Having a pre or post workout snack doesn’t have to negate everything you’ve burned off during the course of your training session.
In fact, having the right mix of fuels in your body allows you reap the best results from your workout.
A pre-workout snack can give you the energy you need to power through, while eating immediately after helps to replenish muscle glycogen and promote greater recovery.
We recommended consuming a Zone snack 30-45 minutes before a workout and having another 15 to 30 minutes after. When choosing a snack, all you need is about a 100 calorie Zone snack balanced in protein and carbohydrate and a little fat.
The combination of protein and carbohydrate prior to working out will help to minimise muscle damage and maintain blood glucose levels which naturally fall during a workout. Fuelling post-workout helps to replenish muscle glycogen and initiate muscle repair. So what might this combination look like?
Pre-Post Workout Snack Ideas
- Greek Yoghurt, Almonds, Blueberries
This combination has the right blend of protein, fat and carbohydrate, plus its light to avoid that full or bloated feeling prior to or after exercise. Greek yoghurt packs a protein punch with just a 1/4 cup having 6 grams of protein. Couple this with blueberries which are rich in polyphenols to help combat the stress from your workout and some almonds to keep your energy going longer.
- Apple with Cheese
This snack is a convenient one to have on hand and if you forgot to pack your snack and are headed to workout, you can often find this combination in most convenient stores.
- Cottage Cheese, Almonds, Fruit
Cottage cheese is rich in leucine, an amino acid that helps with protein synthesis, making this a great recovery snack.
- Eggs with Hummus or Guacamole
If you aren’t a huge breakfast eater and tend to work out in the mornings this is something you can make ahead on the weekends and grab before your morning workout. Simply scoop out the yolk inside in a hardboiled egg, discard, and replace with guacamole or hummus for a nutritious snack that won’t leave you feeling too full.
5. Protein Shakes
For a long-time chocolate milk has been touted as one of the best recovery drinks because of its mix of protein and carbohydrate. Unfortunately too many carbohydrates in our snack choices can actually impede growth hormone from being released post-exercise due to high levels of insulin. Instead reach for a whey protein shake. When our workouts fall before a main meal, these shakes make for a great post-recovery meal replacement. They have the right mix of everything you need to keep blood sugar levels balanced and are enriched with polyphenols to help combat any post-workout stress. If you don’t want a full meal replacement but still want something substantial, simply use half the amount of powder and milk for a great post-recovery snack.