A workout is only as effective as the amount of energy you put into it. So, it is important what you put into your body before you hit the gym. Here are a few pre-workout ideas that give you the right combination of carbs and protein for ultimate workout success!
Vegan Banana Oat Protein Balls
1 cup rolled oats
1 serving vegan vanilla protein powder
1 large banana
Pour rolled oats and protein powder into a food processor. Turn on for a minute until the oats are slightly chopped but not completely smooth.
Add the banana, and turn on until a coarse yet pliable dough forms. Roll into 12 balls, and place in a reusable container. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
The best part about these is how easy they are to make. You can double or triple this recipe and save them! These little guys are just 47 calories, but a 3 piece servings will give you over 8 grams of protein and 24 grams of carbs.
Fruit and Oatmeal
4 cups water
2 cups organic rolled oats
2 medium-firm ripe bananas
3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stir in t
he oats, and cook for three to five minutes. Using a large spoon or ladle, place the oatmeal into four individual bowls.
Thinly slice the bananas, and place them on top of the oatmeal. Follow by topping each bowl with 1/4 of the peanut butter, brown sugar, and dark chocolate. Mix with a spoon, and enjoy.
Oatmeal is quick, easy, and high in fiber. It is also loaded w
ith good carbs for that pre-workout energy and post workout recovery. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and adds that wonderful sweetness we all actually crave.
Peanut Butter Protein Balls
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Roll into 10 balls (about 1 heaping tablespoon per serving).
Refrigerate to firm up balls, overnight for best results. Enjoy!
Apricot Almond Butter Bites
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
10 dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Place the almonds, raisins, and cinnamon in a food processor. Turn on until mixed thoroughly into a smooth, thick almond butter paste, about three minutes or so. Turn off the food processor.
Add the chopped apricots and pulse for 30 seconds, and then add the coconut and pulse for another 10 seconds.
Remove the dough and place it on a cutting board or counter that’s covered in a piece of plastic wrap. Pull up the plastic on either side and begin to press it together to form one large square, keeping the layer of plastic between your hands and the dough to prevent sticking.
Wrap up the square and place it in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. This will make it easier to cut.
Using a sharp knife, cut the square into 25 smaller squares.Store the bites in an airtight container in the fridge.
Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer, Koko FitClub
About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer
Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in North Attleboro, MA.