While breakfast is known to be the most important meal of the day, for people who exercise, getting fueling snacks into their diets is just as important as a good start. Depending on your goals, everyone requires a different ratio of nutrition for their lifestyle, but all have a few things in common. Carbohydrates, protein, and fats are needed both to fuel a workout and help you recover. Whether you decide to eat pre-workout or post-workout, an average workout snack should contain about 45 grams of carbohydrates to create and maintain energy, and about 12 grams of protein in order to help build muscle. Here are some snacks perfect for your gym days.
1. Chicken and Sweet Potato Bits
Chicken is a great choice for a lean protein. It is a versatile meat and can be paired with sweet potatoes, which are a known super food due to their richness in vitamins and minerals. Sweet potatoes also contain a lot of fiber, so this carbohydrate choice will keep you satisfied for hours and keep your digestive system on track.
2. Eggs on a Whole Wheat Bread
A hard-boiled egg has about 7 grams of protein. Slicing two of these nutrient-packed powerhouses and putting them on top of a lightly toasted whole wheat bread is a delicious way to get your protein and your carbohydrates into one snack. Add a few slices of avocado on top for the omega-3s and healthy fats and this is a completely nutritious snack that will keep you full until your next meal.
3. Peanut Butter on Wheat Buns
The best thing about this snack is it is quick and easy to make. The peanut butter not only provides protein, but also a healthy source of fat to round out this snack. Again, a multi-grain bun is a great way to add some carbohydrates to your snack to keep your energy high throughout the day. Check out other healthy wheat options at places like Klosterman Baking Company for snacks you can create on the go.
4. Vegetable Omelette
A small, 2 egg omelet, with the addition of carbohydrate-rich vegetables such as corn and chickpeas, is a great snack to get in all of the nutrition you need for a great workout. This can be eaten for a light breakfast before hitting the gym, or as a mid-day snack to help repair your muscles and hold you over until dinner.
No matter what you choose as a snack for a workout day, make sure it is well-balanced and works with your body towards positive health goals. Avoid sugary and processed snacks and eat whole, clean foods that are beneficial to your body.