Here’s What to Eat Before + After Your Workout for Max Energy
No matter how hard you hit the weights at the gym or how many full-body workouts you do, if you don’t put the same amount of effort into your pantry (or ordering healthy at restaurants), the results you want can be pretty elusive. You know what they say: Abs are built in the kitchen. So to make sure we’re getting the most out of our workouts, we caught up with Ruby Beaupre, a certified nutrition consultant at Whole Foods Market Northern California. Ruby shares eight snacks that’ll give you max energy and endurance pre- and post-workout.
1. Raw dates: Simple and sweet? Sounds good to us. Ruby says, “Dates are great because they have simple sugars and fibers that allow for sustained energy throughout your workout.”
2. Organic coconut oil: “A spoonful of coconut oil is great before an endurance workout. Coconut oil is highly digestible and absorbable, which makes it a friendlier fat to eat before you break a sweat,” says Ruby. Even though we use coconut oil for a million things, we haven’t tried just letting a spoonful melt in our mouth — but a ton of people swear by it.
3. Maca: Maca? Sounds exotic. Ruby explains, “Maca root is a superfood that contains tons of B vitamins and is a natural stimulant, so you can skip the coffee (coffee is a diuretic, which some may want to avoid before a workout). Interesting tidbit: Maca is a great vegan source of the vitamin B12, which is essential for energy production.” So how do you get your maca in? Ruby suggests Vega’s Maca Chocolate Bars ($65, box of 24).
4. Beet juice: You might be thinking H2O is the only thing you should be drinking before your workout, but Ruby says that beet juice is an excellent energizer, because it contains antioxidants and supports healthy iron levels in your bloodstream. Red Ace makes organic beet shots that’ll save you a ton of time in front of the blender.
5. Hard-boiled eggs: Prep these protein sources in large batches before you leave for the gym, so you can chow down as soon as you get home or to work. Ruby adds, “Eggs offer complete and perfect protein and they are super portable.”
6. Nut-butter sandwiches: “I love Alvarado’s Sprouted Whole Wheat bread with almond butter and whole blueberries or another antioxidant-rich fruit,” suggests Ruby. Try cashew and sunflower butters too for another twist on the classic PB + J.
7. Bison jerky: #Whole30 superstars, this one is for you. “Epic bison bars are paleo-friendly and available in a ton of different varieties. Plus, they’re great for supporting muscle recovery.”
8. Cacao + goji berries: Didn’t think we’d recommend something so yummy sounding, didya? “Navitas Power Snacks offer a tasty, bite-size, nutrient-dense snack on the go. Bonus: They have tons of antioxidant-rich superfoods in them: cacao, maca, chia and camu-camu (a berry found in South America). I like them after a yoga class. They’re small and light enough not to weigh you down, but substantial enough to sustain you through the rest of the day,” says Ruby.
Tweet us your favorite workout snacks @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)