Choosing your pre- and post-workout meal is very important. After all, you need to provide your body with the right nutrients that will give you enough energy to complete your exercises and help your muscles recover after your workouts. However, workout meal planning becomes even more important if you are a vegan since you can’t rely on animal sources for protein. With proper planning, you can uphold your beliefs while getting proper nutrition and having the energy to maximize your workouts and perform your best.
Not sure where to begin? You can use this guide to help plan your pre- and post-workout meals as a vegan!
The Importance of Pre-Workout Meals
Having a nutritious pre-workout meal is important since it allows you to give your body enough fuel to perform your workouts. If you don’t get enough nutrients before your workout, you’ll impair your endurance and output and you won’t be able to perform as well as you should. You might even experience gastrointestinal problems such as cramping or nausea.
Muesli with berries and fruits is a good vegan pre-workout meal. (Image Source: Pexels)
For your pre-workout meal, you should focus on loading up on carbs and protein, which are used by your body as a source of energy. Carbohydrates provide fuel to your muscles so you can perform each set of your training with ease, while proteins aid in muscle development and help you have more muscle strength. This is why experts recommend that you have a protein-rich and carb-loaded snack at least 30 minutes before each workout. However, you need to keep your meals relatively small so your stomach won’t feel so full.
Ideas for a Vegan Pre-Workout Meal
Planning a vegan-friendly pre-workout meal can be confusing, especially if you’re still starting out. However, you don’t have to fret since there are many online resources that can provide you with helpful tips! You can check out Amy’s Kitchen for vegetarian options that will make you feel energized without the guilt. Here, you can find lots of ideas on how to create nutrient-dense pre-workout snacks that are delicious and satisfying. If you want to simplify your meal preparation process, you can also try using the Vegin’ Out meal delivery service. This will help you save time and effort in preparing your pre-workout food and ensure that you’ll get all the nutrients you need to fuel your exercises.
Below are other ideas you can try for your pre-workout vegan meal:
- Mix soy milk with any fruit of your choice to make a delicious smoothie.
- Mix coconut or soy yogurt with low-fat muesli.
- Mix almond or soy milk with overnight oats.
- Snack on fruits such as mango, grapes, or bananas.
- Have two slices of whole-grain bread topped with banana slices and peanut butter.
- Make a soy cheese sandwich.
- Create a salad with nuts and fruits.
- Cook some sweet potatoes.
- Blend frozen bananas with milk to make homemade banana ice cream.
- Drink a cup of soy milk or yogurt.
The Importance of Post-Workout Meals
Aside from focusing on pre-workout meals, you must also ensure that you'll get adequate nutrition from your post-workout meals. Without proper nutrition, you can compromise the results of your workout, delay your body’s recovery, and even experience muscle soreness. The healthier your post-workout meal is, the sooner your body will recover and replenish its energy stores.
Rolled oats make a great post-workout recovery meal. (Image Source: Pexels)
You’ll need to get an adequate amount of carbohydrates and protein for your post-workout meal to help with recovery. Carbs are needed by the body to refuel your muscles and rebuild after doing hard work. Specifically, these nutrients stimulate your muscles to ensure better absorption of amino acids by increasing the hormone insulin in your system, and they increase your fuel stores to prevent muscle breakdown. Ideally, you need to have 10 to 20 grams of carbs and protein after each workout.
Post-Workout Foods That Will Replenish Your Body
If you need help planning your post-workout meal, you can try any of the following recommendations:
- Make a protein shake using FRESH1 Vegan Protein. Add a teaspoon of FRESH1 OMEGA-3 to facilitate muscle recovery and ease inflammation!
- Make a fruit smoothie by combining your favorite fruits with a few tablespoons of soy or coconut yogurt along with a cup of soy or nut milk.
- Make toast using baked beans and roasted mushroom or any vegetable of your choice.
- Put together a lentil burger using a multigrain bun and some lentil salad.
- Have a plate of vegan bolognese pasta (you can find some wonderful recipes for this online).
- Whip up a tofu and vegetable stir fry with whole grains
- Grab some fresh or dried fruits plus a handful of nuts
- Create homemade bliss balls with almonds, chia seeds, dates, and chocolate.
- Put a dash of natural peanut butter on whole-grain toast.
- Mix rolled oats with chia seeds, nuts, berries, and yogurt.
- Make a salad wrap with tabouleh and hummus.
- Have some baked beans or chickpeas (or any peas or beans of your choice).
If you are not getting enough protein from your meal, it is always a good idea to supplement with vegan protein powder. This will help ensure that your body gets the required amount of protein to aid in the muscle recovery process. A single serving of vegan protein powder will provide you with up to 25 grams of protein, which is what your body needs for proper post-workout recovery.
Start Planning Your Workout Meals
Proper planning is important when it comes to choosing your pre- and post-workout meals. By carefully choosing the foods that you eat (particularly before and after exercising), you can ensure that you have enough nutrients to fuel your workout and help your body recover. Of course, you’ll stay away from nutritional deficiencies that can affect your performance and put your health at risk.