When you’re trying to improve your health through exercise, there are actually lots of other things you need to think about too, like what you’re eating. Not only will not eating right impact your health, but it can also damage your performance and make it hard for you to maintain a routine.
One key food that you need to eat a lot of when you’re working out is protein. Protein is an amino acid that helps your body to build and repair your muscles, so you can see why it’s important to eat plenty of it when you’re exercising.
There are lots of ways you can get more protein into your diet. You might like to use the best protein powder on the market and make shakes to drink pre and post gym. Or alternatively, you could get your protein mostly from the food you consume. Whichever proteins you choose, make sure you track them to be sure you’re getting the right amount.
1. Greek Yoghurt
If you love yoghurt, then you’ll be glad to know that the Greek version is super high in protein. A standard cup of Greek yoghurt contains a whopping 20 grams of protein per serving. It’s also said to be extremely filling, making it a brilliant snack. You can easily grab a pot of yoghurt to eat before or after your workouts, and their portability means you can take them to the gym as well.
Yoghurt is very versatile too. You can add lots of other high protein foods to it to make it even higher. For instance, you could add some granola which is around 10g of protein per 100g. You could also pop some nuts in, with just 4 of them containing about 6g of protein. As you can see, it’s really easy to use Greek yoghurt to create high protein workout snacks that also taste delicious.
Another high protein snack that is not only tasty, but good for your body, is cheese. Just 50g of cheddar cheese contains around 13g of protein, which is a very high proportion. If you aren’t a fan of cheddar, then consider cottage cheese instead which is around 11g per 100g. You can get low fat versions of cottage cheese too, so you can have more of it but with fewer calories.
You can enjoy any cheese on its own, but it can be combined with other foods to make an even more nutritious snack. For example, you could make a protein rich cheese sandwich with wholemeal bread and some veggies, adding in some protein rich hummus to make it extra tasty. You don’t always have to have meat in your sandwiches to make them high in protein, as cheese has plenty. And when you combine it with other nourishing foods, you can easily create a tasty, high protein meal.
If you want truly high protein workout snacks that can be eaten on the go, then jerky could be just the thing for you. One 50g packet of beef jerky can contain up to 27g of protein, which is incredibly high. It’s also pretty low in calories and fat, making it a super healthy option. Eating jerky as a tasty pre-workout snack will give you enough protein to see you through your exercise.
Again, you can eat jerky on its own, or mix it with other high protein foods for a more substantial workout snack. You could add it to your salad to give it a protein boost, or even have it on top of pizza. Jerky also comes in lots of different flavours such as peri peri and barbecue, so you’re not limited to a single taste.
4. Protein Bars
Protein bars are a staple of the fitness world, and for good reason. They’re easy to eat on the go, they taste great, and they’re really high in protein. You can find products with a protein amount of anywhere from 15g to 30g per bar.
Most non-vegan protein bars are made with whey powder, which is super high in protein. But it’s derived from milk, so it’s not suitable for allergy sufferers or vegans. However, nowadays there are lots of vegan options that make use of pea protein and soya protein instead.
Protein bars come in a whole range of flavours, so no matter your preference, you’ll be able to find a flavour that you like.
Porridge oats are a fantastic way to get your protein hit in before the gym. They’re also high in carbs, so they’ll release energy slowly during your workout, sustaining you the whole time. There is around 11g of protein per 100g of oats, making them a high protein, low calorie option.
Oats can be used to make more than just porridge too. For example, you could make granola, homemade protein bars, or overnight oats. If you want to elevate your regular porridge, you can bake it in the oven to give it a completely different texture, making it almost cake like. Oats are great to add protein powder to as well, so you can easily make a breakfast which contains over 40g of protein in just one serving.
Creating a high protein snack for your workout doesn’t have to involve hours slaving away in the kitchen to craft a super complicated meal. All of the foods mentioned here are extremely simple, and can be eaten on their own or combined with other snacks. While protein powders are a staple for all exercise fanatics, they aren’t your only option. As you can see, even regular items in your fridge can easily be transformed into a workout snack. So, if you want to up your protein intake to help build your muscles at the gym, why not give some of these high protein workout snacks a go. You’ll soon feel the difference in your recovery and performance, and you’ll be on track for a great workout.