And I don’t mean snack, I mean meal.
When you workout hard, especially lifting weights, your body needs energy, tons of energy. It is no secret that the most potent energy comes from carbohydrates (sorry low-carb diet followers, but it’s true). Carbohydrates give you the immediate energy, and if the carbs are complex (slow), the enrgy is also more sustainable. Carbohydrates are converted to sugar and stored in liver in the form of glycogen – a substance that your body taps into when the energy is required for hard, strenuous or very intensive work, such as workouts. I am not talking about steady cardio where you go slow to moderate for hours and I am not talking about simple body weight exercises that you do in a slow pace with good rest intervals. I’m talking about HARD WORK.
Many people, including many athletes prefer to drink protein shakes pre-workout. While their bodies indeed need some extra protein for building muscle, they certainly do not need as many as they consume. I have long thought that protein powders and high protein diets are much hyped due to their cost (making and selling those powders as well as meat industry is huge money), but studying nutrition more closely only strengthened my ground. We do not need a lot of extra proteins to lose weight or build muscle and we do not need to cut carbohydrates too low. But this is another talk for another time.
Proteins are simply not the type of energy that actually gives you energy. The most energy is always in sugar, but it doesn’t mean we can simply eat everything sweet and we will have energy. When it’s coming to carbohydrates, we have to choose wisely and opt for the healthiest and cleanest carbohydrates out there, which leads me to…
Fact: Did you know that bananas are complex carbohydrates? Any other fruit is simple carbs.
In terms of energy and satiety, bananas are unbeatable. I have tried many types of pre-workout meals and snacks during the past couple of years. Normal meals, vegetarian or not, high protein meals, shakes, fruits and nuts. Bananas are absolutely the best. And epecially I like taking them in a smoothie – a simple sweet indulgence. So simple actually, that it requires no recipe, but I’ll tell you the metod.
What you need:
About 3 medium bananas
Coconut Milk drink (or any other plant-based milk, like Almond Milk. Water is a clean alternative too)
Put everything together in the blender and blend until smooth. You will love it!
Cinnamon in this smoothie is a little bonus. The health benefits of cinnamon are well known to the modern world, so why not add it to spice up this “milkshake” to perfection? And if you like a little hot spice, you can add a pinch of Cayenne Pepper for additional benefits, such as metabolism boost.