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Fueling & Refueling: The Best Snacks for Runners

Posted 9/28/2014 | News

by LeighAnn Jandrists

During Girls on the Run programs, we are constantly supporting healthy lifestyles. A big part of this healthy lifestyle begins with what food we put into our bodies. With a focus on running, exactly what snacks are going to help us reach that extra half mile that we’re striving for? After doing some research, I’ve determined that these are some of the best (and tastiest!) snacks for runners:

Bananas

Bananas are filled with good carbohydrates needed for energy and are a great source of Vitamin B6, which converts those carbohydrates in to energy! Bananas also help with processing proteins, which are important after a successful run.

Chocolate Milk

Although this seems counter-intuitive, chocolate milk is actually chock-full of great nutrients. It provides a ton of protein, good carbohydrates and B vitamins. The calcium in the milk also helps keep bones healthy and strong! It makes the perfect post-run recovery drink.

Fruit Yogurt

Yogurt is both low in fat and high in calcium, protein and potassium! There are also active cultures in yogurt that help boost your immune system. Some runners swear that it is the best snack to have before going on a run.

Hummus on Wheat Crackers

Hummus has become extremely popular in the past couple years. Luckily, hummus is a delicious and healthy snack! Hummus packs a ton of fiber, protein, Vitamin B6 and folic acid, which has been linked to preventing anemia and breast cancer.

String Cheese

String cheese is a great source of calcium, which many runners don’t get enough of. It also provides a good amount of protein, and some healthy fats as well, without taking up too many calories. It is an easy recovery snack to grab after a long run.

 

Sound delicious, right? But what about our girls who have special diets? Between gluten allergies and being vegan, many participants look for alternative snacks to fuel their runs.

 

For our gluten-free girls:

Kind Bars

Not only are these bars gluten-free but they’re nutritious and taste amazing! Made with a variety of nuts and whole grains, Kind Bars are packed with fiber to keep you full longer. They’re also a good source of protein for post-run recovery.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are a great gluten-free snack because it gives you that salty kick that you need sometimes. They’re packed with healthy vitamins and minerals that promote cardiovascular health. Sunflower seeds have also been known to help lower cholesterol.

NOTE: Always check the package when purchasing sunflower seeds. While sunflower seeds are naturally gluten-free, some brands of sunflower seeds use certain seasonings that can contain gluten.

 

For our vegan runners:

Ants on a Log

This is a classic for a reason! Take a stick of celery, add some peanut butter and raisins, and there you have it: a quick and easy vegan snack. The crunchy celery, smooth peanut butter and sweet raisin make the perfect combination. It is also a delicious source of protein!

Raw Vegetables and Hummus

This is a vegan (and even healthier!) option to hummus and wheat crackers. Eating hummus with fresh vegetables gives you all the health benefits of hummus and a daily serving of vegetables! My personal favorite is to eat hummus with carrots; it has the perfect crunch and balances out the flavor of the hummus.

 

There you have it! Snacks that are both delicious and good for you. Obviously, there are many other snacks that could be added to this list. What are some of your favorite healthy snacks?


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