When it comes to taking care of your body, the most important aspect is a healthy balance of mind to body. Part of this is incorporating a consistent, healthy nutrition plan. Whether you’re looking to slim down, bulk up, or increase your endurance - proper nutrition is critical for giving your body the fuel it needs to strengthen, repair, and recover.
Unfortunately, many of us struggle to incorporate a healthy nutritional plan into our daily routine. Work, relationships, and other obligations often get in the way of meal preparation and diet plans, pushing our goals further out of sight. Sometimes, it feels like there is just not enough time in the day.
Adding supplements such as protein powder is a great way to enforce proper nutrition. It can provide your muscles with the ability to recover and keep you fuller for longer. However, protein shakes shouldn’t be the only nutrition you give your body for workouts. A healthy workout routine means going above and beyond just protein. Here are some tips to help you provide your body with all the nutrition you'll need to get the most out of your workouts.
An excellent pre-workout nutrition plan will help provide energy, build lean muscle, increase endurance, and prevent strain and injury. It will also make your time in the gym more enjoyable and productive.
To achieve these goals, you need to focus on a meal plan that gives your body the proper fuel (at the appropriate time).
If you’re looking for a delicious, energy-boosting pre-workout snack, we recommend eating 1-2 hours before your workout. This time frame is ideal because it allows your body to absorb the food and prevent issues like cramping and indigestion.
When choosing your pre-workout snack, your focus should be on carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates are a primary energy source for your body, making them a perfect component of any pre-workout snack. Protein, of course, helps your muscles strengthen and repair.
Some of our favorite pre-workout snacks are:
- Fruit: grapefruit, avocado, blueberries, apples, bananas
- Seeds: chia, hemp, flax, pumpkin, sunflower
- Steel-cut oats
- ATAQ Raw Energy Bars
- Vegetables: sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, beets, butternut squash
If you’re looking for a heavier meal pre-workout, we recommend eating 2-4 hours before your workout.
Your focus should still be on carbohydrates and protein for building muscle and increasing endurance, and there are plenty of delicious meal options that can help you optimize your performance.
Some of our favorite pre-workout meals are:
- Whole Grain Pasta
- Whole Grain Toast with Peanut Butter or Avocado
- Low-Sugar Fruit Smoothie
- Quinoa Salad with Avocado
- Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes
When it comes to eating during a workout, the ideal plan for you will vary based on your personal needs and preferences.
While it is essential for everyone to stay hydrated during exercise, we all have different dietary preferences in the gym. Some people would prefer not to eat between sets, and others love to scarf down a delicious snack between reps.
We recommend finding a balance that works best for you. To err on the side of caution, we recommend always bringing a snack with you in case you find yourself low on energy.
When choosing which snack to bring, we recommend maintaining a focus on complex carbs and protein for energy and strength.
Here are some of our favorite mid-workout snacks (that won’t spoil in your gym bag):
- Dry Roasted Almonds
- Kale Chips
- Dried Fruit
- ATAQ Raw Energy Bars Variety Pack
- Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
The post-workout diet plan is one of the most misunderstood parts of a healthy, athletic nutrition plan. Many athletes simply chug a mediocre protein shake and call it a day. For many reasons, this is not enough to help your body rest, repair, and recover.
Post-workout nutrition is key to seeing results from exercise and preventing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), so you need to treat it as an essential part of any workout.
We recommend eating within 45 minutes after your workout ends, but there is no hard and fast rule about when you need to eat after leaving the gym. As you get into a rhythm with your nutrition and exercise, you’ll be able to find a happy balance that helps you achieve weight loss, fat loss, muscle growth, or any other health goal you hope to achieve.
After exercise, your body’s ability to rebuild glycogen (energy from carbs) and protein increases, so you should once again focus on including these in any post-workout snacks or meals.
Carbs help refuel your muscles by stimulating the absorption of amino acids from protein. They also prevent your muscles from breaking down, allowing them to grow and recover.
After your workout, protein from food and protein supplements serve as a building block of muscle growth. In addition to fueling carbs, the increase of amino acids your body receives from protein increases the anabolic effects of training, helping you feel healthier and fitter.
Some of our favorite post-workout snacks are:
- Nuts: walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews
- Whole Grains: rice, oats, quinoa
- Lentils and Beans
- Low-Sugar Soy Yogurt
- Bananas with Almond Butter
Some of our favorite post-workout meals are:
- Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich
- Lentil Spinach Soup
- Edamame, Broccoli and Wild Rice Salad
- Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili
- Vegan Bean Burritos
ATAQ Protein Powder
We recommend incorporating ATAQ’s plant-based protein powder into your post-workout nutrition plan in addition to carb and protein-rich foods. Unlike other options, our protein powder uses over five different sources of non-GMO, plant-based protein (Golden Pea Protein Isolate, Rice Protein Concentrate, Flax Protein, White Chia Seed Protein, Pumpkin Seed Protein) and delivers you the essential amino acids you need for optimum muscle growth and recovery.
ATAQ protein supplements match popular whey protein powders’ amino acid makeup without causing issues for those who suffer from lactose intolerance or other stomach problems. Packed with 25 grams of plant-based protein, our protein powder will optimize your performance and workouts.
Staying Healthy with ATAQ