41 Fantastic pre and post-workout snacks
Getting pre and post workout snacking right is a challenge, but it's one we're more than ready to take on! The right balance of protein, carbs and fats helps fuel your workout, curb cravings and aids recovery - and we've got 41 fantastic ideas for snacks to enjoy before and after that workout, whether you're going for a run, hitting the gym or enjoying a yoga class.
Your body needs nutrients to recover from your workout, burn fat and gain muscle, so give it the fuel it needs by enjoying one of these delicious snacks around 30-60 minutes before your workout.
#1. Vanilla protein slushie
Blend 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder with a cup of ice and one cup of orange juice - delicious!
#2. Strawberry yoghurt parfait
Ooh, parfait! You'll need 1/4 cup of non-fat yoghurt topped with 1/2 cup fresh strawberries and 1/2 cup of unsweetened whole-grain cereal; we like Shreddies.
#3. Nicely nutty oats
Carbs boost your workout, so you can train for longer. Top 1/2 cup of cooked porridge oats with 1 tbsp shaved almonds and 1 tbsp dried fruit - we love dried bananas and coconut right now.
#4. Pre-workout pick-me-up
Picked up an iced coffee (or made one at home)? Make it work harder for your body by blending the whole thing - ice and all - with a scoop of chocolate protein powder.
#5. Peanut butter perfection
The classic protein snack - 1 medium apple, sliced, served with 2 tbsp peanut butter (use the most natural kind you can find) is loaded with protein and carbs.
#6. Blueberry bliss
A good blend of protein and carbs is essential workout fuel, so top 1 cup of non-fat vanilla Greek yoghurt with 1/2 cup fresh blueberries.
Simple. A 1/4 cup serving of dried apricots, berries and pineapple.
#8. Egg-stra energy
For this hearty snack you'll need a slice of wholegrain toast. Top with 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs.
#9. Fruit leather
Fruit leathers are light and easy to digest, making them an ideal pre-morning run snack. One serving will boost your energy for your workout.
#10. Energy bar
Choose a natural cereal bar to fuel you - look for bars with low overall sugar content and high protein content.
#11. Peanut butter banana toast
Top a slice of wholegrain toast with 1-2 tbsp of peanut butter and half a banana, sliced. Yum!
#12. Veggie omelette
Boost your way to 5 a day with this omelette - add 1 cup of lightly sautéed vegetables of your choice to 2 (lightly beaten) whole eggs.
#13. Cheese board
Top 1/2 cup of cottage cheese - it's high in protein yet low in calories - with 1/2 cup of melon or berries.
If you're in a real rush on-the-go, fuel up with a sports drink. Opt for a smaller size bottle and look for drinks containing less than 10 grams of sugar.
#15. Eat your greens
A quick healthy salad is perfect for munching before that lunchtime workout. Combine one cup of salad leaves with some veggies, a hard-boiled egg and a drizzle of healthy vinaigrette or vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.
#16. Energy booster
Store-bough energy gels are ideal for a quick energy boost if you're pushed for time - just don't make them an everyday event.
#17. Healthy rice pudding
Fuel that run with 1/2 cup cooked rice (short grain is best), topped with 1/2 cup milk - you could use almond or soy milk if you're avoiding dairy - and a few raisins, plus a sprinkle of cinnamon.
#18. Fruit cup
Combine your favourite fruits in a one-cup serving - we like melon, oranges, banana and strawberries.
#19. Avocado turkey pasta
Top 1/2 cup of cooked whole-wheat pasta with 3-4 slices of avocado and a handful of cooked roast turkey. This is an ideal snack to squeeze in after work, before the gym.
#20. Fruity shake
Blend 1 cup of frozen berries with 1/2 cup of ice and 1 scoop of whey protein powder; you can use any flavour you like.
It's important to choose snacks wisely after a tough workout, to rebuild muscle and restore your flagging energy levels. Protein-packed snacks should be consumed within 2 hours of your workout to aid rebuilding tissue.
#21. Choco-banana trail mix
Mix 1/2 a handful of dark chocolate chips, banana chips, dried coconut and macadamia nuts. We love this!
#22. Post-workout egg white pancakes
These protein pancakes are ideal for a healthy breakfast after your morning run. You'll need 4 egg whites, 1/8 tsp baking powder, 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese, and 1/2 cup of oats. Mix the batter then spoon into a preheated griddle pan to make pancakes. We like to top with sliced banana to serve.
#23. Chunky monkey
Far healthier than Ben and Jerry's! Slice 1 medium banana and blend with 1 cup of low-fat chocolate milk, some ice and 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter.
#24. Simple banana milkshake
Blend 1 medium sliced banana with 1 cup of low-fat milk - use soy or almond milk if you're avoiding dairy.
#25. Perfect protein shake
Combining 1/2 scoop of casein protein (which the body digests more slowly) with 1/2 scoop of whey protein powder and a handful of fresh or frozen fruit helps nutrients to be delivered to muscles over a longer period of time, aiding repair.
#26. Spinach smoothie
A great way to boost your intake of iron and vitamin C, blend 1/2 cup vanilla yoghurt with 1 cup almond milk, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 banana, 4 cups of spinach and some ice.
#27. Go crackers
#28. Eggy bagel
The perfect sandwich to enjoy after your barre workout, top 1/2 medium wholegrain bagel with 2 poached egg whites.
#29. PB and raisin
Top a brown rice cake with some peanut butter and a few raisins.
#30. Cereal and milk
1 cup of your favourite wholegrain cereal served with 1 cup of low-fat or non-dairy milk is quick, easy and healthy!
#31. Carb-packed milk
Low-fat chocolate milk - a 1 to 2 cup serving - is loaded with healthy protein and carbs.
#32. Cheese and apple
Slice one medium apple and serve with 1 stick of low-fat string cheese.
#33. Eggy muffin-wich
Top an English muffin (toasted) with 1 poached egg, some fresh spinach, 1 slice of bacon and a slice of low-fat cheese.
#34. Mexican black bean omelette
This spicy omelette is made with 4 egg whites, 1/4 cup black beans, 1 oz low-fat cheese and some salsa. Delicious!
#35. AB & J
For a healthier alternative to the classic PB & J, sandwich two rice cakes together with 1 tsp strawberry jam (the more natural, the better) and 1 tbsp almond butter.
#36. Eggy veg-scramble
Scramble two to three eggs with some chopped peppers, spinach and onion.
#37. Houmous and pitta
Quick and simple, serve one toasted pitta bread with 2 spoonfuls of houmous - home-made is best.
#38. Recovery drink
In a push, a shop-bought recovery drink will help you to re-fuel after a gruelling workout.
#39. Cottage cheese and cinnamon
Top 1/2 cup of whole-grain cereal with one cup fat-free cottage cheese, 1 tsp honey and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
#40. Meaty madness
Lean roast beef - just a handful - served with a fist-sized portion of roasted butternut squash is ideal to refuel after your workout.
#41. Glutamine shake
Make a shake using a greens superfood blend (you'll find these in most health food shops) and add 1 scoop of glutamine to aid muscle repair.