This lifestyle can be super overwhelming sometimes, especially with so many different opinions splattered all over the internet. From what supplements to take, what not to take, when is the best time to eat, what types of food to eat, how much to eat.. it’s never ending!
I get asked a lot what are the best pre and post workout snacks. We all work so hard to create strong, healthy bodies, and can sometimes be fearfull of not “doing it right”. Maybe fearful of thinking “wait, is this the right food to eat after? Will I get fat from this? will I lose all my “gains”? or “should I be eating this before I workout? Or will this defeat everything I work towards?”
Again, all overwhelming and confusing. But your pre and post workout snacks should NOT be one of them.. because I’m 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 fueled properly 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, smart timed snacks 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 advance, depending on its size and contents 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 your BFF peeps… the KEY is to have a mixed bag of complex and simple ones so that the release of energy during your workout is slow and steady throughout your 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 your motor humming, while the fruit adds an extra kick 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. Win!
Here are a few of my go-to pre workout snacks I eat myself and recommend to all my clients:
- A classic PB&J sandwich: whole wheat bread, smothered in all natural PB and jelly.
Remember my PB&J DIY poptarts I shared with ya? Give these a go, they’re always my #1 choice.
- Oatmeal topped with strawberries and a pinch of brown sugar
- Apple slices and almond butter
- On the go? Grab a Larabar, they’re jam packed with good fats and carbs.
- A protein shake, with the fixin’s: Slap Protein powder, ground oat flour and almond milk
- Toast smothered in avocado
- Rice cakes and peanut butter
- Greek yogurt and granola
I’ve also made TONS of recipes that are great pre workout fuel:
The key is just nothing too heavy, because you don’t want that food sloshing around in your stomach… which can never lead to good things!
So what to devour 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.
Here are my favorite and go-to post workout snacks after an intense training:
- Slap Protein Shake: Ice, coconut milk, h20 and Peanut Butter Slap Protein (use code TAYLOR for 10%)
- Protein waffles/pancakes (my recipe, and the #1 trick you’ve been missing is in this post)
- Grilled chicken slices with some mixed green veggies
- Veggie omelet
- Greek yogurt with some cinnamon
And here are some recipes I’ve shared over time that are the perfect post-workout refuel for that hott ‘bod of yours!
So there you have it! Now you’re ready to be fueled properly, build that lean muscle and maintain it even when you’re not grinding at the gym! Because remember, food is SO important to achieving the fitness goals you want, without the proper nutrients, carbs, fats and protein, you’re just taking your body (and mind) in circles.
What’s your favorite pre and post workout snacks? Share! I’m always looking for delicious new bites to incorporate around my training sessions!
If you’re still a little lost in this area of food and fitness, check out my Monthly Macro Program and Monthly Gym & Home Programs – they may be just the thing you’re looking to jump-start your health and fitness life!