Fueling your body before and after workouts is crucial if you want to feel great and perform at your best. If you’re feeling sluggish during a run or aren’t recovering quickly enough after weights, what you are or aren’t eating is likely to blame. While there are various ways to fuel and refuel, the trick is to find the timing and foods that work best for you. Having healthy options on hand is key, and the following suggestions for portable snacks are a great place to start.
Typically, you should eat somewhere between thirty minutes to a few hours before your workout. If you’re eating a full meal, you may want to wait a full two hours. If you’re heading to the gym and it’s been a while since your last meal, you may need a 100-200 calorie snack about thirty minutes before your workout. Try to focus on easily digested carbs for quick energy and protein to promote healing and strength. Some grab-and-go options include:
- Fruit and Veggie Smoothie
- Apple and Peanut Butter Packet
- Homemade Energy Balls
- Dried fruit (No Sugar Added)
Pair any of these choices with plenty of H2O and continue to hydrate throughout your workout, especially if you are working at max effort for any length of time.
In general, the faster you can re-fuel, the better. If you aren’t eating a full meal for a few hours after a strenuous workout, then have a 100-200 calorie snack. Whether you are sitting down to a meal or grabbing a quick snack, focus on protein to rebuild and strengthen your muscles and complex carbs. This applies to all workouts, but is especially important when weight training. Great packable snack options include:
Packing healthy, portable snacks in your gym bag is a great way to simplify your pre and post-workout routine. Between consuming snacks in a timely fashion and watching your water intake, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your fitness goals.