Power Up: Recipes to Boost Your Workouts

Choose foods to fuel your exercise and help you recover.

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Trying to lose a little – or a lot? You know a good workout is key to any smart weight-loss plan, and so is choosing the right fuel. “The Fuel for Fitness recipes were designed to provide satisfying meals that nourish, fuel and help the body recover optimally,” says dietitian and fitness pro Kat Barefield, MS, RD. Try out her tasty recipes that will help boost your energy, build muscle and keep your workouts – and your bathroom scale – on track.

Pre-Workout Boost

2 / 6 Pre-Workout Boost

Prep your body for gym time with this chicken yakitori satay recipe served with steamed rice. The carbs from the steamed rice (go for the brown variety) will give you the energy you need to get through tough workouts. And the 26.2 grams of protein helps muscles recover and grow. Bonus: Not only is this dish low in calories (241 per serving), but it’s easy to prepare ahead, too.  Enjoy it a couple hours before gym time, and you’ll be ready to go.

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Enhance Your Cardio

3 / 6 Enhance Your Cardio

It’s not easy to keep your energy high when you take off on a long run or a grueling bike ride. The solution? This tasty twice-baked cheesy potato recipe.It’s loaded with 35 grams of carbs to energize you, plus calcium for healthy muscles and bones. At only 215 calories and 3 grams of fat, this recipe’s a keeper. 

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Post-Workout Dinner

4 / 6 Post-Workout Dinner

Need a low-cal dinner idea that will replenish you after the gym? Look no further than this poached sea bass with basil broth. This mouthwatering seafood recipe gives you much-needed protein – 23.8 grams per serving -- while also providing important nutrients like magnesium (which helps muscles and nerves), electrolytes and vitamin B6, which helps build blood cells.  

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Muscle-Building Meal

5 / 6 Muscle-Building Meal

Big on protein and on taste, this radicchio salad with lemon-herb grilled shrimp meal, when combined with a good strength-training plan, will help you get a jump start on your muscle mass. Packed with protein, it’s a perfect way to recover after lifting weights. And if you’re going the low-carb route, this dish serves up only 11 grams per serving. 

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Easy Energy Booster

6 / 6 Easy Energy Booster

Feeling drained after a hard run or demanding gym session? Add this bean, corn and pepper salad to your plate. It’s low in calories (132 per serving), high in fiber and packed with good-for-you carbs and B vitamins to turn food into post-workout energy. Tip: To keep your energy levels high, try adding a bit of baby spinach instead of lettuce for more iron, suggests Barefield.

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