Tara Gidus

Smart Snacking for Runners

Snacking between meals is essential for a healthy metabolism and to give you the energy needed to log those miles. A healthy snack will keep you from being so hungry that you end up eating way too much at your next meal. Choose snacks that have a combination of protein, carbohydrates and fiber. Fiber and protein will keep you full longer while complex carbohydrates will give you sustained energy so you don’t hit an energy slump.

You may think snacking can lead to weight gain, but if done right it can have many benefits including weight loss! Snacks aren’t meant to fill you up and are typically around 100-300 calories, depending on where you are at in your training. Incorporate 2-3 (or more!) snacks into your day to fuel your running and perform your best. For endurance during your mid-day or afternoon run, have a snack about an hour before the run so you can have an extra boost of energy and avoid fatigue.

Peanut Butter

Smart Snacks for Runners

Steer clear of high-fat snacks like greasy potato chips or candy bar, because they will weigh you down and make you feel sluggish instead of energized. Choose snacks that are low in fat and added sugars. To properly fuel your body until your next meal, choose snacks with protein and carbs. Here are some of my favorite snacks to fuel up with!

  • Fresh fruit and string cheese
  • Peanut butter and whole grain crackers or an apple
  • Nuts/Seeds (love almonds, pistachios, pecans, and walnuts)
  • Carrots, red pepper, or sugar snap peas and hummus
  • Fruit/veggie smoothie
  • Greek yogurt with or without some granola
  • Dried fruit like raisins, dried peaches, dried plums, or dried tart cherries
  • Oatmeal or quinoa with walnuts and raisins
  • Turkey sandwich on whole wheat
  • Cottage cheese with fruit
  • Almond butter on a whole grain English muffin
  • Nutrition bars with carbs, fiber, and protein

Comments or questions? Tweet me @DietDivaTara.

Known as the "Diet Diva," Tara Gidus is a nationally acclaimed nutrition expert and the official nutritionist of runDisney.