July 22, 2016

Maximize Your Workouts with These Plant-Based Foods

There are many components to consider around sports nutrition. Two big ones are what you should consume immediately before and immediately after a workout. If you’ve read our previous posts, you know now that building muscle, or achieving any fitness goal, doesn’t have to involve meat or dairy.

The pre-workout meal is particularly important. The body needs a certain amount of sugar for fuel when working out, just like your phone needs to be charged. Protein is important to help support and protect your muscles while working out. Without the right energy from food, muscle tissue can actually be sacrificed to provide a sufficient supply. Consuming a healthy source of energy 45 minutes before beginning a workout is a great way to maximize your workout efforts.

Here are some suggestions that are full of protein, as well as simple and complex carbs:

  • Oats – Oats are complex carbohydrates that digest well, and they provide long-lasting energy. Add some fruit for a quick extra boost.
  • Granola – Load up on simple and complex carbohydrates for a longer workout. Look for one that is mixed with some dried berries and lower in sugar content.
  • Sprouted grain bread – Sprouted grains are loaded with nutrients and great for digestion. Try a slice with some apple butter for some extra energy and flavor.
  • Hummus – Chickpeas have a good amount of protein, and they also contain carbohydrates and iron. Pairing it with pita bread or whole grain crackers makes it the perfect snack before a long workout.

Next to consider is the post-workout meal or snack! Experts recommend a 4:1 ratio* of carbs to protein to replenish amino acids, help with muscle repair, and replenish energy stores.

Try these post-workout plant-based ideas after your next workout:

  • Beans & rice – Beans are an amazing source of protein and carbohydrates. Add a little bit of rice to optimize your recovery.
  • Greens – Intense exercise can increase your body’s acid levels. Greens and sprouted vegetables have a neutralizing effect on the body that will help restore the body’s optimal levels.
  • Tofu – Tofu is rich in protein. Consuming enough protein after a workout is important in helping to avoid injury.

It’s a pretty common misconception that plant-based eating can make it challenging to get enough nutrients to support an active lifestyle. We’re encouraged to see this dispelled as more and more famous athletes become vocal about their own plant-based diets.

Next time you’re in a rush to the gym or planning out meals for the week, stop in and see us! We’ve got you covered with delicious options like our tangy Fire Roasted Vegetable Hummus (coming soon) or sweet and crunchy Cherry Cashew Granola. Try out our popular Fred Beans and Brown Rice or the new Savory Breakfast Scramble for an after workout treat. Let us do the work so you can save your energy for your workout!

*http://www.nomeatathlete.com/post-workout-recovery/



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