Exercise food does not have to be boring! Nutrition before, during, and after training is important to fuel your efforts and help you recover. Did you know strawberries can be great to implement into your diet even for your special workout needs? In honor of National Strawberry Month, below are some fun ideas for using strawberries during training and more! One medium size strawberry is only about 4 calories with 1 gram of carbohydrates, so don’t be afraid to eat some strawberries! Strawberries are also packed with Vitamin C which is a good way to combat illness and keep your immune system loaded.
How do you pick what you want to eat and drink during all these critical times that affect your performance? And more importantly, how can you incorporate strawberries in all of those?
A pre-workout snack should be something that you can easily digest and quickly transition into fuel. You want to focus on simple, pure carbohydrates, with a little bit of protein to keep you feeling fuel. I think a great “comfort food” option is the good ol’ PB&J! And the best "J", of course, is homemade strawberry jam.
You can mix it up too, and make it with almond butter instead! This creation has a nice simple proportion of carbs, fats, and proteins, yet will digest easily and in time for you to feel energized for your workout. You should see what works for you, but I like to eat at least 1.5-2 hours prior to getting my heart rate up.
During exercise, it is best to focus on easily-absorbed carbohydrates and hydration.
If normal water gets boring for you, try infusing your water with muddled fresh strawberries to add some juicy flavor. You can strain it into your water bottle so it won’t clog the spout if you need to. While exercising, it is important to sustain your energy as you deplete your resources. You probably don’t need to fuel during your exercise unless it extends beyond an hour. For longer workouts, try Protein Almondberry Bars to get a great source of protein and carbohydrates to keep your energy up!
After you finish your workout, carbohydrates are still a great option with a little bit of protein. A smoothie is a good way get all your needed nutrition within 30 minutes of finishing your workout. Try Pamela’s Not So Mean Green Smoothie. It has strawberries (of course) and spinach which add a great source of vitamins and almond butter which adds protein.
Join me in celebrating the end of National Strawberry Month by eating strawberries both on and off the bike! Be sure to show off your "strawberry fuel" by sharing them with us on Instagram and including #PoweredByBerries.