Food is Fuel: 10 Peppy Recipes To Fill Your Tank

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energy foods

When I was younger and not very workout savvy, I used to believe that the great body was made in the gym, not the kitchen. But I later learned the importance of eating the right foods before a workout, just as it’s important to replenish the body after a workout. It’s all about the right foods, so let’s talk energy foods shall we?

There are some wonderful plant-based foods that contain high doses of vitamin B which is great for energy levels, iron which encourages healthy blood flow, alongside turmeric to help our bodies heal after lengthy workouts. You’ll find that when you feed your body abundantly with energy foods, not only will you find that you can train harder and with increased energy levels, but you’ll recover much sooner after working out, too.

  • Dried fruits and nuts: Whilst fresh fruit is always a wonderful snack option, it’s just as good to stock on the dried fruit variety. You can use dried fruits alongside nuts to make a quick and easy trail mix to snack on post workout. Medjool dates stuffed with a brazil nut is my go-to snack.
  • Use your blender. If you don’t have a blender you might want to consider getting one. Smoothies are a godsend and a super efficient way of packing in those fruits and veggies in abundance in a simple way. Instead of chowing down on spinach and kale you can make smoothies to sip on the go. Plus you can add a plant-based protein powder to make a quick protein shake. Hemp protein powder, cacao, bananas, dates and almond milk is a really quick chocolate milk protein shake you can enjoy before or after that workout.
  • Remember, food is fuel. Eat before you workout, whether it’s a full meal a good 2-3 hours before hitting the gym or a snack an hour to half hour before your session. In an ideal world you can wake up, have a healthy breakfast and then proceed to the gym from there, but I know it’s not this easy for everyone when life gets in the way and you have to get your workout in where you can. Be sure to fuel your body beforehand though and if you’re on the go, travel with snacks.
  • Make your own snacks and energy bars. Who actually enjoys feeling hungry? It means your body is being starved and is asking to be fed. This is when we tend to snack, especially if busy. Be mindful of prepping snacks that will benefit you both in and out of the gym. Many of  those snack bars you buy from supermarkets are laden with sugar and artificial ingredients that may sound great but will do more harm than good in the long run. So, why not make your own? I love making a batch on a Sunday to power me through the week. Bliss balls are great too as you can pop one or two into a container and eat before you head into the gym.

Remember, food is fuel, so here are 10 peppy recipes to keep your tank full…

1. Citrus Coconut Electrolyte Drink

When working out, it’s all too convenient to reach for energy drinks to power us through, not knowing they’re doing more harm than good. Plus, all that sugar?! You can just as easily make your own energy drink that is packed with electrolytes and will energize you before working out. You can just as easily sip this post work-out to hydrate your body after all that sweating.

Get the recipe here

Energy Foods

2. Mango and Hemp Seed Smoothie

What you can’t chew, juice! Smoothies are a great pre and post workout recipe because they’ll flood the body with nutrients and goodness. You can slurp one back before hitting that gym or have it waiting to enjoy as a snack once finished. This recipe is packed full of plant-based ingredients that will truly fuel that workout.

Get the recipe here

Energy Foods

3. Chia Oat Porridge

Oats are a fantastic food to eat before hitting the gym, and they make a really great breakfast first thing in the morning. They’re full of slow releasing energy so they’ll still power you through your workout an hour or two after eating. But if you get bored with the traditional oat and milk combo, mix it up with this creamy fruit recipe. You could even make little pots of this and enjoy it as a snack post workout.

Get the recipe here

Energy Foods

4. Protein Packed Avocado Toast

It’s a mixture of healthy fats, protein and carbs. If you’re doing a lengthy workout why not make this before you go and enjoy it after your workout?

Get the recipe here

Energy Foods

5. Lemon, Macadamia and Coconut Bliss Balls

I love making bliss balls. I’ll make them at the beginning of the week and keep them on hand to snack on. They taste like little bites of dessert yet they’re made from macadamia nuts and sweetened by dates and coconut.

Get the recipe here

Energy Foods

6. Super Power Bars

I love healthy fruit and nut bars, but sometimes they’re a little bit pricey. So why fork out a small fortune when you can make your own at home? These bars are made from a bunch of ingredients such as oats, a variety of nuts and seeds and sweetened with coconut oil and nut butter. Plus they’re so full of goodies they actually feel naughty but they’re 100% healthy. Take one along to the gym instead of paying out for a snack there.

Get the recipe here

Energy Foods

7. Banana and Almond Baked Oatmeal Cups

If you’ve never baked your oatmeal before then you need to start by making these little banana and almond cups. Once baked, oatmeal becomes almost pudding-like and so creamy! These are basically like eating your morning oatmeal in a muffin form, so you can snack on them before hitting the gym.

Get the recipe here

Energy Foods

8. Dark Chocolate Almond and Coconut Trail Mix Cookies

I’m forever snacking on trail mix so I’m super excited to try these trail mix cookies! After working out, I always fancy something a little bit sweet, but not too much, so these are such a fab little recipe to keep on hand.

Get the recipe here

Energy Foods

9. Health Nut Blueberry Pancakes

I don’t know about you but if ever there’s an excuse to eat pancakes, I find it. So I’m only too happy to find this recipe that is perfect to eat whenever the heck you fancy. You could enjoy a stack of these before the gym or enjoy one or two post-gym with some gooey peanut butter and berries.

Get the recipe here

Energy Foods

10. Salt and Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted chick peas! If you’ve never tried them do so ASAP. They’re delicious and you can pretty much use whatever seasonings you desire I love the tangy taste of salt and vinegar and sometimes spice it up with some dashes of cayenne.

Get the recipe here

Energy Foods

Lora O'Brien

Lora O'Brien

Lora is a virulent wellness enthusiast. She freelances from the UK where you can find her writing about all things healthy foodie and natural beauty. Fun fact? She reads and watches more DVDs than the average human.
Lora O'Brien

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