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Pre-Workout: Just because it’s low-impact exercise doesn’t mean you should skip a meal before hitting the mat. (You’ll never make it from Sun Salutes to Savasana that way.) Thirty minutes before class grab something small and energy-boosting, like a banana or dried apricots. Then drink at least six ounces of water. You’ll be fully digested in time to contort your body.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Post-Workout: If you’re in the habit of practicing after work, that can set your dinner back pretty late. Rule of thumb: Cut back on heavy meat and dairy to help ease digestion (i.e., you should probably skip the Chipotle burrito). Instead, make yourself a quick and easy breakfast-for-dinner, like baked eggs in a bell pepper.
Photo credit: Shutterbean
Pre-Workout: The ideal snack includes a source of low-glycemic carbohydrates (like fruits and veggies) and lean protein. Think an apple served with 2 tablespoons almond butter. Both contain fiber to keep you satiated as you battle that truck tire.
Photo credit: Oh My Veggies
Pre-Workout: Load up on carbohydrates with substance: ½ cup cooked steel-cut oats topped with 1 tablespoon each dried fruit and shaved almonds. Since this is a bigger meal, give yourself at least an hour to digest. If you?re pinched for time, try an energy gel like this one from GU ($12), specially made for runners in training.
Photo credit: Honeysuckle
Post-Workout: It’s important to rehydrate and replace lost electrolytes as quickly as possible, while also replenishing depleted carbohydrates. Right after your run, gulp down a recovery drink like GU Recovery Drink Mix ($36). One to two hours later, get yourself some protein. Blueberry pancakes with turkey bacon, anyone?
Photo credit: SBS
Pre-Workout: Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, eat like a champ. Keep it simple and look to protein bars, but be wary of sky-high sugar content. Bars with 10 to 30 grams of protein and less than 10 grams of the sweet stuff are best, and stay away from ingredients you can’t pronounce. (No thanks,isomalto-oligosaccharides.)
Photo credit: Erin McDowell
Post-Workout: Protein is absolutely key for muscle recovery, and a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich is just the ticket. Just be sure to make it yourself with 1 whole egg, 1 slice low-fat cheese and 1 slice Canadian bacon served on an English muffin. Trust us, it beats Mickey D’s.
Photo credit: Foodie Crush
Pre-Workout: Fruit and nuts are a great combo for any pre-workout snack. Pick up a handful of almonds and a few orange segments. The almonds provide fiber and protein, while the orange's vitamin C prevents muscle soreness from setting in post-workout.
Photo credit: Make It Naked
Post-Workout: A deconstructed sandwich is so easy. All you need is avocado, bacon and tomato rolled into slices of turkey. Pair this with at least eight to ten ounces of water (especially since turkey has high levels of sodium).
Photo credit: Our Paleo Life
Pre-Workout: Hydration is key. Eight ounces of a low-sugar sports drink (keep it under 10 grams) will do the trick if you’re in a crunch. For a little more fuel, add a scoop of BCAA powder (branch chain amino acids) to help maintain muscle and tissue health. Still craving some substance? Spice things up: Toss a handful of almonds into a plastic baggie, then add a pinch of cayenne pepper, a pinch of smoked paprika and a few drops of your fave hot sauce. Shake and eat.
Photo credit: All Day I Dream About Food
Post-Workout: Thirty minutes after a ride, bike right on down to your nearest deli and go to town on a whole-grain bagel with egg whites. Carbs and protein of the most convenient variety.
Photo credit: The Well Floured Kitchen
Pre-Workout: Chances are you’re heading out early in the morning or in the afternoon, so consider an iced-coffee pick-me-up (and suck down that ice, too). Turns out, working out after downing a cup of java may offer a weight-loss advantage. A recent study from the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that trained athletes who took in caffeine pre-exercise burned about 15 percent more calories for three hours post-exercise, compared with those who ingested a placebo.
Photo credit: Craving Comfort
Post-Workout: Refuel with a sweet and savory homemade trail mix. Half a handful of macadamia nuts, dried coconut, dark chocolate chips and banana chips makes for a satisfying snack.
Photo credit: Greatist
If you’ve ever gone to hot yoga without drinking at least a gallon of water beforehand, then you know the importance of properly preparing for your workout. (Passing out on the elderly man next to you. Not OK.)
Luckily, finding the right foods to nosh on before and after you exercise is easier than you think.
First things first: Mind the time. You should try to eat at least 30 minutes beforehand (regardless of the activity) and 30 minutes after. As for what snacks to satisfy hunger, fuel workouts and aid in recovery, head right this way.
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