May 18, 2021

Quick And Easy Healthy Snacks For Athletes

This article shares several healthy snacks that you can use to help fuel you between meals and your training sessions. Check them out!

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What you eat is important. Food is the fuel that powers you during training and racing and helps to keep you healthy and strong. Make poor choices and watch as your waistline expands, health deteriorates, and race performance suffers.

When I think about my pro racing days and what I used to eat, I cringe. It was incredibly processed, high in carbohydrate and low in nutrients. Trash!

Things have changed since then, and while I still have work to do, my nutrition is significantly better than it has ever been.

Outside the complete overhaul of my main meals, the way I snack has changed. First, I don’t need to snack often. It’s pretty rare these days that I find myself reaching for something to tide me over until my next meal.

Second, what I reach for is dramatically different. Gone are the days of chips and milk chocolate. In their place are nutrient-dense and healthy snacks.

That’s what the rest of this article is about – what I snack on when I need a quick bite.

My Snack Rules

Before we get to the snacks I eat, here are a few guidelines I follow when considering my snack choices.

  1. I have to like the taste of what I eat and enjoy eating it
  2. They have to be easy to grab and go
  3. They have to be healthy

My Favourite Healthy Snacks

Below is a list of the snacks I find myself eating most regularly. Hopefully, a few will appeal to you, and you can begin your transition to healthy eating by slowly swapping some of your current snacks for some of these.

Cheese. I love cheese and eat a variety of different types. 

Carrot Sticks. Every week I cut up a couple of carrots into sticks and store them in a glass jar in water in the fridge. This quick-prep helps to keep them fresh and means I can quickly grab them on the go.

Dark Chocolate. I was always a milk chocolate boy, so this transition took some time. I started low and have gradually moved up the ladder to a point where my go-to chocolate is now 85% cacao.

Hard-Boiled Eggs. Eggs are nutritious and incredibly filling. Like carrots, I will do some quick-prep and hard boil a few eggs at once and have them in the fridge ready to go.

Nuts & Seeds. I only snack on nuts and seeds occasionally because I find them a bit dry. Instead, I eat most of my nuts and seeds in homemade nut granola that I eat for breakfast sometimes or in salads.

Seeded Crackers. My nutritionist friend, Karelle, introduced me to homemade seeded crackers recently. These are the most recent addition to my snack list, and besides tasting great, the crunch is as satisfying as the chips from my past life. View the recipe here.

Cut Race Times, Not Corners.

Racing at your potential and enjoying training is easy when you’re following the right programme.

My Favourite Treats

Instead of gorging on ice cream or a big block of milk chocolate like I used to do, I now exercise a little more control. Control in the amount I eat, but also the quality.

I buy the treats below at a local bulk foods store and have a few each night as I watch some television to wind down. They’re not healthy per se, but they’re a step up from what I used to eat.

Chocolate Liquorice. There seem to be two camps when it comes to liquorice. Love it or hate it. I’m in the love it camp and used to eat tons of processed black liquorice straps when I was a kid. These days I treat myself to a few small liquorice bullets covered in dark chocolate. They’re high in carbs, but I am ok with that because I only eat a few.

Dark Chocolate Honeycomb. When I am not eating liquorice, I eat a few small balls of dark chocolate covered honeycomb. It’s also sweet, but I love it.

What are your go-to healthy snacks? Let me know.

Related Articles

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Ben Pulham

Ben Pulham is the founder of Coached, a personalised training programme that helps runners & triathletes optimise, track and enjoy their training.