Here are 10 meals and snacks that’ll pave the way for gains, whether you train in the gym or on the road.
1. Plain Greek yogurt with berries and granola
“The berries and granola provide quick-digesting carbs to fuel your workout, and the Greek yogurt provides ample protein to prevent some of that muscle breakdown,” Mazur says. Look for a granola that contains nuts, seeds, and wholesome carbs (like oats, amaranth, quinoa, and/or millet). Try to find carb sources sweetened with coconut oil, dried figs, and/or vanilla; you want to keep sugar to a medium. Same goes for the yogurt: Stick to plain rather than fruit flavors.
2. Whole-fruit smoothie
“Fruit provides simple sugars that are easy to digest,” Mazur says. “They’re your body’s preferred source of energy for high-intensity workouts.” Check out our smoothie recipes for combinations that suit your preferences. Try whirling together banana, peanut butter, oats, flaxseeds, and almond milk (full recipe here). Alternatively, go with half an avocado, frozen blueberries, banana, and almond milk (full recipe here).
3. High-protein oatmeal and blueberries
If you’re always running late, whip up these blueberry-almond overnight oats. Almond butter, chia seeds, and oats, especially, “provide sustained energy for longer workouts,” Mazur says. This recipe also gets a protein punch thanks to plain Greek yogurt and protein powder (vanilla or unflavored). “A scoop of protein powder adds amino acids to aid your muscles that are breaking down.”
4. Banana with peanut butter and honey
“Bananas are mother nature’s power bar: They’re loaded with simple carbs for fuel and potassium, which helps with optimal nerve and muscle function,” Mazur says. Top one off with a serving of peanut butter—or any other nut butter you like. (Just try to stick to the recommended 2Tbsp serving size.) If you want a little sweetness, drizzle a bit of honey. It’ll release slow, steady levels of glucose into your bloodstream—great for grueling WODs and endurance workouts when your body can start using muscle glycogen as fuel if it doesn’t have enough readily available carbs.