Student-athletes are notorious gym rats. Whether it’s at practice or putting in extra work at the gym, they spend a lot of time being active. And, it turns out that the right workout snacks can impact your workout results. According to the Mayo Clinic, knowing when and what to eat can influence your gym sessions. Certain nutrients provide energy boosts, assist in muscle building, and several other important benefits. How you fuel your body can make a real difference in your life!
But, if you’re anything like me, the last thing you want to do at the end of a busy day spent juggling classes and sports is cook something healthy. I’m definitely guilty of hitting the drive-thru on my way home from practice instead of some healthier workout snacks, so you’re in good company!
Getting these benefits isn’t as hard as it might seem. Here are some workout snack recommendations for student-athletes on the go! These are healthy, easy to make, and fairly low-cost options that will help you make the most of practice or gym time.
If you’re going to eat a large meal, it should be eaten 3-4 hours before your workout. A lighter meal should be eaten an hour prior to working out. Using this timing will maximize your energy and help you work out longer and more intensely.
1. Peanut Butter and Banana Toast
Peanut butter and banana toast provides a quick boost of carbs and protein using ingredients you likely have in the house already! Opt for rice cakes for a gluten-free option, or experiment with almond or cashew butter for different flavors.
Rich in carbohydrates, oatmeal is a quick, easy-to-make meal option. The great thing about oatmeal is that you can make it as boring or fancy as you want. Personally, I like adding blueberries and maple syrup, but the options are endless!
3. Turkey Wraps
Wrap avocado, carrot, spinach, or any other veggie goodness in a slice of turkey for the ultimate on-the-go protein punch. Bonus: these are Tupperware friendly!
The primary goal of a post-workout snack or meal is to aid in recovery. Proper aftercare can help reduce soreness and aid in muscle building, among other benefits. Eating after a workout is also important as your muscles need the boost to replenish their glycogen. A post-workout snack or meal should be eaten within two hours of the workout to get the most out of it.
1. Chicken and Broccoli
If you’re an on-campus collegiate athlete, chicken and broccoli are some of the most commonly available dining hall foods. If you’re cooking for yourself, this post-workout meal can be prepared the day before to save time!
2. Protein Smoothie
Sometimes a liquid meal can be easier to consume after an intense workout. Protein smoothies are a great option because you can just throw all the ingredients in a blender and have a delicious meal in about two minutes. They’re also easy to customize to your taste buds! One of my favorite ways to make a post-workout smoothie is ½ cup of a frozen berry blend, one banana, a spoonful of greek yogurt, a scoop of protein powder, and a splash of almond milk
3. Veggie Omelette
Rich in protein, omelets are pretty easy to whip up after a workout. Throw in leftover veggies you have in the fridge to kick your omelet up a notch.
These workout snack options are healthy, easy to make, and fairly low-cost options that will help you make the most of practice or gym time. As always, consult a healthcare provider before making any drastic changes to your diet and modify recipes to accommodate dietary restrictions.
As a student-athlete, there’s not a lot of time left over for time-consuming or fancy recipes. Hopefully, these ideas help provide some easy options to make meals a little easier to plan and prepare. We hope you enjoy these tips!
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