August 06, 2021
Eating a healthy diet is important, especially so for runners. Whether you’re looking for a snack to eat between meals, or a snack to help keep you energized pre- or post-run, there are plenty of healthy options to choose from. Here are the top 10 healthy snacks for runners.
1. Dried Fruit
Dried fruits are a handy option when you’re out and about or when you’re short on time. Dried apricots and plums are particularly good choices. They are low-fat, yet packed with energy-sustaining carbohydrates. They are also a good source of fiber and potassium, which is important for lowering high blood pressure.
2. Energy Bars
Energy bars are a great snack choice, particularly if you know you’re going to be running and will be burning calories. In many cases, energy bars have been created with runners specifically in mind, so there are plenty to choose from.
“Nuts like almonds, cashews, and pecans, are great for the body,” says Ellen Carroll, a writer at Boomessays and Write My Paper. “So, when searching for a quality bar, make sure to look for those that are rich in these types of nuts, which give you plenty of energy that you won’t find in caffeinated drinks and coffee. Also, look for hemp hearts or herbs like cinnamon, turmeric, and Himalayan sea salt, which are healthy alternatives to regular salt and sugar.”
Yogurt is the pre-race snack of choice for many runners. Not only do the live cultures in yogurt help to boost the immune system, but it’s also a fantastic source of calcium, protein and potassium. Even better, whilst yogurt is generally low in fat, it’s high in carbohydrates. Try to avoid flavored yogurts as these can contain high levels of added sugar. Instead add your own flavors or sweeteners like maple syrup, cinnamon or frozen fruit.
Bananas are not only filled with potassium, but they’re also a great source of vitamin B6, which is essential for managing protein metabolism. They are a great choice for a pre- or post-run snack on their own, added to yogurt or even blended into a smoothie.
If you’re looking for a filling, but low-calorie snack to eat between meals or late at night, then carrots are the perfect choice. They are full of vitamin A, which is important for maintaining a strong immune system, as well as promoting eye health. Carrots also contain carotene and are an ideal snack choice for anyone trying to maintain or lose weight.
6. Wheat Crackers with Hummus
Wholegrain wheat crackers are a great pre-run snack, providing the body with valuable quick-acting energy. The addition of hummus makes this a healthy option for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. Hummus and wheat crackers combined are filled with fiber, protein, folic acid and vitamin B6.
7. Cottage Cheese
Runners tend to need more protein both during and after workouts because protein is vital for the rebuilding and repairing of muscles. Cottage cheese is not only full of protein, but it’s also a good source of calcium as well. You can eat it with fruit or with crackers for a post-run snack.
8. Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter
If you’re looking for a sweeter, yet still healthy snack, then look no further than rice cakes with peanut butter.
“Peanut butter is a great source of protein, as well as containing vitamin E, which is important to helping muscle recovery. It also contains polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. Rice cakes, on the other hand, are low calories, but still provide energizing carbohydrates, making this pairing an ideal healthy choice,” explains Patrick Beeson, a running blogger at Paperfellows and Essayroo.
Pretzels are a carbohydrate and sodium-rich snack, particularly ideal for runners who exercise in the heat, as they need to replace some of the sodium lost through sweat. Even better, pretzels are a low-calorie snack.
Popcorn, particularly unbuttered or only slightly buttered popcorn, is one the best snack choices when you’re craving a snack but trying to avoid consuming too many calories. Not only is popcorn low in calories, but most of those calories are from carbohydrates, meaning that this snack can still be filling.
With plenty of healthy snack options available, it’s never been easier to find runner-friendly snacks to keep you going throughout the day. Alternate between these tasty choices to help you maintain a healthy balanced diet, whilst having a guilt-free snack whenever you need it.
Lauren Groff is a successful sportswriter at Essay Writing Services and Academized, where she often writes about running. She is passionate about helping her readers to achieve their full running potential, including offering advice on healthy diet and lifestyle choices. Lauren is also an editor at OX Essays. In her spare time, she can often be found reading or running at her local park.