If you’ve set a goal for the new year of working out and exercising more often, fuel your workouts with these meals inspired by sports nutrition. When it comes to your performance in the gym or on the track, sports nutrition targets the specific nutrients your body demands for optimal recovery and maximum endurance. Each of these recipes provides exactly what you need for a great workout, and best of all, they’re easy to make and delicious to eat.
BREAKFAST: PB & S High-Protein Smoothie
Numerous studies have pinpointed how crucial it is to get enough protein when you’re working out regularly. Increased protein intake is necessary for both endurance athletes (i.e. cyclists, swimmers, runners, etc.) as well as those who are more focused on bodybuilding (i.e. those who are lifting weights). And in terms of sports nutrition, whey protein is one of the best options because it’s easy to digest and contains ample amino acids that fuel your workout and speeds up post-workout recovery.
This delicious protein shake is a breeze to make, contains everything you need for a healthy breakfast, and has lots of antioxidants to keep your immune system humming strong all day long.
1 cup unsweetened nut milk
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 tbsp peanut butter or your favorite nut butter
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
LUNCH: Quinoa Power Bowl
Quinoa is a sports nutrition superfood for athletes! It’s a great source of complex carbohydrates, which helps boost your energy when exercising. And it’s rich in plant-based protein, helping to build muscle strength and muscle size after you’re done exercising. It’s also high in antioxidants (to soothe post-workout aches and pains) and fiber (to improve digestion and help you to better manage your appetite, and thus better maintain a healthy weight).
This dish combines nutty quinoa with savory, roasted vegetables and a gloriously rich and creamy dressing that’s simultaneously tangy and sweet. You can enjoy it hot, or pack it to work and eat it cold. Plus, you can make a big batch ahead of time so that meal prep throughout the week is dreamily effortless.
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups baby potatoes, cut into halves
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp oil
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 cup tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp maple syrup
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the carrots and potatoes with the maple syrup, oil, salt and pepper. Layer onto a baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
While the veggies are roasting, cook the quinoa: Simply bring the water and quinoa to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer until the water has mostly evaporated and the quinoa is light and fluffy.
Make the dressing by whisking together the tahini, lemon juice and maple syrup. If it’s too thick for your liking, add a splash of water until it’s the right consistency.
To serve, fill a bowl with hot quinoa. Top with the roasted veggies. Drizzle the dressing over it and enjoy!
DINNER: Ginger-Soy Salmon
This tantalizing, sports nutrition-friendly dish is perfect for athletes of all ages and fitness goals. Salmon isn’t just rich in protein, but its omega-3 fatty acids are great for reducing the muscle soreness and inflammation many of us feel after we’ve hit the gym hard.
The seasoning is what makes this simple dish a knockout. Tamari sauce offers depths of savory saltiness, while the fresh ginger (another powerful anti-inflammatory) awakens the senses and adds a layer of intrigue. Serve with your favorite sides, such as rice, quinoa or roasted potatoes.
1 medium salmon fillet
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp tamari sauce
3 tbsp fresh grated ginger
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is heating up, whisk together the ginger, garlic, tamari and maple syrup. Place the salmon fillet on a baking sheet, skin side on the pan. Pour the sauce over it and bake for 15 minutes or until the salmon is done and flakes easily. Enjoy!
Hungry For More Sports Nutrition? Keep Reading: