So you have the perfect motivational tank to get you inspired and are ready to get started with those on-the-go workouts. But whatever you do, don’t forget about the most important thing: FOOD. You do in fact need fuel to get your fitness on and stay healthy. Not sure what to eat? You could go the protein powder route if you’ve done your research. But definitely don’t listen to that rumor that you burn more calories when you work out on an empty stomach. Your body needs food before and after you exercise to keep that metabolism goin’ strong. We found the 10 best foods for both pre- and post-workout power. You can thank us later for that added energy.
Foods You Should Eat BEFORE a Workout
1. Apple Sandwich: Can you get a sugar rush the healthy way? Apple-lutely. This “sandwich” layers anti-stomach-growling ingredients (hello, peanut butter, oats and raisins!) for the perfect pre-workout snack. Now you’ll have the energy you need to drag yourself to that early morning Pilates class, plus your body will get some much-needed vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. (via The Kitchn)
2. Chia Yogurt Power Bowl: Going on a long run calls for some greek yogurt. It’s super easy on the stomach and has twice the amount of protein as normal yogurt. And when paired with some chia seeds, berries and nuts, it makes for a perfectly balanced snack. Just be mindful, ’cause nuts are high in fat so they take a while to digest. Don’t inhale this RIGHT before you want to run, or if you do, take it easy on the nuts. (via Fit Foodie Finds)
3. Lavender Honey Iced Latte: Coffee isn’t just to help get you through the work day anymore. A little caffeine before your cardio can help you feel energized and avoid that pesky mid-workout wall that always seems to sneak up. Drinking coffee before your workout can also help increase the rate of fat-burn during your actual workout. We always knew we loved you, coffee. (via Offbeat + Inspired)
4. Pumpkin Oatmeal: Repeat after us: Oatmeal is amazing. But pumpkin oatmeal? Now that’s even better. Not only will your stomach not be growling during your workout thanks to the double dose of fiber, but this tasty treat gradually releases sugar into your bloodstream. Now go show that TRX class who’s boss. (via Glow Kitchen)
5. Peanut Butter and Banana Toast: Forget what the Atkins Diet says; carbs are NOT the enemy. Peanut butter, bananas and whole wheat toast go a long way in helping you out during your workout. Bananas help potassium levels rise (which is good since they tend to drop when you sweat a lot). So go ahead and get toasted before your big workout. (via Cupcakes & Cashmere)
Food You Should Eat Post-Workout
6. Spiced Salmon Kebabs: You worked super hard sweating it out. Now it’s time to treat your body to some delicious food. Salmon not only has a ton of protein, but it also has bioactive peptides and small protein molecules to help reduce inflammation and give you joint support while rebuilding those muscles. We’ll eat to that. (via Bon Appétit)
7. Banana Kefir Smoothie: If you haven’t met kefir, you need to. This fermented milk is made from probiotic bacteria and contains 11-14 grams of complete protein, none of which naturally occur in the body. And did you know that diary protein, such as kefir, helps maintain lean muscle mass? Sounds pretty great to us. (via What’s On the Plate)
8. Poached Eggs With Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts: Post workout, you want the carbs and the protein. This dish has both and then some. Eggs pack in the protein and help with muscle recovery, while the sweet potatoes are full of vitamins B6, C and D, magnesium and potassium to help you restore depleted glycogen levels. (via Five and Spice)
9. Cilantro and Ginger Hummus: Let’s face it: You are super tired from that workout. (Good job, by the way.) The last thing you want to do is make food, right? Well, lucky for you, hummus is beyond easy to whip together. Plus, the garbanzo beans are full of protein, while the pita is all about the slow-releasing carbs so you don’t crash and burn. (via A Beautiful Mess)
10. Raspberry Mango Cashew Chicken Salad: That spin class just put you in major recovery mode. So you need a nutrient-dense meal like chicken, veggies and fruit. The lean protein and carbs will help fill you up without making you feel bloated. Everyone’s a big winner with this meal. (via Creme de la Crumb)
What food do you eat before and after your workout? Tell us in the comments below.