Food for Fuel: Best Snacks for Your Workout

Food for Fuel: Best Snacks for Your Workout

By: SARAH TILLER

We have all made the same mistakes when it comes to eating, or not eating, before a workout. Whether we skipped out on lunch and exercised on an empty stomach, or ate just a little too much of a healthy snack right before our workout, everyone can relate to stomach pains while exercising. In the end, it is all about WHEN you eat and WHAT you eat.


Pre-workout

To kick start your awesome workout, Camron Hamor, personal trainer and former GNC employee, suggests a balance of complex carbohydrates, solid protein sources, and healthy fats. Hamor, for example, eats a bowl of oatmeal in the morning before his workouts because he finds that the complex carbs gives him the sustained energy he needs to really push for it in the gym. So for that endless energy, reach for the whole grains such as brown rice, beans, and oats. Fanny Dufour, exercise sports science instructor at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor, also swears by complex carbs for sustained energy. For a tasty pre-workout indulgence, Dufour likes to eat a handful of chocolate covered espresso beans and pairing it with either iced coffee with vanilla protein powder (blended with skim milk, honey and ice) or a banana shake with rich chocolate protein powder ( blended with skim milk and ice).

Post-workout

The key to a post-workout snack is protein, though Dufour stresses that it’s best to eat within 30 minutes after your workout and make sure it includes both carbs and protein (4:1 ratio) to enhance recovery and help build and replace muscle proteins. Examples of adequate protein sources would be chicken, tilapia, salmon, or lean steak. Hamor describes the carb and protein relationship by  explaining that the protein in the meal provides the body with the needed amino acids to help recovery and tissue repair, while the carbs replenish the muscle’s glycogen stores and get your energy levels back up. It’s worked like a charm for me. 

Timing

It is best to pair the size of your snack with the time of your workout. www.qualityhealth.com suggests small, more easily digestible snacks for right before a relatively intense workout. For example, morning joggers would benefit more from handful of trail mix and a piece of fruit as opposed to whole wheat pancakes and a protein shake.

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Categories: Home, Sections, Your Fitness, Your Lifestyle, Your Nutrition

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