This lifestyle can be super overwhelming sometimes, especially with so many different opinions all over the internet.
There is so much advice floating around from what supplements to take, what not to take, when the best time to eat your meals is, what types of food to eat, how much to eat. . . it’s never ending!
I know one of the biggest questions people trying to get into shape have is what is the best pre and post workout snack? We all work so hard to create strong, healthy bodies, and can sometimes be fearful of doing the wrong thing.
Maybe fearful of thinking “Will I get fat from this? Will I lose all my “gains”? or “should I be eating this before or after I workout?”
It’s understandable how overwhelming and confusing this can get. But your pre and post workout snacks should NOT be one of them.
We’re about to give you the simple breakdown of what’s most important and why when it comes to your fuel pre and post sweat-sesh so you can get the energy you need without the worry and move on with life!
So, the body works to build muscle and recover 24 hours a day, not just during that one hour session at the gym. Luckily, healthy snacks, eaten at certain times, can give the body the fuel it needs to gain muscle, burn fat, and recover as best it can.
First up, pre-workout grub. This means grabbing a snack about 30-60 minutes in before you actually work-out, depending on its size and nutritional value and how much that stomach is actually grumbling.
This snack NEEDS to include carbs. Period. Why? Because carbohydrates are the primary, and most important, source of energy for the body.
So many people today have developed a phobia of carbs, but the truth is that carbs are GOOD for us and we need to consume them every single day, especially before lifting those heavy weights or any sort of workout in general.
Carbs are not your enemy. Make friends with them! The KEY is to have a mixed bag of complex and simple carbs so that the release of energy during your workout is slow and steady throughout the entire routine.
For example; whole wheat toast with fruit gives you both types of carbs with the bonus of being super easy to digest. Complex carbs will keep you going, while the fruit adds an extra boost of energy.
Another example is bananas, which help raise potassium levels, which drop when you sweat a lot. For added bonus, add a dash of cinnamon to that banana which can help stabilize your blood sugar and improve brain function while you’re going hard in the gym.
We have put together a short list of snacks that you can enjoy pre and post work-out, but you can definitely mix them up to whatever suits your needs, tastes and preference!
Oatmeal topped with fruit and a pinch of brown sugar
Apple slices and almond butter
In a hurry? Grab a Larabar, they’re jam packed with good fats and carbs.
A protein shake
Rice cakes and peanut butter
Greek yogurt and granola
So, what should you eat post-workout? Thinking about rewarding yourself for a good session with a nice, juicy cheeseburger? Well, don’t. The food you eat after hitting the gym just may be the most important food you eat all day. Muscles store excess energy in the form of glycogen and protein and, when you work out the body burns fuel from your pre-workout snack, then it breaks down glycogen stored in muscles. Within an hour or so of working out, muscle protein drops and muscle begins to break down. However, within that time window, your body is the most responsive with absorbing carbohydrates and protein.