You can boost your performance, improve your stamina, and keep your energy high during your workouts just by having a well-balanced “munch” before you head to the gym.
Last week, I gave you some guidelines for putting together snacks that will make you feel fueled instead of full. But if you aren’t quite sure how to apply those guidelines, here are some of my favorites. (The amounts are up to you.)
- Organic, steel-cut oatmeal with walnuts and cinnamon
The Benefit: With its slow-burning carbs, this stick-to-your ribs combo is great to fuel a long workout. But because it’s a little heavy, you may need to allow more time for digestion before you hit the gym.
- Organic Greek yogurt with organic blueberries
The Benefit: Greek yogurt is much higher in protein (and lower in carbs) than other yogurts, and blueberries are a low-glycemic fruit that won’t make you “crash and burn.”
- Eggs and toast with grass-fed butter
The Benefit: The protein in egg whites (albumin) is absorbed very slowly, so it will keep feeding your muscles long after your last rep.
- Organic peanut butter and whole-grain Wasa crackers or Ezekiel toast
The Benefit: The B vitamins in peanut butter help to prevent muscle spasms and cramps. They also help your body absorb protein and fat.
- Raw organic trail mix
The Benefit: Trail mix is a good source of phosphorous, a mineral that promotes muscle growth – as well as zinc, which speeds up muscle healing.
- Whey smoothie with fruit (made with milk or water)
The Benefit: Whey protein is the most bioavailable source of protein known – which means it is digested very rapidly. This is an ideal pre-workout choice for those who tend to have digestive discomfort when working out after eating solid snacks.
- Beans and sardines
The Benefit: The protein in both fatty fish and beans helps to get those carbohydrates into your muscles. This boosts the body’s anabolic response, and reduces the breakdown of tissue from exercise. Plus, you get some iron from these foods – and iron is a major component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen to the working muscles.
- Organic sliced turkey breast and apple slices
The Benefit: This combination supplies your muscles with major amino acids, thanks to the turkey. And because apples are low-glycemic, they contribute a source of blood-sugar-stabilizing carbs.
You can learn about 5 low-glycemic, super-sweet fruits that you can enjoy to power up your workout and blast more fat on page 22 of Your Guide to Living a Low-Glycemic Lifestyle. This is part of my Your Plate, Your Fate nutrition series. Learn more about it here.