Two common mistakes people make when starting to work out for the first time are that they forget to stretch — and they don’t know what the best foods are to eat before and after they exercise! You are putting your body through tough, physical exercise, which means you need to give your body the correct nutrients if it wants to power itself!
Here are a few of my personal favorite tips and recipes that have been proven to give your body what it wants and NEEDS!
- Greek yogurt with fruit. If you’re going to eat greek yogurt, aim for an organic version. And you don’t always have to go for fat-free! Try a low-fat greek yogurt with fresh berries or banana.
- Peanut butter and banana toast. OH YES. Probably one of my go-to post workout snacks because…PEANUT BUTTER. Opt for 1 slice of whole grain toast, 1 tablespoon of nut butter and half a banana.
- Trail mix/granola. Granola is wonderful because it provides healthy fats, carbohydrates (from the oats) fiber and a good source protein.
- Veggie omelet. You truly can’t go wrong with eggs. I love 1 egg and 2 egg whites mixed with a variety of veggies.
- Cheese and crackers. If you’re like me and LOVE cheese, then this is a great time to get your cheese fix in! Eat an ounce of cheese with a few whole grain crackers.
- Cottage cheese avocado toast. Yes, please! The healthy fats, protein and whole grains are the ultimate refuel goodness.
- Cottage cheese and fruit. Another great option is cottage cheese and fruit. Usually I’ll eat a banana, cottage cheese and add a dash of cinnamon on top. A weird, yet delicious creation!
- Energy bar/bites/balls. Energy bars are the ultimate goodness. Even better when you can make your own! This is one of my favorite recipes: http://skinnyms.com/no-bake-workout-bars-recipe/
- Protein shake or fruit smoothie. I usually make a smoothie with a scoop of protein powder, fresh fruit, a little nut butter and almond milk.
- Hummus and pita. Who says your snacks have to be basic? Grab a scoop of healthy fiber and protein-filled hummus plus a few pita chips for something flavorful, satisfying and delicious.
- Whole grain cereal with skim milk. For a quick snack, try a bowl of your favorite low-sugar cereal topped with almond or skim milk. If you can’t have regular milk, try almond milk blended with a 1/2 scoop of whey-free vanilla protein powder!
So when is the best time to eat post-workout? Usually within 30 minutes! 45 minutes at the very latest. Post workout snacks help to restore energy in your muscles and repair any muscle damage. The “Journal of Applied Physiology” did state that if you wait just two hours post workout to eat, then your ability to refuel your muscles diminishes by a whopping 50%. So get snacking!
Check out this coach response about Nutrition For Athletes during a Ask the Coaches session.