Ever wondered what is the best thing to eat before and after a workout? This is a common question from readers and clients so I thought it would be a great topic to address and give you suggestions for some of our favourite snacks.
I’ve tried to include a variety of ideas for those of you who are on a go and don’t have access to a kitchen before or after training, can still snack on something nutritious and satisfying!
For most of us, who are not training for a specific athletic competitions, the best pre- and post-training meals will contain some combination of high quality plant based protein, high quality carbohydrates, healthy fats, also some fruit and vegetables.
These whole foods provide an awesome blend of nutrients: protein, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that build muscle, supply energy, decrease inflammation, and boost recovery.
Of course, you can eat solid foods or drink smoothies. And the amount of each macronutrient can vary depending on your needs as well as personal preferences and tolerances. It’s good to try variety of listed suggestions and find out what works for you best.
In terms of timing, you have about one to two hours on both sides of your training to still get maximal benefit.
1. Chocolate Vegan Raw Pudding
It is so creamy and oh-so-healthy! It has the nutritional goodness of raw cacao powder and avocado, without added sugar or dairy, making it diabetic friendly! You can quickly and easily blend this up in 30 seconds with a Blendtec or Vitamix blender and fuel for an intense workout ahead. Full post HERE.
2. The “3 Minute” High Protein Granola Bars
Make these ahead for a healthy on a go fuel, recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie
3. Banana Protein Baked Oatmeal Cups
Have some overripe bananas hanging in your fruit basket? Make these oatmeal cups, packed with protein and only 2 g of sugar. Tastes like banana bread with a chewy oatmeal texture, they are easy to make and freezer friendly. For recipe go to http://ifoodreal.com/
4. Secretly Healthy Peanut Butter Mousse
This 4-ingredient Peanut Butter Mousse is super rich and sweet, but made only from healthy ingredients! From one of our AV contributing bloggers Jessica Stier.
5. Tabbouleh Salad
This tabbouleh salad is high in iron, manganese, and vitamins C and A, all important nutrients for the body, and the parsley with lemon, each contain natural detoxing properties. Have a ½ cup of this salad for a zesty snack.
6. Roasted Chickpeas
Chickpeas are such a great way to sneak fiber and protein into your diet. Whether you prefer salty or sweet snack Natalie’s got something for you at her blog HERE
1. Banana & Almond Butter
For a quick carb fuel-up, slice 1 banana and serve with 2 tablespoons all-natural almond butter.
2. Dried fruit
For a quick pre-workout fix, try ¼ cup serving of dried berries, apricots, pineapple, raisins or any other dried fruit of your choice. Just make sure it’s natural not coated with sugar!
3. PB & toast
When in rush spread 1-2 tablespoons of all-natural peanut butter on sprouted grain toast. I am a big fan of Ezekiel 4:9 brand.
4. Green Monster Smoothie
1 cup canned coconut milk, 1 cup spinach leaves, loosely packed and washed, 1 cup kale, stems removed and loosely packed and washed, 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, cubed (or mango), 1 frozen banana, 1/2 cup ice cubes,1/2 cup water. Place all ingredients into a blender making sure to place the coconut milk in first. Blend until smooth and serve.
5. Granola and Milk
Yup, it’s that simple! Load up on carbohydrates for a longer workout with ½ cup homemade granola topped with 1 cup of dairy free milk of your choice, personally I am a big fan of cashew milk 😉
Quick and Simple1. Easy 1,2,3 Banana Ice-Cream
What better snack after a hard workout than Ice Cream!! Yes you heard me correct, I said Ice Cream! All you need is 2 previously frozen bananas, Almond Milk (or any other dairy free milk) and 1 scoop protein powder (your choice). Place the bananas and protein powder in blender and add a little bit of the milk, and blend together adding more milk as needed (until you have reached your desired thickness). If you have a Vita-Mix use the “magic-mashing-stick” and to create a creamy texture. Go HERE for full post.
2. Simple Vegan Omelet
An easy vegan omelet for first timers. 7 ingredients, loads of veggies, simple methods. Hearty, savory, fluffy and delicious. Makes a perfect after workout meal. Source: Minimalist Baker
3. Fruit Cup
Keep it simple with this sweet snack that will give you a natural sugar boost.Cut and mix to fill one cup: berries, rock melon, banana and orange. Sprinkle 2 TBSP of raw pumpkin seeds for healthy fats and quality protein.
4. Super Energy Booster Smoothie
This smoothie will help you feel your best and is a great replacement for caffeine. Try this instead of that soda or cup of coffee.
Place everything in your high speed blender and blend until well combine: 1 tbsp raw cacao powder, 1 tbsp raw maca powder, 1 tbsp chia seeds,1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1/2 cup coconut milk,1 cup of your favourite milk (almond milk works great), 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
5. Carrots, Apples and Hummus
½ an apple and ½ cup of raw carrots with two spoonfuls of hummus is a perfect pick me up with quick digesting carbs.
6. Chocolate Milk
Blend 1 cup of almond or hemp milk with 1 Tbsp of raw cocoa powder and 3 large pitted dates. Serve over ice.
On a Go
1. Trail Mix
Taking only minutes to throw together, trail mix is the perfect healthy after workout snack. For ideas on making your own healthy version check out Greatist.
2. Protein Bar
In today’s grab-and-go world, it can be difficult to find a quick snack or meal replacement that is also vegan-friendly, because most protein or power bars rely on whey protein bases derived from cow’s milk. For a list of vegan friendly and nutrient dense bars go HERE.
3. Coconut Water
It’s that simple. Coconut water is the liquid extracted from young, green coconuts that contains vitamins, electrolytes, amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants, and the obvious – water. Coconut water is the richest source of naturally occurring electrolytes like sodium and potassium that help our cells (nerve, heart and muscles) maintain impulses that are responsible for important things like muscle contractions. For this reason, coconut water is great during longer workouts (diluted with water) or post-workout after you’ve lost a significant amount of sweat.
4. Rice Cake with Tahini Butter and Banana
This high fiber snack is ideal anytime of day. Spread tahini or seed butter of choice (pumpkin or sunflower are all good choices) on a flaky rice cake and top with a few slices of ripe banana. Want some extra oomph? Sprinkle on shredded, unsweetened coconut, chia seeds and/or cinnamon.
5. Green Juice
Instead of reaching for that bottled electrolyte replacement drink post-workout, grab a fresh, organic green juice instead. The nutrient-dense juice will rejuvenate your cells and replace the potassium and sodium lost during a sweaty, intense workout.
However you choose to fuel and re-fuel, make sure you’re getting nutrients and energy from real, whole foods over the packaged alternatives.
Dedicated to your wellbeing
Nikki & Zuzana