Having a recovery meal, after you perform a workout, helps rebuild muscle tissue at a faster rate. This allows you to get the most out of your workouts and keep the momentum going. While many people eat after workout snacks, it is also a good idea to have a light snack before you exercise.
Your pre-workout snack will give you the energy to push yourself and reach your workout goals. When you finish your workout, have your post-workout snack to maximize results and aid muscle recovery. If you are looking for suggestions, try the following recipes for before and after workout snacks:
Before Workout Snacks
- Whole wheat toast with sliced bananas
- Oatmeal with fresh fruit
Post Workout Snacks
- Grilled chicken with vegetables
- Salmon with sweet potatoes
- Whole wheat tuna fish sandwich
- Chocolate milk
Whole Wheat Toast with Sliced Bananas
You need carbohydrates for energy. The combination of whole wheat toast and sliced bananas gives you both carbs and potassium, to get you through your workout. Eat two slices of whole wheat bread, topped with one sliced banana. For some added flavor, sprinkle some cinnamon on top.
Smoothies are the traditional pre-workout snack. They are also a great option when you are going to the gym. Make your smoothie and pack it go in thermos or sports bottle. They are quick to make and there are thousands of possible recipes.
One smoothie idea is to blend one cup of Greek yogurt, along with some granola, and your favorite fruit; though, there are plenty of other options. Aim for 15 grams of protein and about 30 grams of carbs, when combining ingredients.
Oatmeal with Fresh Fruit
Oatmeal is another common workout meal. It takes a while to digest, giving you a steady stream of energy. Add some fresh fruit for additional sugar and nutrients. The fruit will also help keep you hydrated. Prepare your oatmeal as you normally would, or follow the directions on your oatmeal package, and then add slices of any fruit.
Now on to the post workout snacks. When you finish your workout, your body needs to recover. To aid in this process, you want a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy nutrients.
Grilled Chicken with Vegetables
Grill a strip of chicken with a one cup of mixed vegetables. Heat the chicken for about 5 minutes, before flipping. After flipping the chicken, add the vegetables and a small amount of olive oil.
Salmon with Sweet Potatoes
Salmon is a good source of protein and it has less fat than most other protein options. It also contains bioactive peptides, which is a protein molecule that can reduce inflammation and regulate insulin levels. This will give you better joint support. You may want to heat up your sweet potatoes, before you start grilling your salmon.
Whole Wheat Tuna Fish Sandwich
Tuna is a low calorie food with a good balance of carbs and protein. Make your tuna fish sandwich with whole wheat bread. To mix the tuna, use hummus, instead of mayo, for added fiber. For even more health benefits, throw some spinach in there, as a substitute for lettuce or relish.
Chocolate milk is quickly becoming one of the most popular recovery drinks. One cup of 2% fat chocolate milk contains the perfect combination of protein and carbs, as well as vitamin D, calcium, and other nutrients.
Try to bookend your workouts with a quick snack. Eat a light snack before your workout, for more energy and endurance, focusing on carbohydrates and nutrients. For your post workout meals, look for a combination of protein and carbs, to aid muscle recovery. Pick a couple of snacks from this list and start getting the most out of your workouts.
This Site Was Inspired By An Interest in Protecting the Environment:
We had the privilege and joy of learning from Dr. Charlie Stine who instilled a love for the natural world through incredible field trips with the Johns Hopkins Odyssey Certificate program in Environmental Studies. At the time, the program was endorsed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Sadly, after Dr. Stine retired, the program was phased out. We hope that we honor his legacy by shining a bright light on environmental issues and sharing good news about the success of various conservation programs when possible.
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