Plant Based Guide to Pre- and Post- Workout Nutrition

Plant Based Guide to Pre- and Post- Workout Nutrition

Many people assume weight loss and muscle gain can only be achieved in the gym. But realistically, that just isn’t true. Your diet plays a major role in how efficient your workouts will be. To achieve optimal performance during a workout, it’s important to fuel your body with the proper foods beforehand. It’s also just as important to make sure you’re replenishing your body with the proper nutrition after a workout. You just put all this work into your exercise; why would you put foods into your body that will completely negate all of the work you’re doing? 

Poor pre- and post-workout nutrition is one of the biggest reasons people don’t see the results they desire. If you’re exercising 5-7 days a week and still aren’t seeing those results, you’re more than likely not providing your body with the proper energy and nutrition it needs for peak performance. 

Struggling to come up with ideas for the best plant based foods to improve your workout results? We’ve got you covered! If you want to make the most of your sweat session, try these tasty plant based snacks before and after each workout. 

Best Plant Based Pre-Workout Foods

Your pre-workout foods should be focused on carbs and protein. Your body needs to be fueled with enough energy to ensure you crush your workout. Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source for your muscles, so these are your best friend before you exercise. Try to make a light snack about 30-60 minutes before you train so you have enough time to digest in order to avoid any stomach cramps. Here are 5 quick and easy ideas for plant based pre-workout snacks:

  • Fruit smoothie made with almond milk

  • Oatmeal made with almond milk

  • Slice of multigrain toast with almond butter (or your favorite nut butter)

  • Banana with almond butter (or your favorite nut butter)

  • Dried fruits with nuts (try our antioxidant trail mix!)

And guess what, guys?! Coffee makes the list, too! In addition to one of the above snacks, feel free to pour yourself a nice, warm cup of joe. Not only will the caffeine give you the energy you need to wake up, it can also boost your exercise motivation, making your workout much more enjoyable. 

Best Plant Based Post-Workout Foods

The way you choose to fuel your body after your workout is just as important as the workout itself. If you exercise for an hour, and then scarf down a giant pizza, you’ll have accomplished nothing. Just like with pre-workout snacks, your body needs carbs and protein post-workout. This helps your muscles recover so they’re ready to go for your next workout the following day. If you’re not replenishing your body with the energy you burned during your exercise, your muscles will only break down. It’s usually a good idea to have a post-workout snack about 20-30 minutes after you’ve hit the gym. Need some easy ideas? Here are 5 delicious plant based post-workout snacks that will help your body recover:

  • Fruit smoothie made with almond milk and plant based protein powder 

  • Leafy green salad

  • Vegetables and sprouted brown rice 

  • Avocado boats (slice an avocado in half and fill it with beans, tomatoes, onions, etc. Squeeze some lemon on top for added zest!)

  • Chia seed pudding. Mix in a blender 1 banana, 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tbsp chai seeds, 1/4 tsp lemon juice. Put in fridge and let it sit for at least 4 hours. Top with fruit or coconut for added delight.

Small Seed Bars Before & After Your Workout

And of course, we can’t forget about our favorite snack of all- our very own Small Seed Bars! Not only are they the perfect snack for before and after a workout because they’re so easy to travel with, they are full of the protein and nutrients your body needs to expend energy and recover. Have one on your drive to the gym and you’ll be ready to go as soon as you get there. Pop another one in your gym bag on the way out the door so you have a tasty reward after your cool down. 

Remember, what you put on your plate can have a huge impact on the results you’re seeing from exercising. On top of that, be sure to always be drinking enough water before, during, and after your workout. Combining exercise with the right nutrition leads to better results both physically and mentally. If you’re not accustomed to eating before and after exercising, give it a try. You’ll be amazed by how much more enjoyable your workouts are, how much more energy you’ll have, and how much faster you’ll recover in between workouts. Your body will thank you. 

By: Sydney Daly-Weber

Holly MacKinnon