To get the most out of your workout routine, you need to properly fuel your body, and a high protein snack can play a big role in this process.
But properly consuming high protein snacks is slightly more complicated than eating a hard-boiled egg or sipping on a protein shake after the gym.
What you eat and when you eat matter.
To help you properly incorporate high-protein foods into your active lifestyle, we’ve put together this guide to protein and why you need it. We’ve even provided some tasty protein-packed snack ideas to get you started!
Why You Need Protein in Your Diet
Protein is a critical component in any diet. It provides essential support for building strong muscles and other tissues. Every cell contains protein, and each cell can only function as they do because of it.
Exercise stimulates the breakdown of muscle proteins. As an athlete, your body constantly breaks down muscle protein to supply enough energy for your workouts and busy schedule. The speed of this breakdown depends on your workouts and your training level, but it still happens even if you’re a pro.
It’s important to eat protein-rich foods, such as meat, fish, and eggs, around the time you exercise. This will help your body repair itself and build new muscle.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
The amount of protein you need depends on your age, sex, weight, and activity level.
Generally, the recommended daily intake is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. But, if you exercise regularly, then you should eat more protein.
Because exercise breaks down muscle protein, you need to replace it for the muscles to repair and grow.
After a workout, try to consume between 0.3–0.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
How Does Protein Support My Workout?
Proteins are the building blocks of tissues, muscles, and other vital body parts. They’re also what’s used to repair muscles after a workout.
Three reasons why high protein diets are a great option:
- Protein is densely packed, so it keeps the body feeling fuller for extended periods after eating
- Protein can stabilize blood glucose which helps stave-off cravings
- It takes more calories to digest protein than other types of food
Protein is a macronutrient, which means it’s one of the primary nutrients you need for good health. It’s excellent for repairing internal or external damage, supporting the immune system, and contributing to general wellness. Proteins help maintain the body’s structure, grow cells, and regulate cellular functioning.
When is the Best Time to Eat Protein? Before or After a Workout?
It’s commonly thought that the timing of your protein consumption will significantly affect your workout. As a result, people suggest that you eat protein soon after finishing exercising – typically within the first hour afterward.
However, evidence suggests that eating protein before and after a workout can improve muscle rebuilding. Before your workout, eating a mix of carbohydrates and protein will give your body the energy it needs to get through it, and after, high protein snacks provide those all-important building blocks for repair, recovery, and growth.
7 High Protein Snacks to Fuel Your Workout
Finding a good variety of healthy, high-protein snacks to fuel your workout can seem like a hassle. However, we’ve compiled a list of quick, easy recipes that are tasty and nutritious.
Here are some of our favorite high protein snacks:
Peanut Butter Toast with Banana
When you have a hankering for peanut butter and banana, you should satisfy that craving. This classic snack is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or whenever the mood strikes. Peanut butter and banana toast provides healthy fats, proteins, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. It offers a protein-rich and fiber-packed option for long-lasting energy.
Tuna is a popular choice for workout fuel because it’s low calorie, high in protein, and provides many necessary nutrients. It’s also refreshing and satisfies your hunger if you want a simple solution. Stick with straight tuna and a wrap, or mix and match different vegetables and herbs for a custom-made wrap suits your tastes.
Hummus and Carrots
Traditional hummus contains plant-based protein, healthy fats, and healthy fiber, making it a balanced and nutritious high protein snack. In addition to being high in vitamin A and potassium, carrots are also a good source of iron. Squeeze some lemon in your hummus for added zest!
Cottage Cheese and Berries
Grab some cottage cheese if you’re in the mood for a healthy, protein-packed snack. Add raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries for a sweet, fruity treat! Mix it up with chia seeds or hemp for added healthy fats and proteins. If you don’t like cottage cheese, substitute greek yogurt and some nut butter for an added treat.
Balsamic Tuna Salad Apple Boats
This flavourful tuna salad with a twist has a perfect tang! The balsamic vinegar pairs perfectly with sweet apples for a tasty, high protein snack. Served in apple boats, they are an easy family favorite!
Easy to make and high in nutrients and protein, a salmon frittata is a great snack before or after your workout. This delicious high protein snack keeps well in the refrigerator, so it is perfect for active people short on time.
Trail mix is the perfect solution for when you’re looking for a small, quick post-workout snack. Simply add nuts like almonds, pecans, and walnuts; dried fruit like cranberries; or even savory options like roasted chickpeas and edamame. This high protein snack also has healthy carbs and healthy fat, and it is quick and easy to prepare, and highly portable, which is important after a workout.
Fuel Your Body With Safe Catch
To function and perform at its best, your body needs protein, and canned tuna and salmon are excellent, easy choices for high protein snacks. They’re both lean protein, easy, convenient, and healthy while packing in plenty of additional nutrients to help your muscle recovery and muscle growth.
When looking for a canned tuna or salmon brand, look for one that is committed to sustainability and lower mercury levels.
Safe Catch is the only brand to test every single tuna and salmon for mercury and maintains a stricter limit than the FDA mercury action limit. Not only is Safe Catch the lowest mercury limit fish on the market, but it is also hand packed and slow-cooked for superior flavor.