Is snacking healthy? This is something many people often wonder, especially if they work out and go to the gym. After all, the last thing you want is to do is stall on your progress, or even worse, reverse it. Thankfully, there are ways to snack in a healthy way, which is what we’ll share with you in this article. There are different kinds of snacks that you can munch on, but you’ll have to keep in mind what time of the day you’re eating them. There is a difference between pre workout snacks and post workout snacks.
The topic of snacking can be a challenging one, especially if you are focused on losing weight. Some people say that you should get rid of snacks entirely and just eat three meals a day. Others say you should eat around half a dozen meals over the course of a day, but small ones. As with most things, the answer to the question “Is snacking healthy?” is a complex one. Not every snack is a healthy one and not every type of person needs to eat a snack. Not every activity needs a snack before and after it. In fact, most simply don’t.
However, when it comes to working out, then there are pre and post workout snacks that can definitely help you. You are going to want to get those healthy fats, carbs, and protein, along with essential nutrients, to repair, restore, and grow your muscles. Healthy snacks can be part of a balanced diet that actually makes it easier to get that beach body you are after.
We’ll get into everything you need to know about healthy snacks that you can eat before and after your workout. First, let’s go over the actual concept of a snack.
A Little Bit About Snacks and Snacking
Snacking is a relatively recent phenomenon. What used to be a diet containing three square meals a day has now turned into more of a grazing period throughout the day. Snack foods are inching their way towards becoming a $100 billion industry! That is a lot of snacks.
People in countries like the UK are seeing their waistlines expand every year. Interestingly enough, snacking has also been increasing over the years. Are snacks to blame for people getting fatter? Is it a scourge upon society?
It depends how you snack and what your snacks are. If you’re eating fatty and carby processed foods, then you’re getting an extra 500 calories, on average, of food every day. Overall, people are eating around a third more calories today than they did in the 1970s.
Healthy Pre Workout and Post Workout Snacks
Even though it may look like snacks are to blame for people gaining unhealthy weight, it is not necessarily snacks per se that are the problem. It makes a big difference whether you are eating a healthy snack or an unhealthy one.
If you exercise and work out, you may be apprehensive about snacking. However, there are healthy pre and post workout snacks you can have that won’t wreak havoc on your goals in the gym. We are going to share with you some of the best pre workout snacks you can eat to get fuel for the gym.
Essentially, you are going to want to look for snacks that are either high in fat or high in protein, or both! Any sort of vegetable-related snack is fine, as long as sticks you’re not deep-frying your celery or anything like that. The key is to avoid snacks that are processed and contain a lot of carb calories. When you go shopping in a supermarket, do your best to stick to the outside store’s perimeter. All of the healthy snacks are going to be there. If you venture into the processed foods maze, you’ll find little more than waist-expanding snacks.
Pre Workout Snacks
There are two categories that pre workout snacks fall into: those you eat when you have less than an hour less before your workout and those you eat when you have more than an hour before a workout. Here are the kinds of pre workout snacks you can safely have when you have under an hour left before you need to work out:
- Peanut-butter and a banana
- Oatmeal or muesli
- Almond butter with apple slices
- Fruit smoothie
- Hard-boiled egg with a piece of toast
- A glass of milk and a granola bar
- Peanut butter sandwich with banana slices and honey
- Fruit smoothie with peanut butter, whey protein, and spinach
- Cinnamon-covered banana slices in overnight-soaked oats
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich with milk
You’re going to have more gourmet options available to you if you have more than an hour before your workout. These will include a good combination of both protein and carbs, to deliver that much-needed fuel your body’s going to be begging for. After all, you will have just gotten done with an intense workout, either at home or at the gym. You’re going to need the best post workout snacks that can deliver all the nutrients you need to restore your body.
Here are some of our favorite post workout snacks you can enjoy:
- Fruit-filled bowl of oatmeal
- Roasted edamame
- Protein smoothie with fruit and yogurt
- Tuna and crackers
- Greek yogurt parfait
- Almond butter and dates
Now you know that the answer to “Is snacking healthy?” is a solid “It depends.” If you’re just snacking on chips or something with cheap carbs, you’re going to be jeopardizing all over the hard work you’re putting into your workouts. You can still enjoy the right kind of snacks before and after your workouts, and we actually recommend it! With the examples of pre and post workout snacks we provided in this article, you’ve got everything you need to deliver the essential nutrients your body needs before starting a workout and after one as well. So, go on and get snacking before and after those workouts!