Apples have both simple, quick-burning carbohydrates and complex, slow-burning carbohydrates giving you energy that will carry you through your workout. Adding one tablespoon of almond butter will cause the sugars to enter the bloodstream more slowly and keep you from running out of steam during longer gym sessions.
Instant oatmeal is one of the easiest snacks to whip up, and because it is rich in fiber, energizing carbohydrates will be released into your system gradually. I like the gluten- and sugar-free varieties topped with a palm-full of tree nuts, which also help stabilize blood sugar, and many times I'll add one tablespoon of an antioxidant-rich superfood protein powder like my Philosophie Berry Bliss blend.
Make sure to keep a mini-fridge in your room and stock it up with Greek yogurt, which has a good balance of protein and carbohydrates and is easily digestible so it won’t leave you feeling sluggish. Add a little fresh, frozen or dried fruit on top for some immediate energy and you’ve got an incredibly convenient snack that will keep you on track to stay in tip-top shape.
My favorite pre-workout snack is a homemade smoothie! Many of the pre-made smoothies out there contain too much sugar, so I make my own with a personal-sized blender (like the Magic Bullet) that is perfect for smaller spaces. Fill it up with a potassium-rich banana, one cup of unsweetened almond milk, which is loaded with B-vitamins, and one tablespoon raw cacao powder for a natural energy boost. I like making this one with my Philosophie Cacao Magic Protein Powder because it has 10 grams of plant-based protein per tablespoon and is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that will help you stay focused and invigorated during your performance.
Veggies and hummus aren’t only good for party platters; they make a great post-workout snack! Choose a mix of colorful vegetables, like carrots, celery, cucumber and tomatoes to get a variety of vitamins and minerals and dip them in two tablespoons of hummus. I like to give my hummus a boost of replenishing ingredients by stirring in one tablespoon of my Philosophie Green Dream blend, a powerful mix of spirulina, chia seeds, hemp protein and other nutrient-dense superfoods.
Eggs just might be one of the best post-workout recovery foods because they are not only an excellent source of protein (about six grams per egg) but they also contain all of the essential amino acids necessary for your body to properly absorb protein. I recommend making a dorm-friendly mug scramble by mixing one egg, one tablespoon of water, and a four tablespoons of finely chopped veggies like spinach and mushrooms in a large microwavable coffee mug. Pop it in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds, let set and then top with sliced cherry tomatoes.
Canned fish, like tuna or salmon, is another easy way to get the protein and healthy fats your body needs after a workout. Mix in one to two tablespoons of protein-packed Greek yogurt and any spices you like, dried dill is my favorite, and enjoy with a handful of whole grain or seed crackers.
I know, it was part of the pre-workout list as well, but there’s a reason that there are so many post-workout recovery shakes out there. After an intense training session, your body needs nutrients fast and smoothies are easy to digest and absorb. If you want to build muscle, try to have your smoothie within 20 minutes of your workout and make sure it has an extra dose of protein. Get out that personal-sized blender again to avoid synthetic ingredients and blend up one cup of almond milk, one cup of fresh or frozen berries (raspberries are my favorite) and two tablespoons of protein powder (my favorites to add are my Philosophie Berry Bliss and Cacao Magic blends). Taste that? It’s the sweet flavor of success!