Who says that runners should avoid snacks? As long as you choose smartly, eating between meals can boost your energy, and accelerate recovery after an intense run!
Take a look at the top 25 snack choices for runners, and find out how they can help to achieve your running goals and feel better!
25 Great Snacks for Runners - The Full List
1. Energy Bars
We are starting with an obvious choice when it comes to athlete snacks. Energy bars usually contain cereals, as well as the protein and carbs that secure a high dose of energy.
The great thing about these bars is that you can choose from a wide range of manufacturers and flavors. However, try to pick a healthy mixture of ingredients, and make sure to eat them only before your run so that you can burn the calories!
They can secure the carbs and protein you need during the run, and they can also be a vital ingredient of smoothies. You can even use them after the workout as they can help the recovery.
3. Chocolate Milk
We haven’t met a person who doesn’t like chocolate milk, and the fact it can be a healthy snack makes us love it even more!
Chocolate milk is perfect for rewarding yourself once you complete your run. According to Dr. John Ivy, chocolate milk can accelerate fat burning, and assist in keeping lean muscles. Additionally, the calcium from the milk will boost your bone strength!
Here is another tasty snack choice for runners! Popcorn is a low-calorie, high-fiber snack that can help you to feel full. As these are essentially corn kernels, it is like you are eating whole grain.
However, there is a twist. You should stick to basic microwave popcorn, which means they shouldn’t contain any oil, butter, or salt. The popcorn themselves are healthy, but additional ingredients are not good for your body.
You might not consider carrots a snack, but many of us love eating a baby carrot or two between meals. It is not only tasty but also healthy as carrots are rich in fiber, which promotes satiety.
Carrots are ideal if you ended your run, but there is still an hour or two until dinner. You will satisfy your current cravings, which may also help you to reduce dinner portion size.
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We are continuing the list of healthy fruit and veggie snacks with apricots, which have a high quantity of carbs. The other useful nutrients include potassium, fiber, and vitamin A.
Apricots are great if you are running because you want to shed extra pounds. They contain a low amount of fat and can keep you full for a while.
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No, we are not talking about going on dates, although that might be even better than snacking! Joking aside, dates are the favorite snack of many runners out there, and the reason is a generous amount of carbs and protein.
According to Dr. Jackie Buell from Ohio State University, our body uses carbs as muscle fuel. That way, they secure energy during practice.
Dates can be a post-workout snack, too. They contain plenty of protein, which is important to recover and promote muscle strength.
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8. Dried Plums
Runners usually combine these with dates because they go well together. Dried plums are rich in carbs, and they also contain satiety-promoting fibers. The combination makes them great during the recovery process.
This video clip: Ready to Race: Nutrition for Every Runner explains what type of food you need before and after your run. Carbs are important at all times, and dried plums can be a great source if you like eating them.
Allow us to give you a little tip – avoid consuming plums before your workout. They have laxative properties, and you shouldn’t have to look for a bathroom in the middle of your run!
The chances are you need to restore hydration to optimal levels after a run. Not many snacks can boost hydration like a watermelon.
It is also packed with vitamins and antioxidants, which can keep your immunity strong. Apart from buying and slicing, no other effort is needed in preparing them, and that simplicity is another plus for watermelons!
10. Fruit Yogurt
Fruit yogurt is a combination of nutrients like potassium and calcium combined with protein and fiber. Unless you are sensitive to dairy, it should be easily digestible.
The high level of protein might make fruit yogurt a better choice after the workout. Not only your muscles will benefit from protein, but bones will appreciate calcium, and even the immune system will profit from yogurt’s active cultures.
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You know oranges are healthy, but did you know that clementines are even healthier? Here is a lesson in biology – clementines are a hybrid of sweet and mandarin oranges.
They are extremely rich in vitamin C and can provide a vital hydration boost after the run. If you are looking for a quick way to feel refreshed, peel a clementine on your way home, and enjoy its benefits.
And if you can’t find clementines in your area, mandarins will do a great job, too!
The main benefit of grapes lies in resveratrol, which is a natural phenol found in grapes. According to Dr. Axe, it is a powerhouse that helps you to combat aging, and keep your waistline perfect.
Grapes are also high in vitamins C and K, which can boost your immunity. Don’t tell anyone, but you can even allow yourself a glass of high-quality red wine occasionally!
13. Almonds, Cashews, and Peanuts
You can’t go wrong with pistachios either, but these seem to be the three most popular nut types out there. They are also packed with nutrients, and they secure protein, fiber, and even healthy fat.
Nuts promote satiety and can help to achieve your weight loss goals while optimizing your overall health. It is vital to avoid salted nuts, as well as those that contain sugar, such as honey-roasted peanuts.
We won’t lie to you – celery might not be satisfying if you eat it on its own. However, if you combine it with hummus or peanut butter, or even make yourself a small sandwich, you can benefit from its compounds.
Those include potassium and vitamin K, which plays a role in maintaining bone, cognitive, and heart health.
If you are on a healthy diet, the chances are it involves fatty fish. Tuna can be the ideal to go snack whenever you have a little time after training, and you need a protein boost.
The experts do not recommend eating tuna more than a couple of times per week because it might have high mercury levels.
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We mentioned some amazing fruits, so why not combine them to make a tasty smoothie? You can experiment with chocolate milk, but if you want to avoid dairy, go with soy or almond milk.
You can feel free to combine bananas, berries, and even nuts. A smoothie can be a refreshing beverage after a workout, as well as an all-around nutrient boost for your organism!
17. Hard-Boiled Egg
If you are a morning runner, you may workout even before breakfast. That is when hard-boiled eggs make the perfect snack once the run ends!
Eggs are rich in protein, which is essential for recovery and muscle building. If you are sensitive, remove the yolk, and stick to egg whites.
If you have a sweet tooth, it is better to combine cereals with milk than eating biscuits or cookies!
Cereals contain fibers, as well as minerals and vitamins, and they are easily digestible. They also promote satiety, especially if you pick a type that has more than 5g of fiber. We recommend non-dairy milk, especially if you eat before training.
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19. Cottage Cheese
A non-dairy lifestyle can be healthy, but you should ensure your calcium intake is optimal. That is why you should consume cottage cheese occasionally.
Calcium is important for bones, and protein is vital for muscle repair, which is why this is primarily a post-workout snack.
You may know them as green soybeans. They are a top choice after the run since they are filled with protein and isoflavones that benefit bone and heart health.
Edamame also has a low caloric value, which makes it fit perfectly into a weight loss diet.
Meat can be a snack, too! You can even choose between beef or turkey jerky, and it only depends on your taste.
It is vital to choose a brand with zero added sugar to ensure your snack is completely healthy. Fulfill that condition, and you’ve got yourself a dose of protein needed to recover after training.
22. Bell Peppers
The primary benefit of bell peppers lies in their high amount of fiber. They are also convenient – slice them in the morning, and take with you wherever you go.
If you feel like snacking, you can have a healthy meal filled with vitamin C and fiber to promote immunity and satiety. Feel free to combine with hummus for added taste.
Hummus is a dip that was first made in the Middle East, and it includes dried chickpeas, tahini, and garlic. This unique mixture makes it loaded with fiber and protein while ensuring no sugar.
You can use hummus as a dip for healthy crackers or tortilla, or combine with vegetables to make a tasty snack.
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If you are a fan of morning training, but you still can’t skip breakfast, oatmeal can get you loaded with carbs. That can jumpstart your day, or give you an energy boost to endure the entire run.
According to Mayo Clinic, oatmeal can assist in balancing your cholesterol levels, which can be important if you are overweight.
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25. Gummy Bears
We saved the weird one for last. Gummy bears are not exactly healthy, which is why you should only consume them rarely.
The right moment to take them is when you feel you need an extra push to complete the running session. Gummy bears secure instant carbs, which increase energy level so that you can finish training.
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Hi, Jeremy Here,
I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journey. About Me.
Last update on 2022-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API