When it comes to sports nutrition, one of my favorite foods to eat before or after a workout is oatmeal, or anything that has oats in it. Oh and I I LOVE to eat oatmeal after dinner too. I know it’s been forever touted as a “breakfast” food, but I just love the comforting warm taste and it makes me feel like I should be winding down for bed.
Long story short. Oatmeal and I have a pretty close relationship.
I don’t think a lot of people know about the nutritional benefits of oats in general, so I’m excited to share my findings (and to validate that my oatmeal cravings are yes, indeed, healthy). From being gluten-free, containing some of my favorite beauty boosting vitamins and minerals, and to promoting healthy weight management, there’s so much to learn about the benefits of oats!
For starters, dry oats contain fabulous antioxidants, vitamins and minerals such as zinc (great for maintaining clear skin), iron (important for healthy oxygen flow through your body), folate (a stellar beauty vitamin), magnesium (one of my favorite calming minerals), and additional B vitamins. Aaaand who would’ve thought that oats also contain antioxidants? It’s true: there are specific antioxidants found in dried oats that can help lower blood pressure and protect from free radicals.
The Nutritional Benefits of Oats
Help with healthy weight management:
Because of soluble fiber content in oats, when consumed you may feel fuller for longer and it also helps foster “good” bacteria in the gut. Which means – healthier digestion and elimination! When you eat adequate amounts of fiber, you will naturally feel more satiated throughout the day which could potentially lead to eating fewer calories.
Keeps blood sugar levels stable:
The fiber found in oats also can help regulate insulin response so that your blood sugar levels don’t skyrocket and then fall, causing you to crave carbs or feel fatigued. Oh and as an added bonus it also helps lower cholesterol!
Oats are THE BOMB to eat before and after a workout because:
They contain great amounts of protein, 13 grams a serving for dried oats to be exact! I either eat oatmeal before or after a workout, as it provides benefits all around! I like to incorporate oats into pre workout snacks because it contains slow digesting carbs which act as a sustainable source of energy. I know a lot of folks think you should be staying away from oats when it comes to workouts and maintaining energy but I’m telling ya, eating the right types of carbs will give you more energy to power through your workouts like a boss. I also may eat it after a workout because it helps restore glycogen levels that are lost during a workout, and it also has muscle building nutrients as well. Yay!
How to incorporate oats into your diet:
- The obvious choice, making good old fashioned oatmeal sprinkled with chia seeds, drizzled with honey and topped with berries.
- You can add a scoop full to a post-workout protein smoothie
- You can add a ½ cup of oats to your pre-workout protein pancakes
- Make a post workout treat by topping berries with dried oats and cinnamon, and making a healthy crumble
OR if you’re not in the mood to cook there are obviously so many great brands that incorporate oats into their products! One of my favorite healthier versions of traditional chocolate chip granola bars is from Made Good Food. It’s made with gluten free oats, agave, AND they also put vegetable extracts in it too!! Specifically: spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, and shiitake mushrooms.
I swear I ate an entire package in one sitting and you can’t even tell that there are veggie extracts in it. Ugh it’s so YUM. I was able to partner up with this health conscious brand to provide a giveaway for our readers to win a box of Made Good bars of their choice! If you loved eating Rice Krispie Treats as a kid…I highly recommend going for their Vanilla squares. OMG I literally dream about eating them. All you need to do is follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below to enter! You must be 18 years or older and live in the US 🙂 Good luck!