Do you work out regularly? If so, then you’ll understand why craving greasy, fatty food or even desserts an hour before or after working out, is inevitable. Argh! Just then all ‘em peri-peri fries, cheesy nachos or the all-time favorite chips-and-dips come to mind. Not only are they unhealthy, these kinds of avoidable snacks affect your workout in the worst possible ways. They ruin your performance by inviting fatigue, spoiling your stamina and dulling your recovery.
Snacking, definitely, is healthy before and after workouts, but only if done the right way. Indulge in the right kind of food and witness it add fuel to your energy, prepare your body for recovery and even help you regain the strength you spent. And believe it or not, healthy snacks can be yummy and delectable too.
Popularly we know them as superfoods, and they’re the counter to every unhealthy craving out there. Care to binge on snacks before or after your workout without a care in the world? Turn to this guilt-free guide on the what-and-when of every superfood snack to chomp on.
WHEN: PRE-WORKOUT SNACKING
The trick is to eat and let the meal settle before you start working out. Time your snack somewhere between 30-60 minutes before your training. Eating before can help you shore up on the energy reserve you’ll require during the workout, fuel your muscle function and target the specific goals you want to achieve. Check out the champions of a pre-workout snack.
Do you really need a reason, let alone a craving, to make the most of this one? Chocolate lovers, bet you didn’t know that indulging in some chocolate before your workout maintains your blood glucose levels and enhances your insulin balance. Meaning? Chocolate actually helps drive your muscle growth and keeps you energized for longer during workouts.
Pour some dark chocolate into your pre-workout shake, or just pamper yourself with some chocolate flavored nutty, oaty, multi-grained nutrition bars. Our favorites? Yogabar Chocolate Chunk Nut Multigrain Energy Bar, Yogabar Baked Brownie Protien Bar. Or if you’re into protein shakes, try out INLIFE Whey Protein Powder Body Building Supplement Chocolate
2. Fruit & Yogurt
Any fruit you choose will be a conflux of fibers, natural sugars and simple carbs. Fruits fuel you up, get digested quickly, keep you hydrated and energize you for longer hours. Yogurt, on the other hand, is full of protein that builds muscle power and helps recover from every movement and stretch, that otherwise may be a strain on your body.
We recommend berries, apples and bananas or fruity muesli. Or just some dried fruits. Not only are they delectable and mouth-watering, berries and bananas, when doused in yogurt are a bowlful of immense energy. Try Greek yogurt as it contains twice as much protein as regular yogurt. Try Yogabar Muesli+ Wholegrain Breakfast Muesli - Fruits, Nuts + Seeds, True Elements Dried Whole Cranberries
3. Nutty Trail Mix
Nuts are high in good fats, proteins and calories. Not only are the perfect snack to stave off cravings, but also perfect for building muscles. So, if bodybuilding is on your minds, grab some nuts. Although, if you’re looking to lose weight, steer clear of an all-nut snack.
Nutty protein bars are great. But you can also make some homemade granola snacks with your favorite nuts and mix them with honey and oats. You can even shape this mix into snack-balls that you just chomp on before your workout. Try the Yogabar Almond Fudge Protein Bar, Yogabar Nuts N Seeds Multigrain Energy Bar, RiteBite Max Protein Ultimate Choco Almond Bars.
Caffeine gives you pure adrenalin and instant energy. It boosts strength, reduces fatigue and stimulates your body to burn fat faster. While too much caffeine isn’t great for your body, a cup of coffee is an ideal pre-workout drink to pump you up. Keep in mind to drink it at least 30 minutes before your workout.
A good shot of coffee should do it, but for a change try a black-iced coffee. It’s perfect for summers, builds your energy as well as hot coffee and you can spice it up with nutmeg or cinnamon for some extra flavor. Of course, ‘dalgona coffee’ has taken over your Insta-feed, and they could also do the job only when brewed strong. You can go for Saffola FITTIFY Gourmet Green Coffee, KETOFUEL Coffee Cold Brew Espresso Powder, PROCEL Pro-Standard 100% Whey Isolate Mocha Cappuccino
When: POST-WORKOUT SNACKING
You’re exhausted from your workout. And guzzling that chilled bottle of water wasn’t enough. This is when you want, need to snack soon because your body has used up all available carbs and proteins, leaving you with nothing for your post-workout muscle regeneration and repair. You need carbs to keep you going, extensive proteins that’ll repair your muscles and good fats to boost your metabolism.
Among other fruits, blueberries are higher in vitamin E, making them a super food when it comes to muscle recovery. This amazing fruit soothes soreness and eliminates fatigue. These antioxidants protect you from cell damage as well.
Give these fruits the classic spin with yogurt and make a delicious sugar-free blueberry smoothie. If you’re fond of pies, we’d recommend the Yogabar Breakfast Bar - Blueberry Pie. And for a simple bowl of blueberries with milk or yogurt, try True Elements Dried Blueberries, or True Elements Cranberry & Blueberry Muesli.
2. Oats, Quinoa & Other Grains
First things first: re-build your energy and bid adieu to fatigue. You don’t want to be sloppy and lazy after your workout. Which frankly completely defeats the purpose. So? The solution lies in carbs, and ‘good’ carbs only. Recover from your high-intensity or high-cardio workout with oats, quinoa and other grains that’re actually nutritious, great sources of protein and fiber, rich in minerals and plant compounds. Besides, don’t they make life easier when we’re trying to decide what to eat, meal after meal?
A nice fruity bowl of hot oatmeal is a classic. But you can indulge in different ways of eating carbs. Cook some oats or quinoa and serve as upma or as a garnish to a healthy salad. Or just get some delicious granola bars, or multigrain muesli to have with yogurt. Try our favorites – True Elements Semi Processed Quinoa, Yogabar Muesli+ Wholegrain Breakfast Muesli - Almond + Quinoa Crunch, Yogabar Assorted Multigrain Energy Bar
A doze of essential vitamins and minerals packed together gives you the perfect boost you need after a workout. Whether you take them as a high protein shake, or a nutrition mix of natural proteins, multi-vitamins and nutrients allow your body to cope exhaustion and reconstruct properly.
Try a fruit smoothie with MuscleXP Men Daily Vital Sports MultiVitamin, or MuscleXP Natural Plant Protein Powder. If you prefer taking capsules or yummy gummy bears, try out Purayati Vitamin K2 MK7 100 MCG And Vitamin D3 400 IU Capsules, Wellhouse Apple Cider Vinegar Dietary Supplement Gummies, WOW Life Science Omega 3 Capsules.
After your workout, you’ve lost a lot of water by sweating. Your body is heated up inside out and you’re panting. Hydrating or rehydrating after your training session will bring down your body temperature, help your muscles relax, even out your breathing and enhance repair. You need to reinstate the normal water levels in your body post workout.
Sipping regularly on chilled water does the trick, but you can enhance the taste by drinking fruit flavored water, water with a dash of apple cider vinegar, green tea, energy drinks or water-based juices. Even chomping on cucumber or watermelon helps. Try out WOW Life Science Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Himalaya Herbals Green Tea, Dabur Glucoplus - C Orange Energy Boost
Let go of the crazy cravings and indulge in healthy, nourishing and delicious snacks pre and post workouts!