Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Science of Snacking

I love snacks, and as any eat clean eater knows, it is so important to eat a balanced snack before, between and after meals! 

This article by Oxygen, puts it perfectly!

Click this link for the full article!
Oxygen Women's Fitness | Nutrition | The Science of Snacking

By: Victoria Shanta Retelny, RD

Morning Snack: 

Nutrient Breakdown: Carbs (40%), Protein (30%), Fat (30%)
Snacking Goal: Boost your energy level and glycogen stores.
Are you at the gym before the crack of dawn? You don’t want to run on empty and risk early fatigue from low blood sugar levels. Research shows that the best way to mitigate that is to eat a small meal rich with carbohydrates that do not spur a spike in blood sugar. Because low-glycemic carbs elicit a lower blood sugar response, they may boost the body’s use of body fat for energy.
Translation: You can burn more fat if you eat muesli with low-fat milk before a morning workout instead of a bowl of cornflakes. For those who don’t work out before breakfast, reserve this snack for midmorning to keep your blood sugar and energy levels up and to maintain your muscle glycogen stores for activity later in the day.
  • 1 slice whole-grain bread with 1 tbsp natural peanut butter + 1 cup protein-fortified skim milk
  • 1/2 cup whole-grain cereal + 1 cup low-fat milk + 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 packet plain oatmeal made with 1 cup low-fat milk + 1/2 cup chopped walnuts  

By: Victoria Shanta Retelny, RD

Afternoon snack: 

Nutrient Breakdown: Carbs (40%), Protein (30%), Fat (30%)
Snacking Goal: Calm your cravings, restore glycogen levels.
Hitting the 3:00 p.m. energy slump can be avoided by snacking two hours after lunch. Doing so has many benefits: It will keep your blood sugar stable, which is key to preventing a dash to the vending machine later – and it will also facilitate muscle recovery and keep glycogen levels up. “A snack that contains fiber, some protein and healthy fat slows digestion and provides more of a time-release supply of energy, rather than a big gush at one time (like from sweets or starchy snacks),” Chernus says.
  • 1 medium whole-grain tortilla + 2 tbsp hummus + 2 tomato slices + 4 cucumber slices + 1 oz tuna (optional)
  • 1 small pita, 3 oz chicken breast, 1/2 cups cucumber slices, 1 slice tomato
  • 1/2 cup whole-grain couscous + 4 ounces cubed tofu  + 1/2 cup broccoli + 1 tsp olive oil + 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar  

By: Victoria Shanta Retelny, RD

Preworkout Snack: 

Nutrient Breakdown: Carbs (60%), Protein (20%), Fat (20%)
Snacking Goal: Energize your workouts.
Rev up your workout energy in two ways: Eat a carb-rich snack within an hour or two before you exercise and you’ll be able to exercise harder and consequently burn more calories. “Preworkout snacks should be light, easily digested and lower in fat – so there is no decrease in blood flow to the muscles,” Gerbstadt says. Secondly, drink water before you go. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) suggests drinking 16 to 20 ounces of water to prevent dehydration and improve performance.
  • 3 rye crisp crackers with 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese + 1 small piece of fruit
  • 1/2 whole grain English muffin, 2 tbsp hummus, 1/2 cup fresh berries
  • 1 cup vegetable soup + 3 small whole-grain crackers + 1/2 cup applesauce 

By: Victoria Shanta Retelny, RD

Postworkout Snack:

Nutrient Breakdown: Carbs (60%), Protein (30%), Fat (10%)
Snacking Goal: Repair and jumpstart muscle recovery.
Known in bodybuilding circles as the “window of opportunity,” this is a prime time to snack. That’s because within 15 minutes of completing your workout, your muscles are like sponges waiting to refill their glycogen stores. So for effective rebuilding and recovery of muscles, eat a carb- and protein-rich snack that’s very low in fat. After a 30-minute workout, Gerbstadt recommends “combining a mixture of different types of high-carb foods like fruits, whole-grain breads and pastas with high-protein foods like lean meat, low-fat cheese, yogurt and whey protein.”
  • 1/2 cup non-fat chocolate milk, 1 slice whole grain bread, 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 oz parkt-skim mozzarella, 1 oz turkey breast, 1 6-inch corn tortilla, 2 tbsp salsa
  • 1 1/2 oz roasted unsalted soy nuts + 1 medium fresh orange
  • Red Recovery Shake: 1 cup skim milk + 1/2 cup strawberries + 2 scoops whey protein powder 
By: Victoria Shanta Retelny, RD

Bedtime Snack:

Nutrient Breakdown: Carbs (30%); Protein (50%), Fat (20%)
Snacking Goal: Tame cravings and prevent muscle breakdown.
Cap off your day with this optional mini-meal if you are genuinely hungry after an active day. At night, eat a snack that is made up mostly of high-quality protein. “Protein-rich foods supply ready amino acids for repair of muscle during sleep – and rest is when muscle repair occurs,” Gerbstadt says. Foods with casein, a primary protein in dairy products, are a good choice as they provide a slow release of amino acids into the bloodstream, which builds muscle and can prevent muscle breakdown overnight.  
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese + apples slices
  • Fruity Milk Shake: 1 cup low-fat milk + 1 scoop whey protein powder + 2 strawberries + 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 low-fat string cheese + 1 small pear


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