To get the most out of your workout, it’s essential to fuel up before and after your sweat session. If you’re not sure what to eat pre- and post-workout, here are some ideas for heart healthy snacks:
Eating before your workout will give you the energy you need to power through. According to Shape magazine, a combination of complex carbohydrates and protein is best. Why complex carbs? These goodies will release energy slowly throughout your workout so you don’t crash too early, using just the right amount based on how hard the body is working. Some combinations to try include:
- Peanut butter and banana on whole wheat toast.
- Home-made snack bars. Whisk one egg and one and a quarter cup of fat-free milk. Add one and a half cup of oats, half a cup of chopped nuts, half a cup of cup dried fruit, and a quarter of a cup of seeds; mix until well-blended. Pour the ingredients into a 9-inch by 9-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Cut into bar-size portions, and wrap in parchment paper to be used as healthy snack bars on the go.
These are perfect heart healthy treats for your pre-workout grub because they contain nutrition-rich whole wheat bread, fruit, and nuts, which the American Heart Association recommends as part of a healthy diet.
Eating after activity aids in your recovery and is perhaps even more essential than your pre-workout snack. Following exercise, your system is still burning calories and needs the right amount of food to help return blood to worn muscles. Shape magazine recommends eating a mix of carbohydrates and protein to refill energy, build and repair muscles, and keep your metabolism high. Here are two great options:
- Berry protein smoothie. Simply blend up half a cup of frozen berries, half a cup of low-fat milk, half a cup of yogurt, and a scoop of whey protein.
- Egg-white and veggie omelet. Pack this omelet with heart healthy veggies such as avocado, mushrooms, and broccoli.
According to the Mayo Clinic, lean protein such as egg whites, low-fat milk, and yogurt are some of the best heart healthy options around. Keep in mind that your muscles need vital nutrients up to 30 minutes after your workout, so be sure to eat your post-workout snack within that time.
Do you have a healthy pre- and post-gym food routine? Tell us about it in the comments below.
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