Mom always told me not to snack because I’ll ruin my dinner. Did I listen to her? Nope, I always did it anyway. Athletes make amazing grazers. We have to have some way to fuel the bottomless pit that our bodies turn into when we’re training hard. Beyond maintaining our need to constantly fuel ourselves, snacking provides a double win, it gives us energy when we’re too time strapped to think about food. “How could you not think about food?!” You ask. Well, mix training hard, with a busy schedule, and you have a recipe for disaster. Lately I’ve been having a hard time finding time to eat lunch, which sets me up for a terrible (or often missed) post-work run. To avoid the evening burnout that comes along with poor nutrition choices, I graze, but not just on anything. Here are my top five healthiest snack tips that keep me powered through my workout even though I fumbled my daily nutrition.
- Bananas: These are a go to for me on so many levels. Bananas pack a punch for your metabolism with B6, and they’re loaded with carbs. This makes them a tripple threat by being excellent for pre, during, and post run fuel.
- English muffin with cinnamon sugar: Simple carbs are great in a pinch when you need some energy, and cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar. This gives you enough oomf for your run, but not too much spike which could set you up for burn out later.
- Tuna snack: Tuna is great for a lunch treat, but it’s convenient for an afternoon snack as well. Tuna gives value with protein, it’s low in calories, and high in omegas. Make a snack ahead of time and pack it with you; check out this loaded tuna salad recipe for some benefits form adding veggies as well!
- Apples and nuts: I consider apples a vessel for almond butter. No joke. I eat a lot of almond butter instead of peanut because 1: I have a penut allergy, and 2: it’s better for you anyway. Almond butter lowers blood pressure, helps with weight control, regulates blood sugar, is high in antioxidants, and is good for your heart. Need I say more?
- Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is killing it in the marketplace these days, and it’s not because of good advertising. This creamy, low sodium, high protein yogurt helps us feel more full after a single serving than it’s cousin (regular yogurt). All yogurt has calcium for strong bones and helps us avoid injury.