Runners need convenient snacks. Whether you carry something during your run and eat it on the go, or you need something to throw it your bag before a race, the easier it is to store and eat the better. But you don't want to eat junk. You need real food to fuel your runs.
Here are our six favorite convenient snacks that provide the nutrients runners need to perform at their best.
This simple and delicious snack is particularly well-suited for runners. An ounce of pretzels has about 100 calories, most from fast-digesting carbs that provide a quick source of energy. Also, the salt on the pretzels replenishes sodium lost through sweat, which is important for preventing fatigue and muscle cramps.
2. Overnight Oats
Soaking oats in milk or almond milk in a mason jar overnight creates a quick snack or meal for when you're on the go. And yes, they are delicious. This is a perfect option to throw in your bag and eat about an hour before a race to provide long-lasting energy. But don't try to eat them in the middle of a run. Here are some overnight oat recipes you can make.
It's almost like bananas were designed specifically for runners. A banana contains about 25 grams of carbs, perfect for a quick burst of energy before a run or to refuel in the middle. This wonder fruit also contains B vitamins, which help convert nutrients into usable energy—and it aids in the recovery process after your run is finished.
4. String Cheese
Unlike other running snacks, string cheese is low in carbs, but high in protein and fat. It's a good idea for runners to have a snack option that includes macronutrients other than carbs. The main benefit of string cheese for runners? One stick has 20 percent of your daily requirement for calcium, which plays an important role in muscle contractions.
A small box of raisins (1.5 ounces) has 25 grams of sugar. Some of you may gasp at this, but it's precisely the reason why raisins are great for runners. Keep a small box of raisins with you on a run and pop a few in your mouth when you feel a bit low on energy.
6. Beef Jerky
Beef jerky isn't just for meatheads. Like weightlifters, runners need protein after activity to help their muscles recover. Since most runners are not trying to pack on muscle, they don't need as much protein as other athletes—10 to 20 grams is more than enough. Beef jerky is a convenient source of lean protein, it has minimal fat and it's fairly salty, which replenishes electrolytes lost during a run.
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