Most people begin running either to lose weight or gain control of their health. However, it comes as no surprise that all the extra exercise means hunger will sky-rocket along with it. Finding healthy snacks for runners will help keep you on track as you continue to pursue new goals along the way.
Even when you’re trying to lose weight or tone up, it’s important to consume adequate calories to maintain a healthy running hobby. The key to doing so without derailing your progress is finding snacks for runners that are packed with nutrients to fuel your body.
What is a good snack for runners?
All runners understand the importance of making healthy snack choices, but doing so is often easier said than done when we we’re short on time or our hunger gets the best of us.
A good snack for runners is one that provides long-lasting energy and is nutrient dense. Rather than filling up on ’empty’ calories that leave you craving more, selecting snacks with high nutritional value will keep you full throughout the miles.
Runners burn more calories throughout the day than a sedentary person. And as the intensity or mileage increases, that calorie burn does as well. Distance runners especially will find that the quality of fuel sources they consume has a significant impact on their endurance – even if the snack is not consumed immediately pre-run.
Where to Find Healthy Snacks for Runners
Some of the best snacks for runners can be made right at home – in very little time. If your free time is scarce, you’ll be happy to know that quite a few good snack options are quick and simple to put together.
Most healthy snacks can be purchased from any grocery store and require very little prep. In general, fruits, vegetables and whole foods are always the most nutrient dense – and provide the most benefit when consumed in whole form.
If you’re looking for simple snack ideas that you can take with you on the go, they can often be purchased in bulk for cheaper than buying individually at local grocery stores.
Luckily, with a little planning, it’s easy to find snacks that will keep runners full, satisfied, and fuel your training each and every day.
Boost your training with these healthy snacks for runners.
A snack in the afternoon will provide the energy your muscles need for to complete your training runs after work. Or, a mid-morning snack will help your body refuel post-run.
Regardless of your schedule, filling the gaps between meals is healthy, easy and delicious with these snack ideas.
These 10 healthy snacks for runners provide a blend of protein and carbohydrates that will fuel your body with the nutrients it needs. Whether you’re looking for a quick post run snack or wanting an easy snack to take with you on the go, these ideas have got you covered.
Stay full and satisfied during any training season with these runner friendly snacks!
10 Healthy Snacks for Runners
Runners usually require some extra help when it comes to nutrition. Not only do they generally need more calories to fuel long runs and workouts, but they typically find themselves hungry quite frequently.
Here are some of the simplest, healthy snacks for runners. In just a few minutes, you can create a wholesome, delicious snack to keep you satisfied and fueled for training each day.
Apple with Peanut Butter
A simple snack like apple slices dipped in peanut butter is easy to prepare, and keeps you full for long periods of time. The sugars in the apple combined with the protein in peanut butter (or almond butter!) keep you full while still tasting great! This nice blend of protein, healthy fats and simple sugars provide plenty of energy for a run.
If you’re looking for some healthy, satisfying snacks for yourself or even your kids – Brainiac is a great choice. These snacks are quick and easy to grab, and provide a boost of nutrients you need throughout the day. Each of their snacks were created by nutritionists and doctors, specifically designed to pack as many brain-supporting nutrients in each bite as possible.
With everything from applesauce, to nut butters, “brain bars” and more, you’re sure to find what you need. These snacks are a great option when you need something quick or a healthy option to take with you on the go. Each delicious snack contains nutrients like omega-3s, choline, and more that will keep you full when you need it most.
Check out Brainiac’s tasty snack options –>> Shop Brainiac!
Banana Oat Bars
Try this recipe from Ligia Lugo, content creator at The Daring Kitchen. She puts together a delicious, wholesome recipe for runners to try before, during or after a run. These Banana Oat Bars contain only 5 ingredients but are packed with flavor. They’re easy to prep ahead of time and will help you refuel in a healthy way after a run.
- 2 large ripe bananas, peeled
- 2 cups oats
- 2 tablespoons dried unsweetened cranberries (optional)
- 2 tablespoons almonds, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and line a square (or a rectangle) baking tray with parchment paper.
- Use a fork to mash bananas well until they turn into a smooth paste, without any lumps.
- Stir in vanilla and mix it well.
- Now, add oats, cranberries, and almonds to the banana paste. Stir it all well until you get a homogenous mixture.
- Transfer the banana-oats mixture into the prepared baking tray and press it well into the tray to get a smooth top. Use the back of a spoon or a flat spatula to help you even out the mixture into the tray.
- Bake the mixture for about 20 minutes or until you get a crisp top and an even light brown color all over the top layer.
- Remove the tray from the oven and let it cool.
- Cut into even bars as per your requirements and enjoy!
Check out more recipes from Ligia at thedaringkitchen.com!
Chocolate milk is one of the easiest treats to prepare, and one of the best post-run recovery drinks. Not to mention it tastes like a dessert! Cow’s milk is packed with protein and fats, and when combined with the simple sugars from chocolate, your muscles will get a blend of the nutrients they need to repair themselves.
Make this snack vegan by swapping cow’s milk for a plant-based source like almond, soy, oat, or any other favorite milk. Fortified plant milks provide the extra nutrients without any of the saturated fat. Swap the chocolate for a dark or vegan chocolate syrup for an even healthier treat.
If you’ve got 10 minutes to spare, you can prep snacks for the entire week with these protein balls. Protein balls are a great snack for runners, and are surprisingly easy to make. Prepping in bulk helps for those moments when you need something to take on the go or grab quickly after a run.
Try this recipe:
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup honey
- 2 cup oats
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
You’ll want to melt the honey and peanut butter together in a pan on the stove first, before adding them in to the mixture. Once they are melted, combine all ingredients and roll them out into balls. Store them in your refrigerator until you’re ready to eat, and then grab one anytime!
Hard Boiled Eggs
Making hard boiled eggs in bulk is so easy that there’s really no excuse to not have them on hand for snacks if you like them. Eggs are packed with protein, keeping you full for long periods of time. They’re a simple addition to lunch or breakfast as well, and easy to pack on the go.
Smoothies are perhaps one of the best snacks for runners. Recipes can be altered to suit your tastes, and it’s a really easy way to pack in some greens and healthy fats. They are perfect for recovery or a healthy snack at any time of day!
This smoothie is bound to be a favorite. The combination of vanilla flavors with peaches and orange juice make it taste like a sweet treat.
Try this recipe:
- ½ cup peaches (frozen)
- ½ cup vanilla yogurt
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup spinach
- 3-4 ice cubes
If you don’t like the orange flavor, substitute orange juice with milk or water. Feel free to swap in any other fruit, and replace the yogurt with extra milk or water if you’d wish. The key to fitting in the greens is really packing them down into the bottom of your blender. Bananas, mango and pineapple are all great fruit options to mask the taste of greens.
String Cheese and Crackers
Grabbing some string cheese and whole grain crackers is a really simple snack, but is packed with nutrients to keep hunger at bay. From protein in the cheese to the whole grains in the crackers, you’ve got another great post-run snack. You’ll get some fiber, vitamin B, vitamin D, and protein with this combination.
Yogurt with Fruit or Granola
Grab some extra protein during training season with some Greek yogurt, and top it off with fruit or granola for a well-rounded snack. For a vegan option, try some plant-based yogurts. It’s great for digestion and if paired with fruit, you’ll benefit from the micronutrients and antioxidants as well.
Bread with Nut Butters, Honey or Avocado
Whole grain bread with healthy add ons makes a great snack for runners. Spread some peanut or almond butter to add some protein, honey for antioxidants, or avocado for healthy fats. To take this snack to the next level, top it with chia seeds, flax seeds or fruit.
Nuts or Trail Mix
Nuts or Trail Mix (homemade or store bought) is a simple, easy snack for runners! Take it with you when you leave or grab a handful when you feel those afternoon hunger pains. Try making your own trail mix with nuts, granola, dried fruit, popcorn, or anything else you have around the house.
No matter what type of runner you are, fueling your body with the right foods is essential to avoid all those hunger pains and temptations to overindulge. Healthy doesn’t have to be boring!
These snacks for runners are simple enough that they’re easy to prepare, yet satisfying enough to keep you coming back for more. Stock your fridge and pantry with all the essentials for these runner friendly snacks!