Are you always hungry and dying to eat something after a workout? Can’t get yourself to the gym because you don’t have enough energy?
A regular oopsy daisy that I’ve made and I’m sure you may have made also, is working out with no energy and not fueling afterwards. It wasn’t until now, after feeling and seeing changes (positive + negative) within my body, that I realize how vital pre and post workouts are for recovery, satisfying late night hunger and performing like a beast! (because who doesn’t want to look messy and sweaty after a smashing session?)
I typically like to prep my post-workout before I workout, but some day’s poo happens and I don’t get around to it or I’m having a ‘crap’ day or I’m going straight from work. So, here are a few of my favourite yummy and nutritious combos that are convenient on the run and in the kitchen. I’ve tried to include some variety because eating the same darn thing is so boooooooorinngggggggg. Agree?
These snacks are where you get energy for your workout. They help to reduce muscle breakdown and glycogen (glucose) depletion, to prevent increased cortisol levels, which rise after a workout because the body is under “stress”. You want to aim to eat protein and carbohydrates which are fairly easy-to-digest and light 30-60 minutes in advance to your workout to avoid stomach upset and irritation, because there aint nothin’ sexy about vomiting on the treadmill at 12 kilometers per hour, that’s for sure!
Keep in mind: your pre-workout does not replace a meal. It is a necessary source of additional nutrients to prepare your muscles and fuel your tank.
Peanut butter + Banana On Toast
You’ll go to heaven and back, trust me.
Toast one slice of bread and top with 1 tablespoon peanut butter (organic if possible) and ½ banana
Fats from the peanut butter will help to stabilize blood sugar levels and aid with lasting energy.
Veggie sticks + Hommus
Light. Easy peasy. Portable. Crunchy. Refreshing.
Dip ½ cup raw veggie (carrot, celery, broccoli, capsicum, cucumber) sticks into 2 tablespoons hommus and enjoy while walking, on the train etc.
Boiled Egg and Apple
Protein POWER with a sweet twist. This may just be the new best thing.
If you have strange tastes like me you can cut 1 medium-sized apple into wedges and top with mashed boiled egg, or if you prefer to stay safe, enjoy separately. Either way, this is a perfect protein and natural sugar boost!
Almonds + Fruit
A favourite of mine that’s perfect for when you’re on the run or traveling.
Simply measure out 12 almonds and accompany with 1 serve of fruit – 1 Apple, 2 kiwi fruits, 1 medium-sized banana, or dried fruit (1.5tbs).
These snacks supply your body with energy to repair, replenish, recover, rebuild and refuel and should be larger than your pre-workout snack as they are needed for larger energy dominant processes such as increasing muscle growth, replenishing glycogen (glucose) stores which have been depleted during exercise, reduce cortisol levels, reduce soreness and fatigue and prevent muscle breakdown. Depending on the type of exercise you do (see below), protein and carbohydrates should ideally be eaten within the first 60-90 minutes after your workout to maximize results and recovery.
Cardio: carbs > protein
Weights: mainly protein
Weights + Cardio: carbs, protein
Greek Yogurt + Berries
Breakfast all day? Yes please!
Combine ¾ cup of plain greek yoghurt with ½ cup blueberries. You can try this blended for a creamier and thick treat if you wish, or enjoy in a bowl with a drizzle of honey.
Fact: Greek yoghurt is protein packed and thicker than traditional yoghurt thanks to the straining process of removing whey (liquid).
Nun a nun a nun a nun a…. bah. na. na. This is like a frozen Big M but only healthier (and thicker). Yum!
1 banana, ice, 1 cup almond milk, 1 medjool date, 1 tsp cacao
This is always a go-to for me when I’m too lazy to wake my brain and become creative. You can pretty much put ANYTHING into the salad, incl fruit, but don’t forget the tuna – after all, it is a tuna salad. Haha. This is what I have:
½ C quinoa/brown rice, tin of tuna, handful spinach, 1/2 cucumber, 1 TVs pumpkin seeds, grilled pumpkin or sweet potato and apple cider vinegar.
Sweet Potato Chips and Salmon
Sweet and crispyyyyyyyy. Perfect balance of carbs, protein and healthy fats, it takes barely any time or effort to make. All you need is olive oil, sweet potato, salmon, herbs.
To make the CHIPS: cut a peeled potato and toss in olive oil, bake in oven for 20 minutes or cook in microwave for 4 minutes and pan fry for 2-3 until golden brown.
SALMON: in the same pan as the sweet potato chips, cook salmon on low heat until crispy, then flip and repeat on other side. Tip: for extra flavour, cook salmon first then chips.
My #1 love forever. I have quite a few combinations which you can find the recipe for here and here.
As a basic thumb rule, remember: fuel with CARBS in advance to working out, refuel with 60 % PROTEIN AND 40% CARBS after your workout for recovery AND drink WATER before, throughout AND after your workout to stay hydrated.
Whats your favourite pre or post workout snack?