Workout snacks - what are your options as a vegan?
Can vegans get fit?
Society used to associate vegans as hemp-wearing hippies that wore sandals with socks and braided flowers in their hair. Strong-willed, but weak-bodied. The idea of a top athlete or bodybuilder eating a plant-based diet was seen as inconceivable.
Nowadays, most people have seen The Game Changers and some have witnessed firsthand what vegans are capable of. Even the media is saying that a vegan diet has myriad health benefits. Therefore, it’s now well-known that you can achieve all sorts of health and fitness goals by eating vegan and plant-based snacks!
Is all vegan food healthy?
Whilst it’s possible to get fit on a plant-based diet, that doesn’t mean you can work out in the gym and then head straight to your favorite vegan fast food establishment for some finger-lickin’ chik’n. We’ve got some bad news for you...just because you’re eating snacks made from plants doesn’t make them healthy.
“But the finger-lickin’ chik’n is made from seitan - it’s got a really high protein content!”
Maybe so, but it’s not exactly rich in anything else nutritious...plus, eating it deep-fried (yes, we know it’s tasty) means that you will be getting a lot of unhealthy fat with your protein.
“But fat is a macro, right?”
Ok, you win...not really, we’re always right! Let us explain why eating fatty vegan snacks is not the best idea pre- or post-workout:
The role of macros pre- and post-workout
Fat, carbohydrates and protein. They’re all incredibly important for the human body and they should each have a place in your vegan diet. But where do they fit in when it comes to workouts?
Carbohydrates - an important energy source
Carbohydrates are a complex bunch…well, sometimes! Some of them are simple fellows. The complex carbs, also known as the starches, are found in whole grains and starchy vegetables. They take a long time to digest, leading to a sustained release of energy. The simple carbs are found in a variety of foods, such as table sugar, white bread, and fruit. They are quickly digested, producing short, sharp spikes in blood sugar levels.
During an intense workout, your body will utilize the glycogen stored in your muscles, as well as the glucose readily available in your bloodstream. Therefore, to maintain your blood sugar levels and subsequently help your body’s endurance, it can be a good idea to eat some snacks containing complex carbohydrates pre-workout. Just make sure you don’t overdo it because carbs can be heavy on the stomach.
Protein - for repairing damaged tissues
Everyone knows that this macro is important for workout recovery. Not only does protein help repair damaged tissue, but it also helps you to build new muscle. Having adequate amounts of protein in your bloodstream will prevent your body from breaking down existing muscle to meet its requirements.
Luckily, there are plenty of healthy vegan snacks available that contain plant-based protein.
Fat - vital, but to be moderated
Yes, fat is a macro and vital to help our bodies function properly, but we should be careful about eating fatty snacks too close to a workout. Whilst fats are an important source of energy, they do take a while to digest and can make you feel sluggish during exercise.
Additionally, fat slows down general digestion, which could make it harder for your body to access what it needs, such as the protein required to repair your muscles. Consequently, it’s best to avoid fatty vegan snacks pre- and post-workout.
When should you eat pre-workout?
Most people prefer exercising on an empty stomach, but pre-workout nutrition is important to give your body the fuel it needs. To provide optimal benefits, it’s a good idea to eat a meal rich in carbs and protein about 2-3 hours before working out. That way it gives your body a chance to digest. However, it’s also possible to eat lighter, healthy snacks that are easier to digest about 30-40 minutes before.
When should you eat post-workout?
Most dietitians recommend that you eat within 30-60 minutes of working out, due to the body’s requirements to refuel and replenish what it has lost.
It is also important to rehydrate post-workout. WIth Muir Hydration Powder you can hydrate and replenish minerals and vitamins all at the same time. Make sure to hydrate and then eat to refuel.
What are the best healthy post-workout vegan snacks?
Vegan post workout snack 1. Protein Powder
The obvious choice, but a great one. Protein powders can be added to any liquid, often contain necessary carbohydrates and they’re easy to regulate if you’re counting your macros. You can also blend them with fruit and vegetables to give you that extra boost of nutrients!
Vegan post workout snack 2. Protein Bars
Not all protein bars are healthy snacks! The majority of store-bought bars contain lots of sugar and fat and don’t contain as much protein as you might think. But Nagi makes some great ones that have a complete protein blend and also contain healthy complex carbohydrates, as well as a whole bunch of beneficial micronutrients.
Vegan post workout snack 3. Macro Snacks
Our chips are perfectly balanced to complement your macro requirements - they’re high in protein, contain a well-rounded balance of complex carbohydrates and they’re low in healthy fat. They provide the best ratio of macronutrients for both pre- and post-workout snacking. Plus, they taste amazing and come in a range of exciting flavors that certainly beat any protein powder or sugar loaded protein bar, which, let’s be honest, are just candy bars with extra protein!
Check out our full collection of macro snack flavors. Perfect for vegan post-workout snacking.