energy stores but you also want to make sure it has good protein levels. That’s because protein is what helps our muscles repair themselves after a workout. Here are some of my high protein snacks that I love to eat post workout.
Protein shake and almonds
If I haven’t had time to cook then a protein shake with almonds is my go to post workout snack. That’s because all I need is my protein shaker on me, a scoop of protein powder and a handful of nuts. For protein powder I personally have an organic non-dairy brown rice protein, as this is the only thing that doesn’t cause me to bloat or upset my tummy. So many protein shakes can be filled with all sorts of additives that aren’t good for you, so always read the ingredient list. You can mix the protein powder with water, or if you need some extra hydration I like to sometimes mix mine with coconut water. Coconut water is great for replacing your electrolytes that you’ve lost through excessive sweating during your workout.
Greek yoghurt and fresh or frozen berries
Full-fat greek yoghurt is a power house of protein which is exactly what your body needs post workout. The casein and whey protein in Greek yoghurt means you are getting both fast and slow digesting proteins to the body. I always say go full-fat and unsweetened when it comes to yoghurt, that way nothing nasty has been added. If you would like the yoghurt sweetened add a little natural stevia. Berries are great for adding in the anti-oxidant kick or if you need some more carbs, have it with a banana.
Egg frittata muffins
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and are low in calories, which is why I love them for a post workout protein snack. A good way to have pre prepared snacks on hand is make up a batch of egg frittata muffins at the beginning of the week. Just chop up your favourite vegetables, add eggs and then bake in muffin tins in the oven. They store in the fridge well and make for great snacks or breakfast on the run.
Remember how you fuel your body both before and after exercise can make a major difference to your performance and results. My F.I.T. programs are filled with healthy snack recipes that are perfect for any exercise regime.