To give your body the energy it needs to perform and maintain net protein balance to decrease muscle protein breakdown, it is recommended that you plan to eat a pre-training meal 1-4 hours before any bout of physical activity (what's needed and how much is another discussion due to the amount of variability in exercises, individual body composition goals, sport season, fuel utilization in response to various training modalities, and individual dietary needs). Due to our busy schedules, it can be tough finding the time to make a balanced "pre-workout" or "post-workout" meal/snack. I am FINALLY understanding how precious time is now that I am a soon to be father, preparing to plan a wedding, a full-time Ph.D. student, working with many athletes for their individual sports nutrition needs, and still finding the time to practice what I preach as a semi-in shape Registered Dietitian, training 4-5 days out of the week (the 5th day I am cutting the grass of my ridiculous yard for cardio).
With that being said, one of the key concepts that I take for granted is planning ahead (meal prepping) with my pre/post training fueling needs with a nutrient-dense meal that has to be portable and easily accessible driving to the training facility. These power bites (energy bites) are so clutch because they provide your body with balance in macronutrient distribution, increases blood glucose and muscle glycogen for energy, provides protein to prevent your body from breaking down muscle protein stores and builds lean muscle tissue, and provides essential dietary fat for energy metabolism, recovery support post workout, nutrient transport, and hormone regulation. Depending on the size of each bite, these power bites pack ~300-400 kcal, ~30g CHO, ~20g PRO, and roughly 24g FAT in each pack (2 balls = 1 serving). As a quick and easy pre/post workout snack, try to make these energy bites the night before your day of training or busy week.
- Whole Rolled Oats
- Fruit Preserves (any fruit flavored jelly)
- Chia/Hemp/Flax seeds ("Whole Trilogy" mixture available at Wal-Mart)
- Natural Peanut Butter (Ingredients should only say "peanuts" and "salt")
- Optional: dried fruit, coconut flakes, chocolate chips
- In a Large bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of rolled oats, 1 cup of peanut butter, 6 tablespoons of chia/flax/hemp seeds, and 1/4 cup of fruit-flavored preserves
- Grab about 2 tablespoons of mixture and roll in hand for a ping-pong sized ball
- Place 2 bites in a small sandwich bag (should be able to make ~16-20 balls or 8-10 servings)
- Refrigerate snack bags overnight or for a couple of hours
- Enjoy! #VetEats