food is fuel. not seeing results? it might be time to take a look under the hood + make sure you're properly fueling (and re-fueling) your bod to optimize burning fat + gaining lean muscle. you wouldn’t put diesel in your car, so why fuel your bod with the wrong foods before and after exercise? to get the most out of your workout, it’s important to consume the proper ratio of carbs, protein + fat both before and after for maximum muscle-gain, fat-burn and muscle-recovery. so what's that look like?
- pre-workout: aim for 60-20-20 ratio of carbs-protein-fat 30 minutes to 1 hour before your workout to ensure you've got carbs for energy to power through.
- post-workout: up your protein and aim for 20-30g within 30 minutes of finishing your sweat sesh, with the being 60-30-10 of carbs-protein-fat. post-workout fuel is vital to replenish glycogen stores and feed those tired muscles!
need some ideas? we’ve got 12!
1 [black coffee] yes, coffee. much to our chief fitlosopher’s delight, it turns out the black brew can cause fat cells to be used as an energy source rather than glycogen, while the caffeine boosts your metabolism, which adds up to some major fat-burn. studies have linked pre-workout caffeination to increased athletic performance.
2 [banana + nut butter] bananas have twice as many energizing carbs as a slice of bread, plus they’re packin’ potassium to aid carb storage and utilization, and prevent muscle cramps. our fave way to enjoy? banana slices dipped in nut butter and frozen for little heavenly peanut-buttery banana bites. prep a bunch on sunday for a quick grab + go snack on the way to the gym!
3 [greek yogurt + fruit + whole-grain cereal] a healthy snack that tastes like dessert? we’ll take it! protein-packed greek yogurt makes a nice little base for a fruit and just a 1/4c topping of low-sugar, whole-grain cereal or brown rice puffs.
4 [small can of tuna + 2 whole grain crackers + 1oz cheese] tuna’s lean protein and omega-3s provide satiation and fuel for endurance. paired with crackers and cheese, it’s a perfect little pre-workout nosh. cheesy tip: opt for sharp flavors that have been aged at least 6-12 months.
5 [sliced veggies + hummus + 1/2 whole wheat pita] pair a small portion-controlled serving of hummus with sliced veggies and quick carbs like pita and you've got a mini-meal for quick energy. it's perfect on-the-go before an early evening workout - just tote this with you, nosh on the run, workout - then home you go for a healthy dinner post-workout.
6 [½ sweet potato + low-fat cottage cheese + cinnamon] this nutrient-rich carb is a popular pre-workout staple amongst gym-goers, and we are no exception. with a creamy cottage cheese topping and a sprinkle of cinnamon, you'll kill any sugar cravings before you crush it in the gym.
7 [protein pancakes] it feels like an indulgence, but with plenty of protein and zero flour, butter, oils or refined sugar, this is one post-sweat-sesh snack you can feel good about. tip: if you workout in the morning your post-workout IS your breakfast, making protein pancakes a no-brainer.
8 [proats] the perfect ratio of protein to carbs, proats are what happens protein and oats come together to make tasty post-workout magic. prep these the night before and you’ve got a quick snack to quell your post-workout munchies.
9 [protein smoothie] shake shake shake! shake shake shake! shake your smooooothie! it’s the perfect way to wind down and refuel after a grueling workout. one of our faves? the green machine (excellent for sneaking in an extra serving of greens) - just throw everything into our handy little fitfuel mixer, shake shake shake, and slurp it up, buttercup. and there’s more where that came from - every fitfuel mixer includes 8 protein shake recipes for your drinking pleasure!
10 [protein bar] ok, so full disclosure: we typically avoid most protein bars because a lot of them out there are just chemical-laden, glorified candy bars in sheep’s clothing that they are, but we make an exception for our beloved rise bars. we like ‘em because they're clean, organic, and made with just 5 ingredients - all of which you can pronounce. disclaimer: our chief fitlosopher is a die-hard rise bar lover and her fave flave is lemon cashew.
11 [low-fat chocolate milk] a delicious chocolatey mix of protein and carbs makes this a surprisingly good choice for post-workout sipping. according to research has found that this delectably delish dairy significantly replenishes exhausted muscles and speeds up recovery. don’t mind if we do!
12 [4 oz low-sodium turkey + lettuce + tomato slices + 2 slices ezekiel bread] it's our "TLT": turkey, lettuce + tomato. this is perfect post-workout if you want to fit in a gym sesh during your lunch break and you're craving a nice balance of lean protein and complex carbs for lunch.
for day 6 of our 12 days of FITmas, we’re giving away our favorite pre + post-workout dynamic duo: 1 snackstak + 1 fitfuel mixer to take your healthy workout snacks on the go, you goal-getter, you. here’s how to win:
- subscribe to our blog. [big red button on the left]
- comment below + tell us your go-to pre + post-workout snacks.
- bonus points if you share on social media + tag us!
our fitlosophy elves may be busy scurrying about for the holidays, but rest assured they're reading each + every one of your comments. check back each day to see if you won + enter to win again for 12 days of FITmas!
ho, ho, ho,