The body works to build muscle and recover 24 hours a day, not just during that one-hour session at the gym. Luckily, smartly timed Workout Snacks can give the body the fuel it needs to gain muscle, burn fat, and recover as best it can.
Pre-workout, that usually means grabbing your choice of workout Snacks about 30-60 minutes in advance, depending on its size and contents, and how much that stomach’s actually grumbling.
01. Peanut Butter Apple
For a quick carb fuel-up, slice 1 medium apple and serve with 2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter.
02. Yoberries a-go-go
For the perfect blend of carbs and protein, try 1 cup non-fat vanilla bean Greek yogurt — which often packs more protein and probiotics than regular plain yogurt — with ½ cup fresh blueberries.
03. Classic fruit cup
Prefer to keep it sweet but simple? Combine 1 cup berries, melon, banana, and oranges — oh yes!
04. Eggs n’ toast
Have a heartier appetite? Try 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs with 1 slice of whole-wheat toast.
05. Dried fruit
For a quick pre-workout fix, try ¼ cup serving of dried berries, apricots, and pineapple.
06. Energy in a bar
With so many options in the aisle, try opting for a bar with the most natural ingredients. While protein count is key, also check the sugar content (it shouldn’t rival what’s found in the candy aisle!).
07. Chicken n’ sweets
For a fast bite, grab 2-4 ounces (or a palm-sized amount) of sliced chicken with an equal portion size of sweet potatoes.
08. Peanut Butter & Banana toast
Fuel up with 1-2 tablespoons of all-natural peanut butter and half a sliced banana on whole-wheat toast.
09. Almond Butter & Jam Rice Cakes
Almond butter takes the cake. For this healthier twist on the classic PB & J, sandwich 1 tablespoon of almond butter and 1 teaspoon of strawberry jam between two rice cakes.
10. Recovery in a bottle
When time is of the essence, grab a store-bought recovery drink to sip on after training. Just check the label — sports recovery drinks will provide plenty of carbs refuel, or opt for aminos to really rebuild.
11. Pita and hummus
One 7-inch pita with two spoonfuls of hummus adds a little pep back to your step with quick digesting carbs.
12. Egg scramble
Veg out after a hard training session with 2-3 whole eggs scrambled with a handful of chopped onion, spinach, and bell peppers.
13. Chicken hash
After your workout grab 1 cup cooked diced chicken, ½ cup butternut squash and apples, roasted in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Make a big batch and store it in the fridge!
14. Milk and cereal
Any time is a good time for cereal. Add 1 cup of low fat milk to 1 cup of whole-grain cereal.
15. Apples and cheese
Tease your taste buds with 1 medium sliced apple and 1 stick of low-fat string cheese.
16. Chocolate milk
One to two cups of low fat chocolate milk seals the deal with extra carbs and protein.
17. Black bean omelet
Four eggs whites, 1 ounce low-fat cheese, and ¼ cup canned black beans — then spice it up with a savory salsa, if that’s how you like it.
18. Cottage cheese crunch
One cup fat-free cottage cheese, 1 teaspoon honey, ½ cup whole-grain cereal, and a dash of cinnamon does a body good.
One medium sliced banana with 1 cup low fat milk — it doesn’t get any easier than this!
20. Protein pancakes
From the kitchen of Greatist contributor Laura Skladzinski, mix 4 egg whites, ½ cup rolled oats, ½ cup low fat cottage cheese, 1/8 teaspoon baking powder, and ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Cook on preheated griddle (medium low heat) until it bubbles, then flip and cook another 30-60 seconds. Top with fresh berries or sliced banana.