by Kate Guilmette, Nutritionist – Malchar Wellness Center.
There are many snacks out there that can help us perform better and train harder. The question is when do we eat these snacks? Which snacks give us a training boost before our run and which snacks help us recover after? Here is a breakdown of what snacks we should be looking for and when we should be looking to munch on them
- Bananas are not only high in carbs (which will help us with the energy boost we need at the end of a tiring workout) but also have potassium which can help prevent those nasty leg cramps in the middle of a run. If you’re looking to run a distance workout or are looking to do a workout when the suns at its hottest make sure to grab a banana before you step outside. The potassium will especially help replace some of the minerals lost in our sweat and help keep our blood sugar from creeping too high.
- Oats are a great source of carbs, which in turn makes them a great energy source for your body. One serving of oats is roughly 25 grams of carbs, which will provide you with plenty of energy for a long training session. Their low glycemic load will also contribute to this (when food has a low glycemic load it is able to raise your blood sugar slowly, causing their energy source to be released slowly and helping you to feel full even longer)
- Sounds crazy, but coffee can actually help boost your workout performance (the less cream and sugar in it the better). The caffeine will spike your energy level, giving you that boost you need to finish the last mile of a run or last hill of a workout. A word of caution though, coffee also increases the need to urinate so keep that in mind if you’re going out for a long run!
- Peanut butter
- Although peanut butter does contain fat and certainly is not a low-calorie snack in moderation it can provide many benefits once your workout is over. Peanut butter is mostly fatty acids (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated). These not only help with your recovery time but also help prevent injury. Peanut butter also helps with muscle growth because of its protein content.
- Looking for a quick recovery after your workout? Plain yogurt is your answer. Filled with protein and carbs plain yogurt is able to help speed up your recovery time after a long run or hard work out. Because it helps to speed up your recovery yogurt also in turn helps to protect your muscles. It is also high in calcium, which promotes bone health.
- Dark chocolate
- Probably the most exciting post workout snack, dark chocolate is able to help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol (in the right portion, which here is about 2-3 pieces). As long as it is at least 70% cacao, dark chocolate also has enough flavanols to help reduce inflammation (which is great post workout when your muscles are tearing and building).