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Fuel to make your workout count

 

With a busy college lifestyle and little time to spare, unfortunately sometimes just mustering up the effort for a workout is only half the battle. Fueling up for your workout on junk food and finishing off a good session at the gym with a stop by Andy’s isn’t always your best workout plan, as much as we all wish it was. As far as exercise is concerned, it’s not just the time spent sweating that contributes to your health. Without a good snack or post-workout meal, your workout won’t reach its full potential. Check out these tips on workout food to make sure your next gym session is all that you can make it.

 

Greek yogurt

            With tons of protein and a good amount of sugar, Greek yogurt is a great pre-workout snack because its sugar and carbs are quick-burning fuel while you exercise and the protein will keep you full. It’s also a great source of calcium, vitamin D and potassium for your long-term health.

 

Oatmeal

            Especially if you’re a morning person and like to exercise to start your day, oatmeal is a great breakfast and pre-workout meal in one. With tons of carbs to burn, especially if you’re doing hard cardio, it also has vitamin B as well as fiber.

 

Peanut butter banana

            A banana, or another of your favorite fruits, covered in peanut butter is another great combination of carbs, healthy fats, and potassium. Make sure to give yourself a few minutes between eating and exercising, however, because an acidic snack like a fruit can lead to an upset stomach during your workout. It’s great for recovery, too, as your revved up metabolism can quickly burn up the tasty fats in peanut butter that will help your muscles recover.

 

Protein shake or smoothie

            After working your muscles to the max, the best nutrients for your body are fats and proteins- save your carbs and sugars for beforehand. Smoothies and protein shakes are a great mix of natural sugar, protein, and healthy fats that will help your body fully recover. Also, believe it or not, chocolate milk is a great alternative for a sweeter snack. Its antioxidants and calcium together are a great recovery tool.

 

Trail mix

            This healthy and tasty combination of nuts and dried fruits- skip the chocolate if you can!- is a great post workout snack that will fuel your muscles and fill your stomach fast. The fats in nuts help you to get full faster, and stay that way, while the natural sugars in the dried fruit add some variety to your snack.

Northwestern sophomore; journalism & history major
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