If you’re the type of person that can spend a solid hour at the gym, you’re using up a lot of energy to improve those muscles. Having snacks on hand at the gym is essential to surviving those long workouts. It may easy to grab one of those overpriced energy bars or gummy snacks, but that’s really not the best way to give your body the nutrients it needs in a healthy way. Bringing natural or homemade snacks is a far better choice to give you the energy you need to make it through the second half of your workout or to recover after a long round of lifting weights.
When picking a snack to bring with you to the gym, there are a few nutrients you need to consider that are vital to muscle repair: protein, healthy fat, and healthy sugar. Protein is the most obvious nutrient to consider: it builds muscle and gives your energy. Healthy fat is necessary because it burns more slowly than sugar, so your body can use that throughout a period of time. Healthy sugars are also important because they give you a burst of energy when you begin to feel sluggish or worn out. Consider these tips when choosing your gym snack.
Lean, Mean, Protein
If you want strong muscles, you need to eat protein. No, that doesn’t mean you’re bringing a steak to the gym! Think lean protein: beef jerky is a great source of protein that won’t make you feel bloated, so you can get through the rest of your exercise. Other sources of protein can be found in yogurt; making a smoothie with a couple tablespoons of yogurt is a smart way to add this nutrient into your snack. The other go-to protein option is peanut butter. You’d be surprised how much better you’ll feel ten minutes after eating a spoonful of that creamy goodness.
Nuts, Nuts, Nuts
One of the best sources of healthy fats can be found in nuts. A handful of nuts at the gym is one of the best ways to get energy without feeling like you over ate. The best parts about snacking on nuts is that you have plenty of options to choose from! You can snack on peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, almonds, or cashews to get a strong source of healthy fat. Nuts also have natural chemicals in them to make you feel healthier. A small handful will give you that mental boost you need to stay positive throughout the day!
Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables are a natural source of healthy sugars, which will provide you with a burst of energy during or after an intense workout. An apple is a great go-to snack that will provide energy and fill you up, if you’re starting to feel that mid-workout hunger. Bringing a jar of carrot or celery sticks with some peanut butter is also a good idea with the same results. Why spend $5 on a health bar when you can spend fifty cents on a piece of fruit for the same result?
Remember, eating healthy at the gym doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive! Keep the three nutrients in mind (protein, healthy fat, and healthy sugar), and you can’t go wrong with your snack choice.