It is no secret that oatmeal is a great whole food choice for pre and post workouts. As a post-workout choice, oatmeal is great because it has a good carb to protein ratio. This will help with repairing your muscles so that they are ready to go for the next workout.
As a pre-workout choice, oatmeal is fantastic because it allows you to train on a well prepared stomach. It is a slow digesting carb, which allows for a long-lasting energy stash. In fact, studies suggest that you could eat oatmeal up to three hours before a workout and still get the benefits from it. Oatmeal is said to trigger the body to burn fat more quickly to fuel those muscles of yours. Plus, you can mix oatmeal with a variety of different flavors, so it is not hard to be creative with your recipes and eat it every day!
There are many different ways for you to bring oats into your diet. In fact, you can even use them as a substitute for bread crumbs in most recipes! There are a few different types of oats. Instant oats are pre-cooked and simply need hot water to be added to them. While these are still oats, they do not offer much nutrition and tend to be mushy or bland. Quick oats are oats that have been pre-steamed and rolled very thinly. They are the they thinnest and mushiest oats option. Rolled oats are a nice middle ground to the pre-prepared options. They have more nutrients than quick oats has they are less processed. They are pre-steamed, but they are thicker and larger and will probably taste better too. Last, but not least, there are steel-cut oats. These are the oats that have not been cooked or rolled for you, but they have been cut into small pieces. They will take the longest to cook, but they are going to have the most flavor and most nutrients out of the rest of the options.
When it comes to preparing steel-cut oats, soaking is a crucial step that you should not skip. As you will probably be having the oats in the morning, the easiest time to soak your oats is overnight! When soaking your oats, many suggest adding the necessary water you need for cooking and then adding a tablespoon of an acidic liquid such as apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or yogurt. In the morning, all you will have to do is turn on the stove and cook those oats!
When cooking rolled oats, you will probably only need about five minutes. Steel -cut oats will probably need ten or more minutes to simmer. For the rolled oats, your ratio of water to to oats is one to one. Steel-cut oats, on the other hand, will need two cups of water for every one cup of oats.
Oatmeal is an extremely versatile food. You can use it in all different types of recipes to add a nice flavor, or simply to add in some more healthy foods into the mix! It is great as a workout snack, but even better as a yummy food in general!
(Photo courtesy of John Boyer)