You’ve made the commitment to get more active in 2014, but they key to keeping that promise — and actually seeing some return on your investment — is fueling your body properly to help keep it strong, energized and less susceptible to illness.
This also means that, regardless of your goal (whether it’s to rock a race or lose a few lbs), it’s important to think about diet and exercise as a package deal rather than an either/or proposition.
With that in mind, here are a few of my current favorites for getting revved up for — and recovering after — your next sweat session.
To Fill the Tank: Corazonas Oatmeal Squares
As far as packaged snacks go, Corazonas Oatmeal Squares are a great option for when you’re on the go and want a filling, fiber-rich, whole-grain mini-meal. I eat mine en route to morning workouts but also stash a few in my workout bag to keep away the afternoon “hangries.”
Each square contains six grams of protein and five grams of fiber, tucked into delicious flavors, such as Chocolate Brownie & Almond, Banana Walnut and Cranberry Flax. Plus, every bar is infused with plant sterols, which are proven to help lower cholesterol.
To Maintain Muscle: Sambazon Protein Chocolate+Almond+Coconut Milk
Packed with organic, whole-food protein to build lean muscle and healthy omegas to help keep you full longer, Sambazon’s Protein Chocolate+Almond+Coconut Milk features a hearty blend of açaí berries with chocolate, coconut milk and a hint of almond. I like to drink it within that 60-minute window after a particularly tough workout to help replenish, rebuild and repair muscle.
The company also has a cool back-story worth mentioning — Sambazon was started by surfers in Southern California and operates under a philosophy called the Triple Bottom Line, which not only measures success economically, but also socially and environmentally. That means they’re organic, believe in non-GMO and support fair trade, which means it’s “good” food on a few different levels.
To Stave Off Sickness: GoodBelly Probiotic Fruit Drink
Since 70 percent of the body’s immune system dwells in the digestive tract, a properly functioning digestive system is essential to maintaining overall health (especially when you’re in a training cycle during cold and flu season!). And I’ll take every bit of help I can get to stay well, which is why I’ve swapped out my regular morning juice for GoodBelly’s Probiotic Fruit Drinks.
They contain contain Lactobacillus plantarum 299v (LP299V®), one of the most well-studied probiotic cultures available on the market, which has a superior ability to survive the stomach’s harsh acidic environment in order to inhabit the intestine and was initially developed for use by gastroenterologists in Sweden to help their patients recover from surgery. Each serving contains a whopping 20 billion live and active probiotic cultures to promote healthy digestion.
Wanna check it out yourself? Try GoodBelly’s 12-Day Challenge where you can get a discount on a 12-day supply.
What are your favorite pre- and post-workout fuels?
Thanks to the folks at Corazonas, Sambazon and GoodBelly for providing samples for review; all opinions are my own.