Foods
Moderators: chrissy1988, sun123


What is a superb energy food to eat on days when you go to the gym? I'm looking for something to help with my stamina but I don't trust those little bottles of so-called "energy drinks" that I see in convenience stores. I'd rather try to incorporate stuff into my diet that has oodles of energy and tastes yummy. Does such a food exist? Please don't tell me the only option is drinking a big glass of raw eggs.

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The best foods for an energy boost are the ones that get your blood-sugars back up.  Naturally sweet foods that will do that are things like freshly squeezed orange juice, bananas, grapes, dried fruit.  Or you could enjoy a cereal bar, some chocolate or a glucose drink, of course.  Post exercise is probably the one time some good old-fashioned sugar is just what the doctor ordered.

Whilst I am not doubting that sugar gives you energy gi-Jane, I think that surely there are better choices than sugar right after a workout? Its when your body needs protein and carbohydrates to repair the muscles used and replace the used up glycogen stores. Whats wrong with just eating a normal well balanced meal or snack? Sugar leaves me feeling abit low and shaky - I prefer something that is more likely to keep my energy levels more stable.

Foods I like to eat for energy - Nuts, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, beans, brown rice, spinach with everything, tahini paste sandwiches, prawns with wholegrain pasta, avocado on wholegrain toast, big breakfasts (eggs on toast and fruit, or cereal with nuts and fruit, some kind of healthy fat as well). I find I get most energy from just making sure I have good balance in all my meals, and by eating alot for breakfast.

foods high in B vitamins help the energy to be released from the other foods that you eat during digestion, so I've read.

Not high sugar foods. You want foods with a low GI, like oatmeal is perfect, it has slow digesting carbs that will give you energy longer, it also has protein and fiber.

Really depends on your gym work out. Usually something balanced and on a light side before. Working out on full/bloated stomach is not a great thing.

After the work out if you it was hard/long enough and you think you will benefit from it (research is mixed), recovery drink. There are specialized powders out there, but in general something with 3:1 or 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio with a bit of fat. You don't need much 200-300 calories. I like low fat Horizon chocolate milk, 340 calories for 2 cups.

UD

I must admit, I read the OP as asking what foods to get an energy boost post-exercise rather then pre.   And I might have missed something but I don't see people finishing a marathon and tucking into a bowl of oatmeal or a plate of bacon and eggs.....  they're usually enjoying a bar of chocolate or a banana? 

 

Original Post by gi-jane:

I must admit, I read the OP as asking what foods to get an energy boost post-exercise rather then pre.   And I might have missed something but I don't see people finishing a marathon and tucking into a bowl of oatmeal or a plate of bacon and eggs.....  they're usually enjoying a bar of chocolate or a banana? 

 

Fair doos, if you are a hardcore marathon endurance athlete, chocolate might be what you grab after finishing. But if we are talking about recreational exercisers looking to lose a few pounds then I think its unwise to suggest sugar as your best option.

I for one always get in after a run and make a proper meal, or pack a healthy sandwich in my bag for after the gym if im away from home. It's all about organisation! 

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I agree with GI Jane (I usually do...) post workout you need something to burn for some energy, complex carbs aren't really going to give the immediate boost you need.  Eating complex carbs and fibre and protein throughout the day will definitely help you sustain during a workout, but having a quick sugar boost after isn't going to negate what you just did, if you're smart about it.

Don't eat a snickers bar, eat a granola bar with some chocolate chips in it.  Don't drink a coke, drink some orange juice or a protein shake.  Dense fruit like bananas or apples will give you an immediate sugar surge and also have fibre and carbs to sustain you on the drive home.

The OP WANTS energy boosting foods post workout, I don't know about everyone else, but after a hard workout, the last thing I want to do is make a meal on an empty tummy.  In fact I usually pack a snack that I can eat/drink in the shower post workout, a sandwich does not fit into that category.

My dietician suggested either a Lara Bar or one of the Kashi Bars. About 150 calories.

The Lara bar can run a little higher as it has dried fruit in it.

The other suggestion is an apple and 1/2 oz of almonds.

 

Be careful you don't get the protein bars that are meant as a meal replacement.

They are 250 calories so only eat half for a snack if you buy them by mistake..

 

The Kashi and Lara bars you can get from www.drugstore.com with free shipping as it is a pain going store to store to find these items. (drugstore.com has all kinds of weight control products and beauty stuff at good prices delivered to the door.)

 

I just did the new Kinesis workout by technogym at my health club. It is so cool.

It is a cable wieght training program but it is supposed to burn 30% more calories in 30 minutes and the cables don't 'jerk' back like other machines. SO cool , if your gym has these try them out !!

Then have a Lara bar.

:-)  

 

Actually those protein bars are waay more then 250 calories. The bars thar are actually around 250 are the energy bars, like Cliff Bars. The reason for that is thats the ammount of calories your body can process an hour. They are intended for endurance athletes. For example if you are doing 3-5 hour bike ride, you start munching on them at hour 1 and eat about one an hour.

UD

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