Nine power foods to fuel your workout
Are you looking to boost your workout and get better results? There are several snacks that can give your body that extra boost it needs before working out, or just after to help your recovery. It’s important to make sure your body has the right fuel to sustain itself during a workout. Proper nutrition before and after a workout will help speed up recovery and keep your body protected from fatigue.
Read on to discover what foods you should be including in your diet to fuel and replenish your body, and your workout.
- Peanuts– Peanuts are the most protein-rich nut. Prior to working out, peanuts provide a little protein to prevent getting hungry. Within a half hour of working out, the protein found in peanuts can also help repair muscles and assist in muscle building.
- Pumpkin seeds- As one of my favorite fall snacks, I’m happy to see that pumpkin seeds have nutritional benefits in addition to being a delicious snack. The seeds are a great source of alpha-linolenic acid, a plant form of omega-3 fatty acids which help to fight inflammation and muscle soreness. Pumpkin seeds are also good for your heart.
- Bananas– Full of vitamins and minerals, bananas help to stimulate muscles thanks to the potassium and sodium found in this super food. 30 minutes before a workout, snack on a banana for a quick electrolyte boost.
- Dark chocolate chips- Prior to your next workout grab a handful of dark chocolate chips in order to prevent muscle soreness. A recent study showed bikers who ate dark chocolate had reduced muscle stress. Dark chocolate has also been proven to boost leg strength and endurance capacity. After a workout, a handful of dark chocolate chips can help improve blood flow in order to provide more oxygen for muscles. That seems like enough justification for me to indulge in some dark chocolate!
- Apple – An apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter or a few almonds provides a snack dense in nutrients and low in calories to provide just enough energy prior to a workout. This nutritional powerhouse contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. A couple almonds or a smear of peanut butter with the apple add in necessary fats and protein. The mix of natural sugars and protein found in this snack help to release sugar slower, allowing you to stay energized for longer.
- Dried fruits– About 1/4 cup of dried fruits before or after a workout provide the body with simple carbohydrates that offer instant energy for your body. Dried fruits also offer healthy sugars to create a quick burst of energy. You can also combine with seeds or nuts in order to prevent insulin levels from dropping.
- Chia seeds– With nearly double the protein of other seeds and approximately five times the calcium of milk, chia seeds are a must to keep bones strong. This is a great snack after a workout to provide your body with a large amount of protein, calcium and potassium.
- Carrots– This vegetable provides a lot of benefits both before and after your workout. With almost 600 percent of the daily recommended amounts of vitamin A, carrots also contain vitamin C and selenium, a trace mineral essential to good health. You can also try this brownie recipe that contains carrots and spinach!
- Smoothie– If you’re looking to refresh your body after working out, try this smoothie recipe that contains Kefir, frozen fruits and protein powder. The delicious smoothie recipe helps your body to refuel after a workout while helping fatigued muscles rebuild.
What’s your favorite food to fuel your workout?
Photo Credit: Fernando Stankuns