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.

Fuel your fitness game further with FitnessBuilder on your iPhone, Android and the Web. PumpOne’s complete workout guidance and tracking tools include over 1,000 workouts tailored to your fitness goals and the ability to create your own sessions from more than 7,000 exercise images and videos. Download it from the App Store or Google Play, or sign up at PumpOne.com.

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