Your pre-workout and post-workout meals are as crucial, if not more, than your workout itself. The nutrition, the amount of carbs and protein in these meals and the time they are consumed is what makes the difference. Consuming your meals at the wrong time can result in compromised results, an upset stomach during training, and delayed recovery.
Although the majority of people believe that giving up on meat and animal-based products can make it difficult to fulfil your protein, minerals and nutrients requirement for best performance, this is certainly false.
Accredited practicing dietician, Rebecca Gawthorne shed light on this saying, “It's a common misconception that you need to be eating animal products like meat and chicken to meet your protein requirements. Those who follow a vegan diet can definitely consume adequate amounts of protein and meet their protein requirements.”
By eating the right kind of food, you can effortlessly get all the nutrition required for a proper workout. The following vegan pre-workout snacks and recipes are high in protein and can help you focus on your workout without making you feel too full or heavy.
Oats with Fruits, Nuts or Chia Seeds
Oats are complex carbohydrates that take longer to breakdown and digest, making them one of the best options for vegan pre-workout snacks as provide long-lasting energy. To take things up another level, you can add various additions to your bowls of oats, such as fruits for a quick burst of energy, nuts for added protein, or some chia seeds for various health benefits.
Whole Grain Toast
Just like oats, toasts made of whole grain are also complex carbs. Toasts can be a great last-minute snack before a workout and will provide you with sufficient energy to push you through your workout. However, if you do have an hour or so before your workout, you can add some avocado, organic guacamole, or nut butter to your toast for sustained energy and additional nutrients; however, keep in mind, these foods take longer to digest.
Fruit and Nut Butter
If you need a great spurt of energy before a workout, opting for an apple or a banana may do the trick. Bananas help prevent muscle cramps during workouts. Since they are loaded with potassium, they are able to replenish the potassium lost from sweat. Adding in some nut butter can provide an additional burst of protein, which will help you power through long periods of workout.
Vegan Chocolate Shake
If you found the snacks on this list so far boring, then this one is for you. Vegan chocolate shake, made by swapping dairy milk with vegan alternatives such as soy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk, can make a great pre-workout or post-workout snack. Swapping artificial sweeteners for dates and cinnamon can help bring out the better flavor in the drink while also adding a sufficient amount of energy and nutrition to it. The best part is that vegan chocolate shake is so delicious, it can be consumed as a guilt-free smoothie any time you like.
Dried Fruits with a Handful of Nuts
If you don’t want to spend time preparing a meal and are looking for an easy snack you can buy at the store, there isn’t a better option than unsweetened dried fruits. They are an excellent source of healthy carbohydrates and can be munched on before a workout for sustained energy. Pairing it with a handful of nuts such as almonds or walnuts can make it even better.
Baked Sweet Potatoes
For a long time, baked sweet potatoes have been considered to be a superfood for runners. The delicious snack can provide similar benefits to athletes as well. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Consuming them as a pre-workout snack, or even incorporating them into your meals, can help you achieve your goals at the gym.
This one may seem hard to believe, but there is actually a link between coffee and increase performance at the gym. It also has a minimal diuretic effect which is usually countered by the water found in the coffee itself. A cup of black coffee is a great option if you’re reaching for a drink 30 minutes to an hour before your workout session. If black coffee feels too bitter to you, you can add some soy or almond milk to it as well.
Vegan Protein Shake
Regardless of whether you’re struggling to meet your protein requirements or not, vegan protein powder can be a great addition to your diet. Drinking a vegan protein shake before a workout can provide you with all the essential nutrients and energy required to perform well. However, using a high-quality vegan protein powder is crucial.
We recommend that you choose from the list of foods listed above to make sure you are performing optimally during your workouts. However, keep in mind, not to overeat as you might feel too heavy or bloated during your workout.