Best Foods to Eat Before and After Your Workout

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The best pre-workout bite contains some form of complex carbohydrate and a protein. The key is to have a mixed bag of complex and simple carbs so that the release of energy during your workout is slow and steady throughout your routine.

Here are some of the best pre-workout meals and snacks to keep energized during your workout.

  • Brown rice (1/2 cup) with black beans (1/2 cup)
  • Small sweet potato with steamed or lightly salted broccoli in olive oil (1 cup)
  • Banana with almond butter (2 tablespoons)
  • Apple with almond butter (2 tablespoons)
  • Multi-grain crackers (10) with hummus (3 tablespoons)
  • Oatmeal (1/2 cup) with berries (1 cup), sweetened with stevia or agave
  • Apple and walnuts (1/4 cup)
  • Whole-wheat toast (1 slice) with a sliced banana and dash of cinnamon
  • Greek yogurt (6 ounces) with trail mix (1/4 cup)

What to Eat After a Workout

According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, consuming protein and a little carbohydrate is best immediately after exercise.

Try these quick post-workout meal ideas to speed up recovery, maximize exercise benefits, and help maintain lean muscle:

  • Protein shake made with half a banana, one scoop of protein powder, almond milk, and hemp seeds (excellent protein source)
  • Salad with roasted chickpeas (1/2 cup), light olive oil, and vinegar
  • Sautéed or steamed vegetables (1 cup) with non-GMO tofu (1/2 cup)
  • Quinoa bowl (1 cup) with blackberries (1 cup) and pecans (1/4 cup)
  • Whole-wheat bread (2 slices) with raw peanut butter (2 tablespoons) and agave nectar
  • Burrito with beans (1/2 cup), brown rice (1/2 cup), guacamole (2 tablespoons), and salsa
  • Grilled chicken (4 ounces) with sautéed or steamed vegetables (1 cup)
  • Omelet (2 eggs) stuffed with sautéed vegetables (1/2 cup) and avocado (1/4 of fruit, sliced)
  • Grilled salmon (4 ounces) with a baked sweet potato (5 ounces)
  • Whole-wheat bread (2 slices) with tuna (3 ounces) mixed with hummus (2 tablespoons), spinach leaves (1/2 cup)
  • Chocolate milk (1 cup)

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