Metabolism Boosting Snack Attack
Want to boost your metabolism beyond the kick-in-the-butt from exercise? Besides the non-stimulant thermogenic supplements a good protein and good carb snack before or after a workout is a great option.
After a workout, while you may feel pumped and not thinking about eating a thing, your muscles need a fillup of nutrients if you’re goal is to develop stronger and denser muscle tissue, so eat right after that workout; your muscles will thank you and they’ll show it. So if the goal is muscle building or weight loss, within a half hour post workout, eat a quick-acting protein and make sure to include good carbs to re-fuel. So to be your best self before or after your WOD, munch on these to both kick your metabolism up a notch and feed those muscles the nutrients lost during the workout. The key is moderation, though. Nuts have calories and fats, albeit good fats. Dried fruits have sugar, again a ‘sugar’ that’s good for your body, but you want to watch the amounts. One key is to focus on snack-type foods that are high in Vitamin C which some researchers say is a great booster.
Nuts and seeds are a chips or salt-lovers choice. The cool thing about nuts and seeds is that you can create a mix and store in your fridge or cupboard and grab when you need a metabolism jump-start. And in that mix, you can toss in some dried fruits and even very dark chocolate chips would make a mix even tastier and pack a bigger metabolism punch.
Facts about Fruits: First, nuts and seeds, grains, peppers, olives, beans, tomatoes and even corn kernels are technically fruits according to the Mayo Clinic. But the science on the fruits we know as fruits is divided, though most nutrition experts agree that while some fruits, you know, the ones we think of when we think fruit, may not provide a big boost like other foods, fresh, dried, or freeze-dried fruits (in the case of the latter two, make sure they contain no added sugar or preservatives) is nonetheless a good choice. Berries, apricots and avocado (yes, it is a fruit) are healthy and when high in C – like grapefruit, especially -, kick it up a bit.
So Spicy: Capsaicin kicks butt when it comes to boosting metabolism, so when you’re snacking, add hot peppers to the mix; habañeros and jalapeños will do the trick. You could try a habanero chip recipe but they’re fairly complicated; go to a health food store and buy some organic capsaicin-rich snacks.
Mixing It Up: Here’s where you can get adventurous: toss almonds with a handful of dried apricots, toss in some chia, flax or pumpkin seeds and top with a kid-sized handful of dark chocolate chips (70% cacao or higher).
Very, Very Veggie: There’s no doubt that veggie snacks are your friend. Asparagus, celery, kale, broccoli, kelp and spinach are among the best to choose from. A small, quick salad tossed with some peppers or seeds and you’re set. Or, try kale chips (make them yourself by simply removing the stems, place on parchment paper and season with good stuff like olive oil and maybe a bit of cayenne for an extra double boost and bake in a 350 oven for 5 or 10 minutes; don’t let them burn).
Straight-up Protein – Roast a bunch of chicken drumsticks on a Sunday and refrigerate and you’ll have a perfect proteinrich cold chicken snack to much on (like a picnic!) Lean white meats, like turkey and chicken, deliver on protein. Turkey wings can be roasted (just like the Sunday chicken drumstickroasting marathon) and too can be grabbed as a quick shot of protein for metabolism-boost fuel. And don’t forget tuna!
Don’t Forget the Tea – A last reminder: make sure to wash your snack down with green tea which is one known to be a beautiful fat-burning beverage. (Add vitamin C-rich lemon for taste and an extra kick.)
What are your go-to post-WOD snacks, tell us on Facebook.