The Fantastic Four: Pump Yourself Up with These Smart Pre-Workout Snacks August 11, 2015
The Fantastic Four: Pump Yourself Up with These Smart Pre-Workout Snacks August 11, 2015

Looking to fuel up your workout fast? Before you reach for that three-bean salad or an extra-large protein smoothie, consider these guidelines for smarter snacking before you hit the gym.

Lenox, Mass.-based integrative nutritionist and author Kathie Swift suggests having a pre-workout snack 30 to 60 minutes before you hit the gym. It should be easily digestible, non-bloating, and able to pump nutrients efficiently into the bloodstream. Though there will be some variation, depending on how long or intense your workout, a good pre-workout nosh will also be:

Here are four options for hitting all of these guidelines easily:

#1: Pack a beloved banana. Described as “nature’s PowerBar” by Dr. Louise Burke, head of Sports Nutrition at the Australian Institute of Sport, a banana is a perfectly portable, well-balanced, pre-workout snack. Looking for an energy boost? Top it with a tablespoon or two of almond, cashew or peanut butter.

#2: Make a mod PB&J. Runners, cyclists, swimmers and kids everywhere power up with a classic peanut butter and jelly. Put yours on a slice of whole wheat or multigrain—not white—bread. And steer clear of jellies with added sugar—look for low- or no-sugar varieties made with pure fruit.

#3: Follow the trail mix. If you’re not into experimenting with an assortment of nuts, seeds and dried fruits, buy a pre-mixed, one-pound bag of trail mix, then portion it out into snack-sized zipper bags. Toss them into your gym bag and you’ve got an easy, healthy body-fuel source. Looking at a long workout? Add steel cut oats to the blend for sustained energy.

#4: Tart up a plain Greek yogurt. Pick up a small container of low-fat Greek yogurt and a granola bar. Crumble half the bar into the yogurt. Now you have the perfect, grab-and-go, crunchy, creamy, power-up snack. Boost it further with a few blueberries or dried fruit and nuts with a little maca powder.

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