Best Snacks for Runners
If you’re an avid runner, then you likely know that the best snacks for runners will include a balanced ratio of nutrients to boost energy, strength and stamina. And whether you’re having a snack pre- or post-run, you’ll want to include protein, good fats and carbs, although the emphasis may differ between the two.
Pre-workout, runners should choose healthy snacks that are more carbohydrate focused, since the body needs immediate and easily digestible fuel to get through the workout. Protein and fat content should be low to avoid feeling weighed down.
The best post run snack you can grab—and within an hour of working out to maximize recovery—will emphasize protein (a goal of 15-25 grams), which will help repair muscle damage and build strength, along with some healthy fats and carbs.
Post run snacks should also have electrolytes to replenish those lost through sweat. Electrolytes include potassium, sodium and magnesium, and you can find them in beverages like coconut water or sports drinks as well as in food sources like bananas, leafy greens, salted nuts, olives and pickles.
Not sure what to eat before and after your run? These are the best healthy snacks for runners that are practical, affordable and versatile, as well as packed with excellent nutrition all around.
Banana + Peanut Butter and High Fiber Toast
If you’re getting ready for your run, you might want to just eat a quick banana for adequate fast-acting carbs, but a little bit of peanut butter on a banana or a slice of toast shouldn’t lead to any digestive discomfort, as long as you keep the serving small.
For a post run snack, you can go so far as to have all three—slice the banana, lather the toast with a full serving of peanut butter and enjoy an open-faced sandwich. If you need more protein still you can add nuts or seeds on top or include a small, unsweetened Greek yogurt.
Peanut butter and banana both have magnesium to prevent sore muscles and fiber to fill you up, without weighing you down. And bananas also are rich in potassium, an electrolyte your body craves ASAP post-workout.
Oat Bar + Some Protein and Fat
Oats are complex carbs, meaning they contain gut-friendly, satiating boosting fiber, so an oat bar pre-workout is a great snack for runners where appetite is suppressed, and the energy source is longer lasting and stable. Grab a Bobo’s Oat Bar and head out the door!
As a healthy snack for post run, runners might want to beef it up by choosing a Bobo’s Protein Bar with a drizzle of nut butter on top to increase good fats, magnesium content and satiating power.
Or go with one of Bobo’s Stuff’d Bars, which are automatically filled with creamy, rich peanut or almond butter. If the latter, feel free to bulk up the protein by crumbling it into a serving of plain, Greek yogurt or chia seed pudding.
Handful of Trail Mix + Cottage Cheese
Grab a serving of trail mix when heading out the door for a run. Trail mix from the store may contain excess calories, saturated fat and sugar, but you can make your own healthy snack at home instead to keep the junk away and maximize the nutritional profile.
For a pre-workout snack, mix up some granola, oats, or popcorn as a base that’s higher in fast-acting carbs. Plus, they’re complex and do contain fiber. Runners also need a bit of protein and fat to stay full when on the run as well as electrolytes to help make recovery a bit easier.
Add in almonds or pistachios, along with a little bit of dried fruit, like dried mango, cranberries or pineapple. For a post run snack add the trail mix to a serving of cottage cheese to bulk it up.
Cottage cheese is especially beneficial because it’s naturally salty and will act as a protein rich, filling form of electrolytes. It’s a two-in-one! If you don’t like cottage cheese throw the trail mix on top of a healthy high-protein salad (it gives those greens some crunch) or in a cup of Greek yogurt or chia seed pudding.