When it comes to working out, it's just as important to take care of your body before and after as it is to during. These snacks from Greatist provide the right balance of carbohydrates, fats, and protein, ensuring that they satisfy hunger, fuel your workouts, and help in the recovery process.
Making sure to time your snacks in correlation with your gym time correctly will provide your body with the fuel it needs to gain muscle, burn fat and recover. For your pre-workout fuel, a snack is suggested about 30-60 minutes prior to activity.
1. Perfect yogurt parfait
Feeling fancy, huh? Top ¼ cup nonfat yogurt with ½ cup whole grain cereal and ½ cup fresh strawberries.
2. Protein Creamcicle
Put a twist on the classic kids’ treat by blending 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, 1 cup orange juice, and 1 cup ice. Trainer and fitness expert @JCDFitness
3. Cha-Cha coconut shake
Infuse 1 scoop chocolate whey protein with 2 teaspoons of extra virgin coconut oil. Girls Gone Strong
Need a pre-workout pick-me-up? Greatist’s fitness editor
suggests blending 1 cup iced coffee (keep the ice) with 1 scoop chocolate whey protein.
5. Dressed up oats
Load up on carbohydrates for a longer workout with ½ cup cooked steel-cut oats
topped with 1 tablespoon dried fruit and 1 tablespoon shaved almonds.
6. Fruitsation shake
Blend 1 scoop of your favorite whey protein flavor with ½ cup ice, and 1 cup frozen berries for a sweet energy boost, suggests strength coach @Roglaw
7. Yoberries a-go-go
For the perfect blend of carbs and protein, try 1 cup non-fat vanilla bean Greek yogurt
— which often packs more protein and probiotics
than regular plain yogurt — with ½ cup fresh blueberries.
8. PB Apple
For a quick carb fuel-up, slice 1 medium apple and serve with 2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter.
9. Classic fruit cup
Prefer to keep it sweet but simple? Combine 1 cup berries, melon, banana, and oranges — oh my!
10. Dried fruit
For a quick pre-workout fix, try ¼ cup serving of dried berries, apricots, and pineapple, says Greatist Expert Jessica Redmond
11. Eggs n’ toast
Have a heartier appetite? Try 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs with 1 slice of whole-wheat toast.
12. Fruit leather
Need something light that makes you feel like a kid again? Try 1 single serving of fruit leather. Have a little extra time? Roll some out in the kitchen
13. Energy in a bar
With so many options in the aisle, try opting for a bar with the most natural ingredients
. While protein count is key, also check the sugar content (it shouldn’t rival what’s found in the candy aisle!).
14. Chicken n’ sweets
For a fast bite, grab 2-4 ounces (or a palm-sized amount) of sliced chicken with an equal portion size of sweet potatoes, suggests Greatist Expert Dan Trink
Post-workout snacks are important as well, as they aid in restoring energy and rebuilding muscle. Consuming them within two hours after exercise, they offer a great way to rebuild the tissue that breaks down during exercise.
15. Choco-tropical trail mix
Go bananas for a blend of ½ a handful of each: macadamia nuts, dried coconut, dark chocolate chips, and banana chips.
16. Protein pancakes
From the kitchen of Greatist contributor Laura Skladzinski
, mix 4 egg whites, ½ cup rolled oats, ½ cup low fat cottage cheese, 1/8 teaspoon baking powder, and ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Cook on preheated griddle (medium low heat) until it bubbles, then flip and cook another 30-60 seconds. Top with fresh berries or sliced banana.
17. Sweet potato pie shake
This isn’t your grandma’s recipe. Combine 1 scoop of cinnamon bun whey protein, ¼ cup diced cooked sweet potato, 1 cup of ice, and 1 cup vanilla almond milk in the blender — a Kellie Davis
18. Chunky Monkey shake
Monkey around with 1 medium banana
, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, and 1 cup low-fat chocolate milk blended with ice.
19. Double G shake
Aussie strength coach @Rachel_Guy1
recommends an 8-ounce greens drink (any superfood blend found at most health food stores) with 1 scoop of glutamine.
20. Double Trouble shake
To lengthen the delivery time of nutrients to your muscles, combine ½ scoop of whey protein blended with ½ scoop slower-digesting casein protein
, plus a handful of your favorite fresh or frozen fruit.
One medium sliced banana with 1 cup low fat milk — it doesn’t get any easier than this!
22. Green Monster smoothie
Blend 4 cups spinach, ½ cup vanilla bean yogurt, 1 cup almond milk, 1 banana, and 1 tablespoon peanut butter with ice — a favorite of Greatist contributor Claudine Morgan
via Iowa Girl Eats
23. Protein bar
For a quick, store-bought fix, feed those muscles with a protein bar. Just watch the sugar content
. Look for bars with 10-30 grams of protein, less than 10 grams of sugar, and the fewest number of ingredients you can’t pronounce!
24. Beef and squash
Need something hearty? Try a handful of lean roast beef with an equal portion of butternut squash.
25. Tuna crackers
Mix up a batch of light tuna salad
for a quick bite. Add two heaping spoonfuls to a handful of whole grain crackers, and chomp away.
Have you tried any of these snacks for pre or post workouts before?
For more great snack ideas, check out the BodyRock Meal Plan!