Whether your workout routine consists of all of our class offerings, or just one or two, there’s nothing more satisfying than starting your workout on the right foot with a pre-workout snack, and topping off an intense session with an even better post-workout meal. Although our classes consistently require a balance of protein and carbs, it’s helpful to know which exercises are more intensive in stretching (barre & Pilates), cardio (spin), or both (zumba and burlesque), as they impact the body in different ways. Here are some specialized, high-energy foods and easy to follow recipes that will help fuel your body before and after a workout… you’ll be even closer to the perfect body you’ve been working so hard for.
Pre Workout Foods
For a convenient pre-workout nibble, a nutrient-rich snack an hour before class goes a long way. Aim for low-fat foods with high protein and carbohydrate contents to get the most out of your exercise. A simple snack like a banana, low-fat yogurt, or a hard boiled egg will reward you with the added boost of energy needed to complete your workout. A smoothie made with yogurt and a handful of seasonal fruits will also work wonders. Here’s a new recipe to try:
Freekeh with Fruit
½ cup cooked freekeh
½ cup fruit of your choice
Freekeh is an ancient grain that is packed with sustained energy for a consistent energy output in class rather than the dreaded spike-and-crash combo. Top it with any kind of fruit for more carb-fueled energy to get you comfortable for all the stretching in barre and mat Pilates.
Oats with Almond Butter
½ cup dried oats
¼ cup fruit of your choice
The oatmeal will provide you with the carbs you will need for lasting energy to keep pumping out our booty-burning reps all class long. There’s nothing wrong with adding a little almond butter to flavor it to taste, either—it’s a valuable source for magnesium, which is key for muscle contraction and relaxation.
Poached Eggs on Toast
1 slice of bread (the grainier the better)
2 eggs, room temperature
salt and pepper to taste
Simply poach the eggs and place on top of bread, adding salt and pepper to taste. At less than 250 calories, this solid snack is one your body can afford, despite being on the heavier side of pre-workout snacks. Ideal for the cardio intensity of zumba, burlesque, and spin.
If you’re on the go and without any time to prep, but crave a meal as effective as the ones above, try nutrient-rich packaged foods in a pinch. Supernola is a brand that offers nutrient-dense mixes of nuts, seeds, and superfoods like goji berries, chia seeds, and walnuts, and it’s certified paleo! Other brands like Bare offer healthy snacks like fruit chips for you to munch on.
Post Workout Foods
No matter which of our classes you take, our instructors make sure your body will be fatigued afterwards… To help you recover, a savvy post-workout strategy is to nourish yourself with foods that repair muscle tissue and replenish glycogen stores (which provide your muscles with energy). Keep in mind that your metabolism is at its highest post-class, so take advantage of this by again focusing on high-quality protein and carbohydrates to repair your muscle tissue and help your body to properly refuel.
Nuts with Maple Water
Instead of picking up more coconut water at the store next time, give maple water a try. This healthy alternative only has half of the sugar content of coconut water and is saturated with essential nutrients like calcium, iron, and manganese, which help restore your fluid balance. Pair it up with 1/4 cup of roasted and salted nuts for their protein and sodium to complete a perfect post-class snack.
1/3 cup dry oats
3 egg whites
½ scoop of whey protein
2 tbsp soy/almond/regular milk
½ tsp Cinnamon
Mix all of ingredients together and prepare on the stove like regular pancakes. Add any fruit toppings to your liking (strawberries, raspberries, bananas, etc.) Protein pancakes are perfect for muscle recovery after all the muscle stretching and flexion that our dance cardio classes like zumba and burlesque provide. If you don’t have the time to whip up this version of protein pancakes, brands like Fitnessguru offer packets of ready-made protein pancake mix for your busiest days.
Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal
1 tbsp peanut butter
In a bowl, mash the banana with peanut butter while adding as much oatmeal as you like. Sprinkle with cranberries or even maca root powder for an added energy boost and cover everything with milk. Heat if desired. High in protein and carbs, this healthy snack also works well as a quick breakfast and is wonderful for after any workout. Eating foods with an emphasis on protein will fend off midday hunger pangs as well as fuel your muscles for the next time you’re in class.
1 can of cooked kidney beans
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground or fresh cilantro
2 -3 tsp lemon juice
fresh spinach (about 5 big leaves for each wrap)
salt & pepper to taste
feta cheese to taste
To prepare, cook the quinoa, chop the onions, and mash the avocado to a consistency of your liking. Then thoroughly mix the cumin, cilantro, lemon juice, and onions into the mashed avocado.
Cover the tortilla with the avocado spread, and place the spinach leaves and beans on top. After sprinkling feta cheese bits, add a mix of quinoa and salt and pepper to taste. Roll the wrap up and heat in microwave if desired. The healthy fats from the avocado, mixed in with the protein-packed kidney beans and fiber full quinoa make this a filling, on-the-go post-workout meal.
What are your some of favorite pre and post-workout meals?