What you put into your body before and after working out is important to ensure you get the right mix of vitamins and nutrients. It is especially important to find the right fuel if you are physically active (which you should be!). Each person’s body reacts differently to different ingredients and quantities, so it is important to find what works for you; something that energizes others might make you feel sluggish. The most essential rule for before working out is to provide fuel that your body can easily digest and convert into energy, while after a work out you should focus on restoring the nutrients your body expended. Try out some of these recipes for yourself!
Toast with Peanut Butter, Strawberries, and Chia Seeds
Peanut butter is a healthy fat and chia seeds are an amazing source of omega fatty acids and fiber, both of which will keep you full without weighing you down while you’re sweating it out. Strawberries (or any fruit of your choice) will give you a natural boost of sugar and anti-oxidants. Use whole grain, Ezekiel, or gluten free bread for a high fiber and grain content.
Smoothies are often a go-to choice for a pre-workout drink because you can potentially whip up a meal in a glass. Feel free to try out different combinations with whatever is fresh at your local farmers market or grocery store, but before you work out look for ingredients that are easily digestible and nutrition-packed. We recommend frozen bananas, berries, milk, yogurt, and honey.
If you’re looking for a balancing post-workout smoothie, try a mix of almond butter, dates, bananas, cinnamon, and milk. Dates and bananas are both loaded with enough potassium to help fight cramping and add a bit of sweetness.
Vegetarian Quinoa with Poached Egg
After a workout, you should be looking for protein. A quinoa and vegetable mix topped with a poached egg is the perfect answer. Quinoa is a great grain that is not too heavy and goes with any of your favorite vegetables. Chickpeas, kale, tomatoes, and peppers are especially great together after a workout. Some people believe that you should only eat egg whites, but the yolk is an important part of the egg! While it does contain all of the cholesterol, which can be problematic for some, it also holds the key to half of the protein and most of the vitamins and nutrients. If you still are not convinced, read more from The Biggest Loser’s Jillian Michaels. Think it’s hard to poach an egg? Watch this 1-minute video tutorial from Gordon Ramsay and your breakfasts will never be boring again.
Is there really anything better than a sandwich? It is portable and packed with everything you need. With low sodium cold cuts, tomatoes, arugala, and cheese, you can’t go wrong. If you opted with toast before your work out, switch out bread for a spinach or whole-wheat wrap for a low-carb option. Add a side of Greek yogurt and enjoy your post-workout glow!
Have fun getting fit and let me know what you thought of these recipes on Twitter!