Healthy Workout Snacks For Performance

Healthy Workout Snacks For Performance

If you want to perform during your workout, you need to make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs.

No matter how you look at it, fueling your body is key when it comes to earning any kind of results.

I never want my stomach to be uncomfortable or bloated while working out. However, I do want to make sure my body has what it needs to perform its best.

This is where making the right choices with what you eat around your workout can make a big difference. Not only what you eat, but also when you eat. The best healthy workout snacks can improve the way you feel, perform, and even recover.

Now, what's best to eat before, during, and after your workout can vary for specific reasons. I certainly wouldn't have my pre-workout snack as my post-workout. Neither should you!

Let's take a closer look at what's best to eat around your workouts so you can see the best results!

Healthy Workout Snacks Before Your Workout

A lot of people don’t enjoy eating a full meal within an hour of a workout. I know I definitely don't. Personally, it can make me feel a little bloated and weighed down. However, that doesn't make it a bad thing if you do.

In fact, roughly an hour before your workout can be a great time to get a healthy snack or meal. Other than being healthy, your workout snack should also be strategic. By this, I mean it should have the nutrients your body needs to perform.

Before a workout is a time when I often recommend getting a good source of protein and carbohydrates. I'd generally recommend avoiding fats around your workout. Fats are a hard nutrient for your body to break down and digest. That's not to say fat is bad, but especially after your workouts, speed is the name of the game.

Carbohydrates replenish an important source of energy you utilize during training called glycogen. Glycogen is stored carbohydrates in the muscle and liver.

During high-intensity exercise and resistance training, your body pulls from glycogen in the muscle. That's why carbohydrates are the foundation of an effective and healthy workout snack. Carbohydrate consumption before training can help improve your performance in longer-duration workouts (1).

Protein, on the other hand, is what your body needs to repair and build lean muscle tissue. If you are looking to build muscle, burn fat, or a combination of both, protein is key. That's why I shoot to get protein in all of my meals and snacks throughout the day.

With that being said, what are some good snacks to have before your workout?

Fruits

Fruits have a high concentration of healthy sugars. These are just simple carbs your body can break down quickly for energy. This is the main reason fruit is a popular and healthy workout snack. 

Heck, I often find myself snacking on some berries before my workouts for this reason. Since fruit contains a lot of simple carbs, I recommend eating it 30 minutes to an hour before your workout.

A few other examples of good fruits you can do before you work out are:

• Pineapple
• Oranges 
• Bananas
• Apples
• Berries 

Protein Bars & Energy Bars

There are quite a few different options you can choose from in this category. However, for a healthy workout snack, a lot of them can do the trick.

If you often find yourself needing something quick and convenient before you train ... Protein bars and energy bars can be great. Depending on the bar, they can be a great source of carbs and protein.

Smoothies

If you want something that sits lighter in your stomach, a smoothie can be a great healthy workout snack. For one, it's blended ... as if that part isn't obvious. But also, you can add a lot of great ingredients to smoothies.

Whether it's greek yogurt, different fruits, protein powder, or anything in between. A good smoothie can give your body the carbs it needs for fuel as well as protein to help build and repair muscle. For that reason, it's one of my personal favorites!

Yogurt With Berries

If you want something that’s convenient and refreshing, you can throw some fruit into a cup of yogurt. This will have some protein, and some quick-digesting carbs.

This combination can make for a great healthy snack before your workout. If you want to get some extra protein out of it, you can even use greek yogurt. This will be a little bit lighter on the carbs, but help you hit your protein goal too!

Carbohydrate Supplement Powders

This is as easy as it gets. There are powders that come packed full of simple carbs and nutrients to perform your best.

On top of carbs to fuel your workout, many of these powders have electrolytes too! Whenever I do CrossFit workouts with my team at the office, I use these powders. When I do, I’ll notice my muscles staying strong and my workouts go much more smoothly! 

They’re quick, simple, and super effective to shake up in a water bottle. You can also sip on them right before and even during your workout.

Healthy Workout Snacks During Your Workout

There aren't many times when eating during your workout will be necessary. When you do, it would likely be during longer training sessions.

If your workouts are going to last longer and/or be more intense than most people's ... then having snacks thrown in during your workouts can help.

For the most part, I recommend getting high-glycemic carbs in these situations. What that means is they are broken down more quickly to raise blood sugar levels for fuel.

For these snacks, I also recommend that they are lighter on your stomach. I don't think any of us want to be yacking during our workout! With that being said, let's dive into some examples of these healthy intra-workout snacks.

Fruit Sauce Packets

These can be a super quick and convenient way to get some carbs in mid-workout to keep pushing yourself hard.

Whenever I see packets, I find them grouped with kids snacks. For the most part, they are advertised and packaged this way as well! However, I will admit they are tasty and effective.

These can be apple sauces, berries, grapes, and many other types of fruit. All you have to do is slurp them back and get back after your workout!

Honey

If you have a sweet tooth, then honey can be a great option!

This is one of the most readily available forms of whole-food carbohydrates. What that means for you is that it’s one of the best ways to get carbs into your body quickly.

This will make sure you're giving your muscles the energy and your body the fuel that it needs to perform.

Carbohydrate Supplement Powders

Once again, carbohydrate supplement powders can be great here. I use them during my longer training sessions frequently.

These powders not only have the quick carbs your body needs, but also electrolytes. This could help support good muscle function, endurance, hydration, and more. I'll often feel like I have a second wind when I start sipping mine.

Not only that, but they're often available in delicious flavors! Think of these powders as a more well-rounded and complete sports drink. The supplement I use is called Ultra-Formance. It's designed to give your body what it wants to perform during your workouts with quick-digesting carbs and electrolytes!

After Your Workouts 

Now that we've talked about healthy workout snacks before and during your workouts ... What should you have after your workouts?

This is when I'd highly encourage a source of quick-digesting protein and carbs. During resistance training and high-intensity workouts, your body does two things.

1. It depletes muscle glycogen (the energy stored in your muscles).

2. It breaks down muscle tissue.

This is when I use the Post Workout Stack. The Post Workout Stack is a combination of Ignition and Phormula-1.

Ignition is a high-glycemic carbohydrate powder. In fact, it's pure glucose which is exactly what your body breaks all carbs down to for energy. Ignition can be a phenomenal way to replenish your body's energy stores quickly.

In addition to that, Ignition has a vitamin and mineral complex. This can help replenish the nutrients we lose during workouts through our sweat.

Phormula-1, on the other hand, is a rapid-digesting source of protein. Once your body has replenished its energy, it can start using protein to repair damaged muscle tissue. That's where Phormula-1 comes in!

Because your body is in a weakened digestive state after your workout, these quick-digesting sources can be advantageous. That way, your body can start recovering as quickly as possible to reap the benefits of your training.

I've noticed massive differences from taking the Post Workout Stack ... Not only in my recovery and soreness, but also in my results. Not to mention, the Root Beer Float flavor is so delicious and refreshing after a workout.

Since the Post Workout Stack digests rapidly, I recommend eating a whole-food meal an hour later.

This is where I'll have a protein and carb source like chicken and rice or beef and a sweet potato.

One Last Tip With Healthy Workout Snacks

Remember, the foods that you eat are like that gas that you put in your car. You aren't going to put low-grade fuel in an expensive sports car.

For the same reason, you shouldn't treat your body any differently! If you want to perform your best, your workout snacks should have the nutrients your body needs.

I'd argue this isn't limited to just your workouts either! Giving your body healthy foods and plenty of diverse nutrients can be key to your health and goals.

However, reaching your fitness goals takes it a step further. From a nutrition standpoint, it's also important to get the right amount of protein and calories.

If you have any specific fitness goals, that's where we can help!

We have a full team of NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Nutrition Coaches you can talk to any day from 6 AM to 10 PM Central. The best part is, they're based right here in St. Louis, Missouri! Just give us a call at 1-800-409-9732 or send us an email at CustomerService@1stPhorm.com anytime.

...and for some good healthy workout snacks to get you started, we have a lot to offer at 1st Phorm. All of our products are founded on quality, measured on your results, and protected by our 110% money-back guarantee!

For healthy pre-workout snacks, we have our Level-1 Protein Bars, Vegan Power Pro Bars, and even whole-food Power Pro Bars.

We also offer Ultra-Formance as an intra-workout carbohydrate and electrolyte blend to fuel performance during your training.

For post-workout recovery, we have the Post Workout Stack and even the Vegan Post Workout Stack.

1st Phorm Post Workout Stack

References:

(1) Rothschild, Jeffrey A et al. “What Should I Eat before Exercise? Pre-Exercise Nutrition and the Response to Endurance Exercise: Current Prospective and Future Directions.” Nutrients vol. 12,11 3473. 12 Nov. 2020, doi:10.3390/nu12113473

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