Hey lovelies, this morning I wanted to share with you my new favourite pre and post workout snack……my delicious chocolate protein gym balls!! Yes, you heard me right, I said gym balls, not bliss balls. Yes, these ‘gym balls’ are designed with pre and post workout fuelling in mind.
Now I’m sure for some of you the idea of fuelling correctly before and after your workout is second nature, but some might not quite understand the importance of it and how to do it properly. Don’t worry thought, that’s what I want to talk to you about today.
First things first, let’s talk exercise. I don’t know about you but if I don’t workout at the start of my day, such as between 6-8am in the morning, then there’s a pretty strong chance that I wont be working out that day (haha). Currently my workout routine involves 3-4 mornings a week in hot yoga classes at Studio Red (you need to come try it, it’s amazing!!), 1-2 beach walks and then ideally 1 weight session at our home gym, that’s if I have time and am feeling up to it.
I believe exercise is so important for our health, our wellbeing and to help us to find that perfect balance in our lives. That’s why I put so much importance on it and also why I make sure all my clients have a workout plan that suits them and helps them to feel amazing.
Another thing that I prioritise for myself and my clients is pre and post workout nutrition. So many people don’t pay nearly enough attention to what they eat before and/or after they workout. Then they wonder why they feel drained throughout the workout and why they get tired straight afterwards and also why they can’t push themselves as hard as they might like. And even if you’re not wanting to power through your workouts every day, you should still be thinking about fuelling your body so that your muscles can at least repair and restore after your workout, which is especially important if you workout most days.
Pre Workout Nutrition:
So what should you be eating to help you get the most out of your workouts and refuel and restore your muscles correctly…Well simply put, you need carbohydrate’s and you need them at least 30 minutes before you work out.
Now you might be thinking, well I workout to early to eat anything, but trust me, even something small can be really beneficial and in my books it’s better to have something on board, than to wait and push your body on an empty tank.
Pre workout fuelling helps to:
- Prevent hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels)
- Fuel your muscles
- Stop you getting hungry halfway through your workout (this is never fun)
- ++ it also calms the stomach from any acid build up that might occur during the workout
The key to pre workout nutrition is to eat something that is relatively high in carbohydrates, which is one of the main reasons why I love my chocolate protein gym balls so much, as they contain a great source of carbohydrates. This gives you that energy boost, as well as balancing out your blood sugar levels.
Other great pre workout fuel ideas include brown rice cakes with almond butter and banana, a simple coconut water, banana, chia seed smoothie, or a piece of fruit (i.e a banana or apple) with some nut butter.
Post Workout Nutrition:
Right, now that you’ve got your pre-workout nutrition sorted, what about post workout? Well post workout nutrition is very similar to pre workout nutrition, but you need to pay attention to protein as well as carbohydrates to provide fuel to repair your muscles and replenish your lost glycogen stores. Once again these gym balls have you covered with their protein packed almonds, peanut butter and of course the protein powder that I added. All you need to do is have 1-2 of these chocolate protein gym balls after your workout and you’ll be feeling energized and refuelled in no time.
Some of my other favourite post workout fuel ideas include a protein packed smoothie with nut milk, almond butter, banana, spinach, chia seeds and blueberries. I also love having a small bowl of bircher muesli with fruit, a chia pudding with granola or some coconut yogurt with fruit and a handful of nuts and seeds.
Pre-Exercise Caffeine Boost…….Is it helpful?
Don’t underestimate the benefit of having a little pick up before your workout to help get you through it, with more energy and also allowing you to push your body that little bit extra. I’m sure you’ve heard of people who down cups of coffee before they workout, but I have a healthier and far better option for you and that’s to add cacao powder into your pre workout snack.
Cacao powder contains a small amount of caffeine (just enough for a little boost) as well as being high in so many amazing nutrients from magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc to B vitamins. I love adding it to my diet especially through these gym balls as they give me a great little energy lift that definitely helps with those 7am hot yoga class.
I’ve also slipped some maca powder into these gym balls, as it’s an amazing superfood that balances your hormones, as well as giving you a boost in energy and vitality, which is perfect pre or post workout. You should definitely start adding it your diet, trust me, its amazing!!
The Truth about Protein Powder:
Lastly I decided to add protein powder to my gym balls, since I know so many of you love protein powder and really benefit from adding it to your diet. I don’t use it every day as I know I don’t need a bunch of extra protein in my diet, but I do like the idea of knowing that I can get an extra hit of protein before and after my workout to really support my muscles and to help restore my body after a hard workout.
I use the amazing Garden of Life ‘fermented’ protein powder, which I talk about here. I really recommend spending a little extra and getting a protein powder that doesn’t have a heap of unnecessary fillers added in, but rather has a bunch of wonderful superfoods and probiotics included, like Garden of Life.
Right enough about all of this, let’s get into the recipe for your soon to be “favourite pre and post workout treat”, my chocolate protein gym balls…..
My Chocolate Protein Gym Balls:
Makes 16-20 Bliss Balls
- Dates – 2 ½ cups
- Raw nuts – 1 cup – almonds
- Desiccated coconut – 1 cup
- Peanut butter – 4 tbsp
- Cacao powder – 1/3 cup
- Maca powder – 2 tbsp
- Protein powder – ¼ choc protein powder
- 4 tbsp of water
Add all the ingredients except for the water into your food processor and start blending. While everything combines, slowly pour in the water until everything is sticky and thoroughly mixed. If the mixture is too dry when you roll it, just add a 1 tsp of water at a time, until you reach the desired texture.
Scoop out 1 tbsp of the mixture and start rolling it between your hands until it forms a ball. Next roll your bliss ball in your topping of choice, such as desiccated coconut, sesame seeds or cacao powder. Place the bliss ball on a plate and then continue with the rest of them.
Once you’ve rolled all of your bliss balls, store them in the fridge for 30 minutes to harden before placing them in an airtight container in the fridge. They will last for 2 weeks (if you don’t eat them all by then, that is).
++ On another note if you are wanting more guidance about your pre and post workout nutrition or you want to learn how to have lots of energy, be able to push yourself harder and stronger and finally have a diet that makes you feel amazing then why not email me at email@example.com and we’ll book you in for your FREE initial consult. I have a deal going this month for all new clients where you get $50 off your first month with me, for the month of March. So what are you waiting for, now in the time to feel you best and I can help you to get there!!
I look forward to hearing from you