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12 Quick Preworkout and Postworkout Snacks



– Fitness Tips –

Go light before your workout — and try to eat a postworkout snack within an hour or two of your workout for recovery.

Before you work out, experts recommend waiting at least two hours after your last meal and at least 20 minutes after a snack (or at least 60 minutes if you’re training at a high intensity).

If you feel you need a snack before your morning workout but don’t have much of an appetite, start small and light since it can take a few weeks to get used to eating so early. Depending on your needs, you can gradually increase the amount you’re consuming.

Aim to eat a postworkout snack or meal within one to two hours after a workout to optimize your recovery.

Preworkout Snacks

These snacks feature low-fiber, easily digestible carbs paired with a bit of protein.

  1. 1 to 2 tbs. of nut butter with a banana
  2. 1 to 3 hard-boiled eggs and a tangerine (or other fruit)
  3. Protein shake or smoothie
  4. Half a potato with a dollop of Greek yogurt
  5. Peach slices and cottage cheese
  6. Cup of applesauce with protein powder

Postworkout Snacks

These snacks feature complex carbs and muscle-building protein.

  1. Plain Greek yogurt with berries and honey
  2. Sweet potato topped with poached egg
  3. Tuna on whole-grain or gluten-free crackers
  4. Corn or whole-grain tortilla with scrambled eggs
  5. Grain bowl of your choice, such as brown rice with veggies and chicken
  6. Protein shake or smoothie

This originally appeared as “Eat Well to Move Well” in the July-August 2020 print issue of Experience Life.

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Health & Fitness

Small Shifts to the USDA Dietary Guidelines



The recent updates to the USDA nutrition guidelines recommend lowering sugar and alcohol intake and opting for breastfeeding over infant formula.

Every five years, a government-appointed committee draws up a national healthy-eating menu. Since the first Dietary Guidelines for Americans was issued in 1980, this nutritional advice has been broadly focused on our health, but it also affects food-stamp policies and school-lunch menus.

It influences processed-food formulations for the food-manufacturing industry, as well — and this is where politics and big business enter in.

More than half of the members of the panel formulating the 2020–2025 guide have food-industry ties. And those involved in adding first-ever advice for pregnant mothers and toddlers are all connected to baby-food makers.

“My concern is that these guidelines, heavily influenced by the food and beverage industry, will dictate what kinds of food are offered at schools and set the eating habits of children, particularly Black and brown children, for the rest of their lives,” says pediatrician Yolandra Hancock, MD, an obesity expert at George Washington University’s Milken Institute of Public Health.

Despite her own reservations, Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, author of Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health, has been pleasantly relieved by this panel’s work. “I was concerned about this when the committee was first appointed because so many of the members had worked with companies making products high in sugar, salt, and fat. But the committee surprised me. It stuck to the science and came out with recommendations quite consistent with previous recommendations, but even more restrictive.”

Among the new guidelines:

  • The committee reduced the recommended limit for alcoholic drinks from two to one daily.
  • The panel advised lowering daily consumption of added sugars by 40 percent, cutting intake from 12.5 to 7.5 teaspoons, or a maximum of 120 calories or 30 grams.
  • For the first time, the guidelines recommended breastfeeding versus infant formulas, stating that being breastfed “may reduce” the risk of obesity, type 1 diabetes, and asthma.

For her part, Nestle — who served on the 1995 committee — recommends the dietary guidelines be taken with a grain of salt compared with our own intuitive common sense.

“I always have concerns about the guidelines’ increasing complexity — it’s now 835 pages,” she says. “From my standpoint, [journalist] Michael Pollan’s seven-word mini-haiku takes care of things quite nicely: ‘Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.’”

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