We ask a lot of our bodies every time we exercise. We are triggering the growth of muscle, the development of the vascular system, an increase in the density of bone, the shedding of body fat, and more. All of these things are intensive biological processes. Add to all of that the significant amount of energy and nutrients we burn through just performing the actual workout.
With all of this in mind, it makes good sense that we should fuel up intelligently before any workout, especially an intense one. You need to eat foods that will not only support you calorically, but that will also provide the building blocks for growth and physiological change.
To that end, here are 7 healthy foods to power you through your workouts.
As you’re probably aware, certain food pairings can combine to generate nutrients that neither food has alone. It is also possible that one food will boost your ability to absorb the nutrients in another. For this reason, we are going to focus on food combos, for a powerful one-two punch of fitness nutrition.
1. Peanut Butter and Banana
Sure, it may seem simple or even indulgent. But bananas are chock full of complex carbs to give you energy and high-quality peanut butter is very satisfying. This combo will keep you full for a long time, energize you, and provide protein for muscle growth.
2. Nut Butter and Toast
Most nuts in any form are going to be highly nutrient-dense and include proteins. A high-quality toast will deliver complex carbs that burn more slowly than the carbs provided by most fruit. Be sure to choose a good, whole-grain bread for your toast.
3. Fruit and Oats
A high-quality, organic oatmeal will deliver healthy, complex carbs. Combine it with a nutrient-dense fruit like blueberries or cantaloupe. This combo is as energizing as it is filling, and the boost it provides will sustain you for a long workout.
4. Smart Smoothie
A well-thought-out smoothie is an excellent vehicle for nutrient-dense vegetables while balancing out the flavor with fruit or protein powder. Best of all, you can enjoy a large quantity without weighing yourself down. It’s a great option for those with big appetites.
5. Eggs, Toast, and Avacado
There may be no more wholesome food on Earth than the humble, delicious egg. Making sure not to overcook those nutrient-dense yolks, combine your eggs with quality whole grain toast and some avocado slices for healthy fat.
6. Dried Fruit and Nuts
You might have noticed nuts keep appearing on our list. That’s because they are a gift to human biology. Throw together a balanced combo of dried fruit and nuts and take some with you wherever you go. It’s a healthy, energizing snack that will never do you wrong.
7. Chicken and Rice
A well-known recipe for lean protein and energy, chicken and rice is one of those synergistic food pairs that work together to supercharge your metabolism. The protein supports strength workouts and the rice is an excellent source of clean energy. Active metabolism goes a long way.