The right recipe for exercise

  • By
    Roxanne Fisher - Health editor - bbcgoodfood.com

It's difficult to know what to eat before, during and after exercise to naturally improve energy, stamina and recovery. Our three brand new recipes are ready in a flash and include some special ingredients to help you make the most of your workout.

The pre-exercise shake:
exercise shake

Low-fat and ready in five minutes, this shake boasts honey, almonds and a banana in its ingredient list, making it a great pre-workout snack:

Key ingredients:

Banana
The athlete's favourite. Bananas are compact and full of nutrients while also being a good source of easily digestible carbohydrates, which are converted into energy by the body. It is also though the high levels of potassium in bananas may help you to avoid cramping during exercise.

Honey
Somewhat an unsung hero, those in the know swear by honey as one of the best foods to eat pre-exercise. Natural and just as effective as an energy gel, honey is a simple carbohydrate made up mostly of unrefined sugars, which are easily absorbed by the body and prop up energy stores.

Almonds
Almonds provide an energy boost in the form of natural, monounsaturated fats, giving your body another source of energy to draw upon when the going gets tough - particularly important for endurance exercise.

Try our exercise shake recipe

The mid-workout energy bite:Energy bite recipe

Make ahead and freeze for ultimate convenience. Pocket an energy bite and if fatigue kicks in, give your body a helping hand with these little endurance-boosters - packed with quick release energy:

Key ingredients:

Raisins and pecans
Dried fruit is high in natural sugars and provides a concentrated dose of easily absorbed energy (carbohydrates) for the body. Pecans top up alternative energy stores, as they are high in natural fats.

Flaxseed
A good source of omega-3, which is thought to boost immunity and therefore optimises the body's energy levels. Just a tablespoon is needed in this recipe to ensure you don't get unwanted bloating as they are high in dietary fibre.

Try our energy bites recipe

After exercise yogurt:

After exercise yogurtFat-free and low in calories, this yogurt is the ideal post-workout snack to help recovery due to a couple of key ingredients...

Key ingredients:

Mixed berries
High in natural sugars, berries deliver much needed carbohydrates to muscles in the quickest time possible and can therefore help to replenish depleted energy stores after exercise.

Greek yogurt
Protein is important for post-workout refuelling, as it is the nutrient that maintains and repairs muscles and lean body tissue. Depending on brand, Greek yogurt contains around double the protein of regular yogurt, so enjoy a hearty helping and heal those fatigued muscles fast.

Try our instant frozen berry yogurt recipe

For more inspiration, browse our healthy recipe collections
 

All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact  your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

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