One of the most common questions I get asked is what to eat before and after a workout. Ask this question to anyone, and you will get a wide range of answers. Eat simple carbs! Eat complex carbs! Eat fat! Eat no fat! Eat something small! Eat something substantial!
While pre-workout food is very important, what you eat post-workout is even more important because it's about rebuilding those microscopic muscular tears.
Before your workout, stick to simple carbs that don't have to be broken down in your system, so you can easily use the food for energy. An example? A banana or a few dates. Going for a longer bout of exercise? Blend 5 dates with 1 tbs. coconut oil (the fat is not stored in your body) and a fresh squeeze of lemon.
Post-workout is a different story. Most people are taught to down a protein shake or have a meal full of complex carbs and protein. The problem with this tactic is that after you workout, your body is depleted. Empty. Exhausted. Feeding it foods that require a ton of energy to break down (such as proteins and complex carbs) will make you increasingly more tired, because your body only has energy to try and recover from the workout. You need foods to aide in this recovery process, not hinder it.
This is why a quick meal full of simple carbs and a smaller amount of protein is perfect post-workout, and then a more regularly balanced meal an hour after that. This post-workout pudding is a perfectly balanced meal of simple carbs, a small dose of healthy fat and just enough protein to boost your system. Want more pre-and post-workout nutrition? Pick up a copy of Brendan Brazier's Thrive, which is a book chock full of plant-based recipes and sound nutrition advice.
Enjoy this delicious pudding!
Post-Workout Chocolate Pudding
4 Tbsp. chia seeds (amazing seed full of fiber and healthy fats)
1 scoop chocolate protein powder (soy or hemp)
1 cup coconut yogurt (or other nondairy yogurt)
4 Tbsp. flaxseed meal
2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
12 0z. water
1 packet Stevia (optional)
1. In a medium bowl, combine chia seeds and water. Let stand 20 minutes, stirring frequently until it reaches a gelatin texture.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients, except raspberries.
3. Chill for 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with berries!