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Running On Food: Snacks To Keep You Going

This article is part of a new series on Nutrition for Runners.   Heather from the blog, Trials of Training, has offered her expertise in Nutrition to runners in the Lounge to pass along information on recipes, nutrition, and running/food related questions.  She has her BS in Nutrition from Penn State, she is currently working to be a Registered Dietician, and is a loves to help runners with their questions.

by Heather

Running on food

Whether it’s before an early run, between meals, or something to hold you overnight – well balanced snacks can keep your energy levels up throughout the day and fuel your workout so you perform at your best! You should always aim for a mix of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

Carbohydrates are the best source of energy before a workout.  After a workout or between meals, it’s more important to get a good balance and variety of nutrients. Protein and fat slow digestion, so you’ll feel “full” longer. They also help with muscle/tissue recovery (if you’re eating post-workout).

Choose snacks wisely! They are an opportunity to fit more essential nutrients into your daily diet. Choosing fruits and vegetables, mixed with some protein source (i.e. cheese, peanut butter, etc.) is ideal. However, if you’re in a rush, there are plenty of options!

This is a short list of snacks that mix healthy carbohydrates and good protein/fat sources:

Triscuits (or other whole-grain cracker) & Cheese

Apple (or banana) + 1 tbsp peanut butter

Crackers + 1 tbsp peanut butter or Hummus

Fruit + low-fat yogurt

Smoothie (low-fat/skim milk + fresh fruit or vegetable+ plain low-fat yogurt)

Granola Bars (aim for at least 140-200 calorie options. Try to choose “trail mix” – type bars, rather than brands with more added-sugars)

Homemade trail mix – ¼ c nuts + 2 tbsp Dried Fruit (cranberries or raisins)

Veggies + Hummus

Chocolate (or flavor or choice!) Pudding + 1 tbsp peanut butter

½ c Cereal (high-fiber/whole-grain) + ½ c Low-fat yogurt

½ Whole-wheat Pita + 1 tbsp Hummus 

These are just a few ideas; be creative! What snacks do you choose while you’re training?

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I personally enjoy Kashi Go Lean in the morning before my morning runs. The portion size is small enough to keep it light but still beneficial to my body as well as to my run.

The importance of proper nutrition with your training program can make a drastic difference in your end results.

I look forward to your future posts Heather!

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