How to Fuel Your Workout: 20 Healthy Pre- and Post-Workout Snacks
While there are benefits to exercising on an empty stomach, sometimes you need a little bit of fuel to get you through a tough or strenuous workout – no one wants to get sick or feel faint in the middle of their workout! And of course, it’s important to eat after exercising to aid in muscle building and toning while replenishing lost energy.
Here are 20 healthy pre- and post- workout snacks to keep you fueled and performing at your best:
10 Pre-Workout Snacks
1. Bananas with peanut butter: Slice up a banana and top it with peanut butter (or almond butter!). You’ll get a good dose of potassium from the banana, and energy + protein from the carbs.
2. Hard-boiled eggs: Keep some hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator and eat a few before working out for some added protein.
3. Half a bagel with cream cheese: You’ll get sustained energy from the carbs. Don’t want the dairy? Try peanut butter or a tablespoon of coconut oil instead for a dose of healthy fats.
4. Multigrain waffle with peanut butter: Toast a waffle and top it with a tablespoon of peanut butter. Sprinkle some flax seeds on top for added nutrition. Add a little sweetness with a teaspoon of honey or agave nectar.
5. Pita chips and hummus: Chickpeas will give you some protein to fuel your workout. If you’re not a fan of pita chips or you need to go the gluten-free route, try some cucumber or carrot slices or gluten free crackers.
6. Oatmeal: Oats will keep you full and give you energy to get you through a tough workout without making you feel weighed down or bloated. Add blueberries on top for a burst of flavor and antioxidants. You can even prepare it the night before for an easy to grab snack on the go. See how here.
7. Handful of trail mix: Make your own trail mix out of heart healthy nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pistachios. Add some raisins, pumpkin seeds, and even some dark chocolate chips to the mix for a satisfying blend of textures and nutrients.
8. Smoothie: Use almond milk or coconut water for the base, a handful of greens, and some frozen fruit for sustained energy and hydration.
9. Yogurt parfait: Layer Greek yogurt with puffed rice cereal, flax or hemp seeds, and diced fruit such as peaches or plums. Drizzle with pure maple syrup if you have a sweet tooth.
10. On the go? Grab a healthy protein bar like GoMacro’s macrobars, or Kind bars that offer a healthy protein-packed snack with 5 grams of sugar or less per bar.
10 Post-Workout Snacks
1. Protein smoothie: Stock up on frozen fruit such as pineapple, bananas and cherries. Add a handful of spinach and a tablespoon of flax seeds to your favorite protein powder. It’s important to give your body protein after working out to help your muscles recover.
2. Apple with peanut butter: Slice up an apple and top it with a tablespoon of your favorite nut butter (peanut, almond, sunflower, etc.) for an energy boost without a ton of calories. Add cinnamon for heart health and yummy zero calorie flavor.
3. Cheese and crackers: Grab a handful of multigrain or gluten free crackers and a wedge of brie or a wheel of BabyBel cheese for a delicious, satisfying treat.
4. Southwestern egg scramble: Prepare scrambled eggs and top with salsa, shredded chicken and sliced avocado. Vegan? Make it a tofu scramble, skip the chicken, and add more veggies like spinach and jalapenos!
5. Egg salad lettuce wrap: Eggs are a great source of protein to build muscle and fuel your body after a hard workout. The lettuce will give you a satisfying crunch and is a much lighter (and gluten free) alternative to bread.
6. Turkey rollups: Put a slice of lean turkey breast on a leaf of bibb lettuce with a slice of tomato and avocado and roll it up. The turkey breast will give you protein and the avocados provide a dose of healthy fats. Add a bit of brown or Dijon mustard for added flavor.
7. Tuna salad: Make your favorite tuna salad recipe into a sandwich or lettuce wrap for a big dose of protein. Add chopped celery and/or apples to the mix for an extra crunch!
8. Chia pudding: (This requires extra prep time) Mix 2 tablespoons chia seeds with 2 cups coconut milk and your favorite add-in’s (diced fruit, shredded coconut, dark chocolate chips, etc.) in a small covered bowl or mason jar, and place in the fridge overnight.
9. Green juice: Juice a cucumber, few stalks of celery, pineapple and a half of an apple for a healthy and delicious dose of hydration.
10. On the go? Grab a handful of almonds for an under 200-calorie snack loaded with protein and healthy fats to replenish and refuel.
Keeping your energy levels up during your workout, and replenishing lost electrolytes and nutrients after are two extremely important steps to staying safe and healthy while giving you the results you want. Remember: you can substitute items based on food allergies and lifestyle choices. For example, coconut milk yogurt is a great alternative to Greek yogurt, and tofu is an easy vegetarian protein substitute for any meat items. Have any favorite snacks you’d like to share with us? Please post in the comments below. Enjoy and bon appetite!