Your training plan may say it’s time for your lunchtime five-miler, but your grumbling stomach begs to differ. So how can you get through your workout without keeling over from hunger? Have a snack, of course.
“The right snack can prevent premature fatigue on a run and keep blood-sugar levels steady, thwarting cranky moods that might cause you to peter out early,” says sports dietitian Jan Dowell, M.S., R.D. She recommends eating up to 150 calories if you’re running within 15 to 30 minutes and as much as 300 calories if you have an hour or more to digest.
And, yes, it’s okay to have a nibble if you’re trying to lose weight, just keep it on the lighter side. The options below contain carbohydrates for quick energy, a bit of protein to hold off hunger and some electrolytes to keep your fluid levels balanced.
Best of all, these snacks take little or no prep, so you can grab a bite and go.
1. Applesauce or Pudding
These options are great because they give you the carbs with little or no fiber!
This snack quenches your thirst while providing more than your daily need of vitamin C, a vitamin that helps prevent muscle injuries.
Just make sure you choose a cereal with low or no fiber. Muscles can convert simple carbs into energy faster than fiber-rich foods.
The natural sugars are a good source of quick carbs. Also, they are packed with potassium, which aids muscle function.
5. Iced coffee drinks
The milk provides some protein while the caffeine can help your focus during a run.
6. Carrots and Hummus
This protein and carb combo will help keep you satisfied during long runs.
This whole grain snack is great for longer runs because it will stick to your ribs without feeling heavy.
8. Sweet Potato
High in carbs, this snack will provide long-lasting energy for your run.