Those of us who work out on regular basis and have a special meal plan in mind, always find it difficult to pick a snack. We don’t want to eat something that’s bland and tasteless, but we also don’t want to ruin all our hard work by eating something that’s unhealthy and full of processed sugar. If you’d like to know what snacks you can eat if you’re working out and don’t want to mess up your weight, read on to see what fitness-friendly foods we had in mind:
People believe that they somehow ‘become too old’ for good old chocolate milk, but it’s not the case. Chocolate milk is actually a perfect post-workout snack not only because of wonderfully balanced ingredients it contains but because it brings back the feeling of nostalgia and tastes amazing. The drink has a great mix of protein and carbs and because it comes in a bottle you can always have one, even if you’re in a hurry. What is more, there are studies that show that chocolate milk is great for muscles after a workout. It speeds up the recovery and significantly replenishes exhausted muscles, so next time you feel tired after a workout, drink a bottle of chocolate milk.
Peanut butter and banana
If, on the other hand, you’d like to eat something a bit more substantial after an exhausting workout, you might want to reach for those bananas and grab a jar of peanut butter. You can just drip some of the butter on a banana and eat it if you’re in a hurry, or you can make a healthy sandwich. If you’d like to do the latter, you can swap the bread for brown rice cakes – it’s healthier and doesn’t have any empty carbs. Bananas will replenish your energy quickly, and if you don’t want to make a sandwich, you can always throw the ingredients in a blender, add almond milk and a pinch of cinnamon, and make a smoothie instead. The smoothie is great both as pre-workout and post-workout snack.
Everyone knows that protein is important for those who exercise, and luckily you can add protein to a lot of your meals. Granola bars are a simple solution but you need to read the labels carefully and avoid those that contain high-fructose corn syrup or offer too little protein. Pick the bars that contain less than 20 grams of sugar, as it should be easy on your stomach. You can even make your own bars using whey concentrate, dried nuts, and peanut butter, or add a scoop of your favorite protein powder to your smoothie. Protein powders are great because they allow you to make your own healthy snacks such as pancakes or muffins, so you can treat yourself without feeling guilty.
Sweet potatoes are the best because they’re packed with different vitamins and nutrients such as vitamins D, C, and B6, and they also have a lot of iron, magnesium, and potassium. It also contains carbs that will replenish the carbs you spend during intense workouts, and it’s best if you eat them with grilled chicken because the meat contains lean protein. You can also make a delicious and nutritious mini-meal by cooking a sweet potato in a microwave and then topping it with some Greek yogurt and black beans.
Fresh fruit and yogurt
Speaking of Greek yogurt, it’s a great idea to eat it with some fresh fruit, as fruit will give you some much-needed carbs as well as vitamins for a quick energy boost. Oranges, pineapples, and kiwis are packed with vitamin C which also has antioxidant properties, while yogurt has protein and healthy fat. These two ingredients make a simple and satisfying fruit salad you can enjoy as your mid-day snack or a few hours before your workout.
Another amazing food with a perfect combination of healthy fat and protein is hummus, especially the one you can make out of beans and sesame seeds. You can also opt for chickpeas as they’re full of fiber and iron, as well as vitamin B, and this hummus is good for cell formation. The best thing about it is that you can make a rather large bowl of it at the beginning of the week and eat it every or every other day. Enjoy it with fresh veggies, spread it onto whole grain bread, or use it as a dip for whole wheat pita. Whatever you choose, hummus will keep you full and fueled for hours.
When you’re trying to stay healthy and active, you should eat snacks regularly. Still, you shouldn’t go around eating junk food or candy bars, especially if you’re working out. Snacks that are fitness-friendly should be delicious and quick, but also balanced and healthy, which is why you should carefully choose them and spend some time preparing them.