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When following an exercise plan and a strict weekly workout routine, eating well and regularly is key to meeting your fitness goals. But it can be difficult to get in all the necessary foods and meals on a daily basis, especially during a busy day at work.
Eating nutritious snacks when you can, whether at your desk or on the go, can help.
Here are five healthy snacks that can help you meet your fitness goals.
Protein snack bites
While offering a nice alternative to a typical protein bar, snack bites provide high amounts of protein to help maintain, repair and build muscle. Some types, like plant protein snacks from Nutree Life, can offer as much as 5 grams of protein per serving.
Made with natural and nutritious ingredients, protein snack bites can also provide a healthy snack that’s quick and easy to eat. This makes them ideal to have on a gym day and munch on before or after a workout, or as a morning or afternoon snack, helping to give you what you need to meet your fitness goals.
There are many berries that are great for health and fitness, and ideal for snacking on at work or when on the go. This includes blueberries, which can provide energy to muscles quickly, as well as raspberries and cranberries.
Led by blueberries, all these berries have high amounts of antioxidants. These are important for protecting your body against cell damage, which is caused by free radicals, helping to keep you healthy and strong. They can also help reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery, which is ideal if you’re putting your body through some strenuous exercise each day and have a fitness goal in mind.
Nuts are ideal for snacking, and offer a much healthier alternative to foods like crisps. Good choices include almonds, walnuts and pistachios, as well as hazelnuts and cashews. Many contain high amounts of protein, making them ideal to have as a quick snack before or after a session at the gym. An ounce of walnuts contains about 4.3 grams of protein, while one ounce of almonds yields around 5.9 grams of the macronutrient. They also contain muscle-building nutrients like magnesium and healthy fats, which can help you meet your fitness goals.
Like nuts, seeds are super healthy and good to nibble on during the day or add to other snacks, like a bowl of mixed berries. Examples include chia, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, as well as flax and sesame seeds. They are high in protein, with each containing a range of healthy nutrients that can help you make the most of your workout routines. This includes calcium in sesame seeds, which is necessary for proper muscle function, and vitamin E in sunflower seeds. This is vital for building muscle and repairing cells and acts as an antioxidant, helping to improve exercise recovery.
Sweet potato wedges
Often a staple of many gym fanatics’ diet, sweet potatoes are great for those who exercise. They are filled with nutrients, like vitamins and minerals, and known as one of the world’s healthiest foods.
Okay, so cooked sweet potatoes are not the most practical food to snack on. But cutting them into wedges first can make them more snackable and easier to eat, like during a short break at work.
Amongst other things, sweet potatoes are high in carbohydrates, so they can offer a great source of energy before a workout. They are a low-GI (glycemic index) food, meaning they can be slowly digested and can help sustain energy levels. They are also high in potassium, which can help prevent muscles cramping during exercise.
So to help you hit your fitness targets, try to include some of these healthy snacks in your daily diet. From nibbling on nuts and seeds mid-morning, to enjoying a handful of mixed berries before a workout, and a couple of protein snack bites after an intense session at the gym, there are many to choose from.
Whether you want to tone up, build more muscle or just get fit, such snacks, alongside a nutritious meal plan, are sure to help you successfully meet your fitness goals and, importantly, be healthy too.
Heath Reidy is a content writer for vegan protein and nutrition products developer, Nutree Life.