Sports Nutrition Snacks

Snacks are an important part of your sports nutrition plan, whether you are using sports nutrition snacks to stock up on energy, fuel your performance, aid recovery, or supplement your calorie intake. Snacks can be categorized by carb and protein combinations, pre-event snacks, snacks that carry well during an event, post-event snacks, salty snacks, and high calorie snacks.

  • What are some carb and protein combination snacks?

  • These snacks are useful before or after exercise, depending on the fat and fiber content. Nuts and cheese are higher fat, but eating a small portion is usually tolerated. It’s a good idea to include a hydrating drink with these sports nutrition snacks.

    Banana and peanut butter
    Peanut butter and bagel
    Bagel and cheese slice
    Cheese stick and crackers
    Graham crackers and milk
    Milk and cereal
    Cereal, nuts, dried fruit ( snack mix recipe )
    Smoothie (fruit and milk or juice, yogurt)
    Yogurt and nuts
    Nuts and fruit-filled muffin
    Baked potato with melted cheese
    Oatmeal with fruit and nuts
    Pretzel rod wrapped with deli turkey slice or cheese
    Nutrition bar



  • Are certain sports nutrition snacks better before a workout?

  • Choose snacks that you tolerate. You may want to choose lower fiber and lower fat choices. In general, a lowfat foods contains less than 3 grams total fat per serving and a lower fiber food contains less than 3 grams dietary fiber per serving. There are many carb and protein combination snacks that would work, but read the labels for fat and fiber. Also, spicy foods and too much caffeine should be avoided if you get heartburn easily. If you have a sensitive stomach, processed foods will still provide the needed carbs for energy, but with fewer vitamins and minerals (they are not whole foods). These foods may be useful prior to and during exercise, but don’t make a steady diet out of them.

    Examples of processed snacks that are low fat and low fiber include:
    Frozen fruit bars
    White Bagel with Honey
    Frozen yogurt
    Low fat yogurt
    Sports gels and blocks
    Pretzels
    Fruit snacks or roll-ups
    Energy bars, Nutrition Bars, and Sports Nutrition Drinks

  • What sports nutrition snacks carry well during a workout?

  • Choose snacks that can handle the trauma of a running belt, fanny pack or the pocket of your shorts, like fruit snacks. Think about packaging. Will you be able to open the package while biking? A sandwich bag may be easier to open than a factory sealed package. Also, cut nutrition bars into bite-size pieces, so you can eat what you need and not have to worry about getting the uneaten portion back into your pack or pocket. Also, remove safety seals from sports drinks before you begin. While participating in activity, avoid hard snacks that you could choke on, like hard candy, nuts, and some dried fruits.

  • What snacks are best after a workout?

  • The goal after a workout is to replenish the carbs and protein, sodium and fluids you lost during the workout. Always start with a hydrating drink. Eat proportional to the amount of work you did and the intensity at which you worked. The “restocking fee” of too many calories without sufficient work is weight gain. If you did a moderate intensity exercise less than thirty minutes, you can wait until your next meal to eat. However, choose a snack if there is not a meal in sight.

  • What are some ideas for sports nutrition snacks to help replenish the sodium I lose during intense workouts?

  • Sports drinks are ideal for helping you maintain sodium levels during workouts and for replenishing sodium after workouts. In addition, there are higher sodium foods that also provide post-work out recovery carbs and protein.

    Popcorn sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese
    Pretzels with Peanut Butter
    Cheese or Peanut Butter Crackers
    Baked Potato with Melted Cheese
    Soup and Crackers
    Cottage Cheese with Fruit
    Pizza
    Macaroni and Cheese
    V-8 and Tomato Juice
    Pickles
    Nuts and seeds with cereal and dried fruit ( snack mix recipe )
    Sports nutrition drinks

  • What are some high calorie snacks ideas?

  • Nuts, seeds, dried fruit and cheese are higher calorie foods that also include nutrition. Adding Carnation Instant Breakfast to milk is a convenient way to get fluids and extra calories. There are several calorie supplements on the market that are designed for weight gain. You may want to consider one in your sports nutrition plan.

    Lastly, don't forget whole foods as sports nutrition snacks.

    Check out these healthy snack recipes.

    Share your favorite healthy snack ideas here.

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