If you ever find yourself struggling to eat well before or after a rigorous workout session, it is time for you to add a snack to your gym bag along with all your gear.

A wholesome meal, both before and after your workout is ideal, although even a nutritious snack can suffice.

While the type of workout you do determines whether eating before or after is more important, it is ideal to try and get in some yummy in your tummy both before and after your workout.

What your body needs

Before choosing your pre or post workout meal, you need to understand what kind of food the body needs. Your pre-workout meal should include all three macronutrients, which are carbs, fats, and protein. Minus the fats, your post-workout meal should contain the same macros. Before your workout, protein helps in increasing muscle protein synthesis, while it helps in building and repairing muscles after your workout. Carbs contain glucose, which provides fuel before your workout, and helps in recovery after your workout. While glycogen is used for short bouts of workout, fats provide fuel longer workouts. With that being discussed, let us take a look at some healthy snacks to put in your gym bag.

1. Sweet potato or boiled potato

Most people do not bother buying sweet potato. But that’s alright, regular boiled potato shall suffice. Both are almost equally healthy, and are equally beneficial to consume before or after working out. Sweet potato, as the name would suggest, contains a little more sugar than regular potatoes, but also makes for a tastier snack. Both contain a good amount of protein, carbs, and fiber.

2. Peanut butter and whole wheat bread

Natural peanut butter that is unsweetened and unsalted is the preferred choice for this snack. It is best to consume before your workout, as peanut butter is high in calories. Spread over whole wheat bread or any other healthy bread like sourdough or multigrain bread, and you have a meal complete with protein, good fats, and fiber.

3. Oatmeal

Oats are full of fiber, which release the carbohydrates slowly, keeping you energized for longer. Oats are also high in protein and many other beneficial nutrients. Use toned milk instead of full cream milk to reduce the fat content while preparing oatmeal.

4. Nuts

An assortment of nuts like almonds, cashews, pistachios, and walnuts makes for one of the best pre-workout snacks. They are high in calories which provide abundant energy for your workout, and the heart-friendly healthy fats provide antioxidants which boost cell functionality.

5. Grilled or boiled chicken

You might want to save this one until you’re done working out. Chicken can be heavy on the stomach, so people prefer having it as a post-workout snack. Chicken is rich in protein, low in calories and is wholesome, so it can be eaten as a meal.

6. Boiled eggs

Boiled eggs are a nutritional powerhouse, and can be snacked on, both before or after your workout. Eggs are rich in protein and unsaturated fats that can fuel your workout, and help you recover from it. Try only packing boiled eggs, as other cooking styles will add unnecessary fats and calories.

7. Banana

Bananas are a go-to snack for many bodybuilders, and with good reason at that. They are rich in carbs and potassium, and support nerve and muscle function which make your workout easier. Make sure you don’t squash them though.

8. Protein shake

Last but not the least, we come to perhaps most bodybuilders’ favourite snack – a delicious protein shake. As the name suggests, protein shakes are high in protein, and to get the most out of the supplement, add it to milk instead of water, unless it messes with your digestion.