When we think about preparing for a workout, the big “P” that people typically think of is protein. Protein shakes, protein bars – protein tends be the name of the game in the fitness world. Protein certainly has its role in exercise nutrition when it comes to strength building, maintaining lean muscle mass, and overall recovery, but nutrients from produce are vital when it comes to fueling up.
Fruits and starchy vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, and corn) are all considered to be carbohydrates. Putting carbohydrates in your body is the same as putting gas in your car – it’s what makes it go! Throughout your workout your body will utilize carbohydrates for energy; without them, you may experience early fatigue and less endurance. Although fueling up at the gas pump might be pricey, fueling up your body doesn’t have to be. Consider these affordable options to chow down on before your next workout:
- Bananas and apples are a quick grab in the morning when you hit snooze too many times, you’re trying to get a gym session in before work, and you need something on-the-go.
- Cantaloupe and kiwi can make for a fun tropical topping to yogurt while giving you a dose of potassium which can potentially help with muscle cramping during exercise.
- Watermelon can be a refreshing pre-workout snack that’s seasonally sweet while also helping with your hydration game (watermelons are 97% water!).
- Frozen berries, cherries, peaches, mango, and pineapple are great additions to smoothies. Make them ahead, freeze them in jars, and pull one out the morning of gym day.
- Check out these recipes for ideas:
Strawberry Almond Butter Smoothie
- Canned peaches and pears add a flavor pop to oatmeal while providing you with a burst of energy.
- Fruit cups and applesauce pouches can be a great sip and slurp item for your littles to down on the way to sports practice.