Mix some raisins in your morning bowl to get your muscles ready to work later. (Photo courtesy Chris Gallo)
Imagine eating an entire pizza and then going for a 3-mile jog. You’d feel pretty gross, right? Though that’s a drastic example, it’s no secret that what we eat is directly related to how our bodies feel, especially when exercising. To help you get the most out of your next sweat session FITNESS advisory board member and author of The Flexitarian Diet Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D. shared the best snacks to eat before, during and after your workouts on behalf of Vita Coco Coconut Water to keep your energy levels high and recovery time low.
- Raisins: Blatner says that studies show raisins works just as well as sports gels at providing pre-exercise muscle fuel. Aim for two tablespoons right before you head out.
- Green Tea: Research suggests that the compounds in green tea called catechins may help burn more fat while you exercise. Plus, the caffeine in green tea will help you shake your sluggishness and is much healthier than chugging a soda.
- Vita Coco Coconut Water: Perfect for casual fitness buffs or hardcore exercisers, coconut water hydrates just as well as a sports drink. It contains all the good stuff, like carbohydrates, electrolytes and potassium that your body needs when you exercise and none of the bad stuff, like loads of sugar and artificial sweeteners.
- Water: On days you work out 30 minutes or less water should be your main hydrator. Blatner suggests doing the weight test to make sure you’re drinking enough fluids during your workouts. Weigh yourself before and after you exercise, the goal is to not have any change, since weight loss is a sign that you’re not drinking enough. If you do see your weight drop, drink an extra 16 to 24 ounces for each pound lost.
- Tart Cherries: Studies show cherries may decrease muscle soreness and inflammation. Eat a cup of unsweetened frozen fruit or 100 percent juice.
- Green Smoothie: Latest research shows a healthy compound called nitrate in leafy green veggies helps muscles work more efficiently. In a blender, puree a cup of leafy greens, like spinach, 8 ounces of low-fat milk and 1/2 cup frozen berries to recover faster.
More from FITNESS: The Top 7 Foods for Runners