You can choose the convenience of protein powder or premixed protein drinks or bars if that works for your lifestyle and goals. You can also get into the habit of meal prep and planning your grocery trips centered around nutritious foods that help with recovery. You will have a ready stock of quality whole foods for frequent meals to keep your body fueled after a hard workout.
After workouts, the body attempts to replenish its glycogen stores and repair the muscle fibers that broke down (to hopefully grow back stronger). Consuming the proper nutrients post-workout can:
- Boost muscle growth and limit muscle protein breakdown
- Restore glycogen so you can crush your next workout
- Speed up and support recovery
General Pre-Workout Foods:
Known as nature’s power bar, bananas are packed with carbohydrates and potassium, which supports nerve and muscle function. Carbs are fuel for our body and brain, and they account for 90% of banana calories.
Because they are full of fiber, oats release carbohydrates gradually. Due to this slow release, energy levels are kept consistent throughout your workout, meaning you can train harder for longer. They also contain Vitamin B, which helps convert carbohydrates into energy. Irish oats are often considered the best, as they are the least processed type and boast a lower glycemic load than quick-cooking and instant oats. So, keep a look out the next time you go shopping.
3. Grilled Chicken, Broccoli, And Sweet Potato
If you are working on building muscle mass or plan to hit circuit training hard, then this combo is a must-try. Although it is more of a meal than a snack, there’s a reason pro-athletes chow down on this regularly – and we think it’s time you gave it a go.
4. Dried Fruit
For a quick, easy and good pre-workout food, fix yourself some dried berries, apricots, figs, and pineapple. Dried fruits are a good source of simple carbohydrates that are easily digestible – so grab a handful.
5. Whole Grain Bread
One slice of whole grain bread is an excellent source of carbs. Add some hard-boiled eggs for a protein-packed snack, or some low-fat turkey.
5. Fruit And Greek Yogurt
This is a killer combo. The fruit is full of carbohydrates while Greek yogurt packs a protein-filled punch. Compared to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt has almost double the protein, fewer carbs, and half the sodium. Why do they go together? The carbs in the fruit break down quickly and are used as fuel during your workout, while the protein is stored a little longer and is used to prevent muscle damage, so it really is a perfect pairing.
6. Trail Mix
Nuts do have a high-fat content, but they provide the protein and calories required if you are trying to gain muscle mass. For those whose goal is weight loss, steer clear. If you want to buy pre-prepared trail mix from supermarkets, skip the ones containing chocolate or yogurt-coated nuts.