Why do we need to snack after our workout?
We know how important it is to get our pre-workout nutrition right so that we have energy to take us through our exercise routines and to build muscle and burn fat, right? Well, it’s really important to help our bodies recover quickly from our activity by having good snacks for after our workout too.
A really good rule is to learn to listen to our bodies which helps us to understand what we need, when to eat and how much to eat, but it’s not always easy, especially when you get started on a new healthy eating and exercise plan, and particularly when you have particular dietary needs such as gluten intolerance.
Gluten-free but not sugar or fat free!
What we are trying to avoid by having our post-workout snacks ready is a sugar crash. A sugar crash puts us at risk of eating too much of the wrong things in order to quickly raise our energy levels back up, but this quickly leads to a further crash and ultimately makes us feel worse and eat badly to achieve a quick fix. Often you can see that store bought gluten-free products have the wheat and the flour replaced by fat and sugar, which gives us an immediate energy high but doesn’t sustain us for very long.
One thing we do know though is that post-workout is the very best time to eat carbs as your body will quickly and easily convert them to energy rather than storing them as fat. But, of course, we don’t want to overdo it and wipe out all the effort we’ve put in by eating too many carbs, so again, balance is really important.
So, for our gluten-free recovery snacks, we want to achieve a good mix of protein and carbs, and these are my suggestions for some easy-to-prepare and easy-to-carry gluten free post-workout snacks:
Rice cakes with peanut butter
Go for smooth or crunchy (my favourite has to be smooth!). There are some great natural peanut butters on the market which don’t have so many additives, such as salt, sugar and hydrogenated fats. There are some really tasty alternatives to peanut too, such as cashew nut butter. Of course, this isn’t a good choice for anyone with a nut allergy, it goes without saying.
Regular chocolate milk made with dairy milk provides a great balance of protein and carbohydrate (soya milk doesn’t provide the carb and almond milk doesn’t provide the protein so don’t be tempted to swap!). An 8oz glass is perfect for a post-workout snack.
A bowl of fresh fruit with some unsweetened natural greek yogurt is an easy and so refreshing snack, with the fruit adding sweetness. Make sure you add some banana for a more slow-release snack. Your fruit can be prepared in advance and kept in the refrigerator in a tupperware container or similar.
Cheese and apple
Fresh, crunchy apple slices with some cheese or cottage cheese is a heavenly match, and you can choose a lower fat option if you want to. If you prefer the full fat options, then don’t have quite as much cheese, especially if you’re weight-watching (an ounce of cheese is about right). You can add some celery sticks too.
A handful of dried fruits such as dates, raisins and apricots is a quick and easy store cupboard post workout snack – pop some into a bag and you’re good to go! If you have a sweet tooth this is a great snack but don’t overdo it, the sugar of the fruit is more concentrated when it’s dried.
Hydration is key
It’s important to remember to drink plenty of water throughout your exercise program and throughout the day. Water is so good for glowing skin and sparkling eyes, as well as being critical in helping your body perform at its best. I try to carry a bottle of with me at all times.
Don’t forget to share your photos with me on Instagram, and let me know the workout snacks that work best for you too. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!