While it’s never a good idea to exercise on a full stomach, having a nutritious and appropriate snack prior to working out can help you to maintain your energy level. And if you suffer from chronic pain and need to take medicine prior to exercising, it’s always helpful to have something in your stomach.
The best plan is to eat snacks with both carbohydrates and protein. It can be as simple as some fruit and a small portion of yogurt. Or you can have an energy bar (or half of one if the calorie count it really high).
This combination of protein and carbs will help you to get through your workout and to avoid hunger pangs. Other ideas include:
- Some peanut butter (or other types such as almond butter or sunflower butter) and apple slices
- Fruit and cottage cheese
- Granola bars with both fruit and nuts
- Trail mix with fruit and nuts
Be sure to have your snack about 30 minutes before your workout time in order to allow your body to begin digestion prior to the start of your exercises.
There are also individuals who will benefit from a post-workout snack. It’s best to avoid a large meal just after exercising. Lighter snacks are much better tolerated. Here are some suggestions:
- Yogurt with fresh fruit
- Cheese and whole grain crackers
- Some lean protein such as sliced turkey wrapped in a tortilla
- Protein shake
- Hummus and pita bread
One reason for a protein-packed post-workout snack is that during exercise, we break down our muscles. Protein will help us to nourish them as they begin to rebuild and grow stronger. It’s best to have this dose of protein within 30 minutes of the time you finish exercising.
Even if your workout is limited due to your illness, it’s still a good idea to maintain something in your stomach to prevent fatigue and to keep your energy level as consistent as possible. If you have issues with your blood sugar, healthful snacks both before and after working out will be very helpful.
Do you have any snack ideas that help you with your workouts? We’d love to hear your suggestions! I hope everyone’s Saturday includes some movement!