• This entry was posted in Fitness on February 25, 2016

  • A fitness routine is only as successful as what fuels it. Intense weight lifting and cardio sessions can’t help you reach your full fitness potential if you’re not treating your body with the healthy, protein-packed food that it needs to work hard.

    While some claim they burn more fat exercising on an empty stomach, most people will reap greater benefits if they eat before and/or after a workout.

    Pre-workout fuel can give you more energy and drive, making your workouts more effective, and post-workout protein can help your muscles recover and rebuild after intense sessions. Healthy and satisfying snacks are also great motivation to get moving on days when you’re not feeling up to it.

    Here are six of our favorite ways to prepare for and recover from workouts with food. Above all else, it’s important to remember that food isn’t the enemy to achieving your wellness goals – if prepared thoughtfully, it can be your best friend!

    Before Your Workout

    1) Bananas. Bananas are loaded with digestible carbohydrates and potassium, which helps maintain muscle function.

    2) Oatmeal. Packed with protein and fiber, oatmeal will keep you energized and full – without leaving you bloated – throughout your workout.

    3) Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is filling, protein-packed, and easy to customize. Buy the plain kind in bulk and make it your own with honey and the fruits and nuts of your choice. Need something to eat on the go? Prep yogurt bark (frozen yogurt bars with cocoa nibs and raspberries) you can eat as you head out the door.

    4) Coffee. Coffee doesn’t come to mind for most people when they think of pre-workout fuel. Although it isn’t packed with protein, its caffeine will wake you up, energize you, and often give you a better workout.

    After Your Workout

    1) Lean protein like chicken, eggs, quinoa, or salmon. Eating pure protein immediately after a workout can help you recover quicker and see results faster.

    2) Protein-packed smoothie. Not only packed with protein to help your muscles rebuild, smoothies help you rehydrate. They’re also a lot more fun than your typical baked chicken or salmon post-workout meal.

    We hope these six snacks give you a few ideas about how to prep for and recover from your workouts. Have fun, get creative, and stay fueled.

    And don’t forget the most important item to consume when revving up for and/or recovering from a workout – water. Nearly half of Americans don't drink enough water already– and exercising means you need to be drinking even more than you already do.