Fuel your body with what it needs pre and post workout using these snack and meal ideas. Eating the right foods in the right amount at the right time will help you get the results you are looking for.
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WHAT TO EAT BEFORE A WORKOUT
Here's the lowdown on what you should consume before a workout:
- Cardio ONLY workouts (44 min or less): Have a few extra minutes to squeeze in a quick HIIT workout or even just go for a power walk? If you are only doing a cardio workout, you should have a 50-100 calorie source of quick-digesting carbohydrates to rev up your metabolism and keep your body burning fat throughout your workout.
- Cardio ONLY workouts (45 min +): Hitting the streets for a hardcore run? (I would consider anything over 3 miles hardcore - I am not a runner! Yet!) You should have anywhere from 100-150 calories of a quick digesting and a slower digesting carbohydrate source. Skip the protein source until after your workout.
- Weight Training/Lifting Session: Planning to pump iron before breakfast? Not so fast! Make sure you eat 150-200 calories of a quick digesting carb (such as one 30 cal rice cake), slower digesting carbs and a lean protein source. Don't waste your hard work - you want to build those muscles!
Below is a quick list of snacks you can use to create your pre-workout snack. Please note there are many other snacks you can choose from - I included only these as they are quick to prepare, travel well and tend to cause the least amount of stomach issues once you are working out. You can definitely add to this list!
Quick Digesting Carbs
- Low Sodium White Rice Cake - approximately 30 calories per rice cake
- Banana - approximately 105 calories per medium (7") banana
- Green Apple - approximately 72 calories per medium (3" in diameter) apple
Slower Digesting Carbs
- Low Sodium Brown Rice Cake - approximately 50 calories per rice cake
- Oats (Quick Cooking, Steel Cut, or Old Fashioned) - approximately 80 calories in 1/4 Cup of oats
- Sweet Potato - approximately 90 calories in 1/2 Cup of baked sweet potato
- Brown Rice - approximately 54 calories per 1/4 Cup of cooked brown rice
Lean Protein Source
- Protein Shake - this is sometimes the quickest way to get your calories if you are in a hurry! Calories will vary depending on your brand of protein powder (here's our review of clean protein powders).
- Scrambled/Boiled Egg White - approximately 17 calories per large egg white (4g of protein per egg)
WHAT TO EAT AFTER A WORKOUT
What should you eat after a workout?
That's pretty simple: a 100-200 calorie snack consisting of a lean protein source and a quick digesting carbohydrate source. The carbohydrates will help your body to digest and use the protein source that you have consumed and repair your muscles (this is how you build muscle. Tear it down to build it up!). Try to eat within 30 minutes of your workout!
MORE WORKOUT TIPS:
- 10 Tips to Stay Motivated for Your Workouts
- 5 Reasons Why You Need a Workout Plan
- 6 Tips to Get Over Your Fear of the Weight Room
- The 80/20 Rule for Dieting