As runners, we all understand the importance of having the right snacks to get us through each and every session. It’s vital to know what kind of food will work well for us on an individual level before and after a run to ensure our body can fully prepare and recover from the intensity. While some runners swear by sugary foods as ideal pre-run snacks and protein packed ones for after, others may beg to differ and prefer carbo-loading instead. If you are just starting out or still at a loss as to what suits you, check out these five healthy snack options we highly recommend for runners of all levels to keep you going.
Great alone as a breakfast item, bananas are not just for our primate friends. They are packed with good carbohydrates and are also a good source of Vitamin B6 that are very effective in managing protein metabolism, since runners require a lot more protein during and after a workout.These sweet treats of nature are also low in calories at only 106 per medium-sized banana, making them perfect for those watching their weight.
2. Chocolate Milk
Surprise, surprise! And you thought healthy meant all greens and boring wheat products didn’t you? Here to bend the rules is the ever delicious chocolate milk that people of all ages adore. Besides tasting so awesome, chocolate milk provides plenty of protein, carbohydrates and B vitamins, not forgetting a chockful of calcium to fortify your bones. Milk is also believed to get you hydrated better than plain water or any sport drink because it contains a whole load of electrolytes plus all the goodness as mentioned above. So go ahead and indulge in some and have it cold for amplified deliciousness.
3. Fruit Yoghurt
Yoghurt lovers, rejoice! If you are a big fan of this sour milk product, you will thoroughly enjoy having a bowl of it topped with lots of fresh fruit. For one, yoghurt is a great source of calcium, protein and potassium, plus it is low in fat and fairly high in carbohydrates. You can also be assured of healthy bowel movements with its live and active cultures in yoghurt that will also boost your immune system. Since it is highly digestible, you are free to have it anytime of the day. Just be aware of those that contain too much artificial sweeteners and fruits that come from cans containing heavy syrup.
We all know the goodness that comes from consuming fish but do you really know how good they can be to our bodies? As runners, sometimes we don’t realise how much impact has been caused to our bodies after all the work out and eating fish, like tuna, can help to reduce the chances of a heart attack and rheumatoid arthritis. This is because tuna contains high levels of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fats which protect our most vital life-giving organ and allows our muscles to recover properly. If you only have time for the canned versions, opt for the ones that are soaked in olive oil or water if you can. Otherwise, the ones tossed in light mayonnaise is a viable choice too to keep the calories down.
5. Fruit popsicles
Sometimes we crave something cold and sweet, like an ice-cream. But we know how much artificial sugar and fat one can contain which can topple our system instead of strengthen it. A good alternative will be fruit popsicles made from fresh fruit juice and fruit bits. These frozen treats are low in calories (just about 75 per 3-ounce frozen bar), and loaded with Vitamin C which helps to fortify our immune system and help boost iron absorption. Imagine having one right after a run on a hot day. Ahhhh….