As a runner, it’s important to fuel your body with the right foods before and after a run. Snacks that are high in protein and carbohydrates can provide you with the energy and nutrients you need, helping you perform your best on the road or trail.
One great pre-run snack is a banana with peanut butter. Bananas are a great source of carbohydrates, while peanut butter provides a dose of healthy fats and protein. You could also try Greek yogurt with a handful of berries, which offers both carbohydrates and protein.
For post-run, it’s important to refuel your body with a snack that is high in both carbohydrates and protein. One option is a smoothie made with milk or yogurt, frozen fruit, and a scoop of protein powder. Another great option is a whole grain bagel with hummus and turkey, which provides a combination of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.
Quick and Easy Snacks for On-the-Go
Many runners have busy schedules, making it difficult to find time for a proper meal. Snacks are a great way to keep your energy levels up during the day, and there are plenty of quick and easy options available.
One great snack option is trail mix, which can be made ahead of time and stored in a container or plastic bag. Mix together nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and a few chocolate chips for a balanced snack that will keep you energized.
Another quick and easy snack option is a piece of fruit, like an apple or a banana, paired with a single-serving packet of nut butter. This snack provides a healthy balance of carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein.
Healthy Options for Sweet Tooths
It can be tempting to reach for sugary snacks when you’re craving something sweet, but there are healthier options that can satisfy your sweet tooth without derailing your healthy eating plan.
One option is a small bowl of Greek yogurt topped with sliced fruit and a drizzle of honey. Another great option is a small piece of dark chocolate paired with a handful of almonds or other nuts.
If you’re looking for something a little more indulgent, try a homemade protein bar made with oats, nut butter, and honey. These bars are easy to make ahead of time and can be stored in the fridge for a quick and healthy sweet treat.
Savory Snacks to Satisfy Hunger
For runners who crave salty snacks, there are plenty of healthy options available. One great snack idea is homemade kale chips, which are high in fiber and low in calories. Simply toss chopped kale with a drizzle of olive oil and your favorite seasoning, and bake in the oven until crispy.
Another great savory snack is a hard-boiled egg paired with sliced vegetables like cucumber or bell pepper. This snack is high in protein and provides a satisfying crunch.
Hummus is another great option for a healthy, savory snack. Pair it with whole grain crackers or sliced vegetables, like carrots or celery, for a nutritious mid-day snack.
DIY Energy Bites for Long Runs
Energy bites are a popular snack for runners, and for good reason. These small, bite-sized snacks are packed with nutrients like carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats, making them a great choice for fueling your body during a long run.
To make energy bites at home, start with a base of oats, nut butter, and honey. From there, add in your favorite mix-ins like dried fruit, chocolate chips, or chopped nuts. Roll the mixture into small balls, and store in the fridge until ready to enjoy during your next long run.
Nutrient-Packed Snacks for Recovery
After a long run, it’s important to refuel your body with nutrients to aid in recovery. Nutrient-packed snacks like smoothies, protein bars, and trail mix can help provide your body with the necessary nutrients to recover and build muscle.
A post-run smoothie made with frozen fruit, milk or yogurt, a scoop of protein powder, and some spinach or kale is a great option for refueling after a workout. Alternatively, try a homemade protein bar made with oats, nut butter, and your favorite mix-ins for a nutritious and easy snack.
Trail mix made with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit is another great option for recovery. This snack provides a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats to help refuel and reenergize your body.
Vegan and Gluten-Free Snack Ideas
For runners who follow a vegan or gluten-free diet, finding snacks that fit their dietary restrictions can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are plenty of options available that are both vegan and gluten-free.
One great snack option is roasted chickpeas, which can be seasoned with a variety of spices for a flavorful and satisfying snack. Another great option is a small bowl of mixed berries, which provides a healthy dose of antioxidants along with carbohydrates to fuel your run.
Veggies and hummus is a classic snack that is both vegan and gluten-free. Pair your favorite vegetables like carrots, cucumber, or celery with a serving of hummus for a nutritious and tasty snack.
Snacks to Avoid Before Your Run
While it’s important to fuel your body with the right foods before a run, there are some snacks that should be avoided. Foods that are high in fat or fiber can be difficult to digest, leading to stomach discomfort during your run.
Some foods to avoid include fried or greasy foods, high-fat snacks like cheese or nuts, and high-fiber foods like fruits and vegetables. Additionally, foods that are high in sugar can cause a blood sugar crash during your run, leaving you feeling tired and sluggish.
Instead, opt for snacks that are high in carbohydrates and easy to digest, like a banana with peanut butter, a plain bagel with jam, or a small serving of Greek yogurt with a handful of berries. These snacks provide the necessary energy and nutrients for your run without weighing you down.