Healthy Snacks for Athletes

As an athlete, consuming healthy snacks is not just important for your athletic performance, but also for your optimal health and vitality. According to research, snacks tend to retract athletes from sticking to a balanced and healthy diet. This situation arises when athletes tend to entertain their hunger with less-than-healthy eating habits, which is then a slippery slope to even more unhealthy consumption.

However, that need not be the case with nutritious and balanced snack choices.

Ideally, your pre-game snack should not only consist of the essential nutrients and minerals, but should also be made up of easily-digestible carbohydrates.

In this blog, we will discuss a number of snacks that will help keep you full and satiated without forcing you down the path of poor diets and eating habits.

Healthy Snacks for Athletes

Healthy Snacks for Athletes:

1) Rice and Scrambled Egg Bars:

If you have a game or a demanding practice session the next day, it is important that your body has an ample store of carbohydrates. For this reason, you should use sushi-rice to increase the carbohydrate content of the snack.

Scrambled eggs, meanwhile, help add small amounts of protein and fat so that you remain fueled over the long-term without having to affect your digestion. Eggs are particularly important for young athletes, as they play a crucial role in development and growth.

2) Trail Mix:

A combo of nuts like peanuts, cashews, walnuts, and almonds, along with some simple carbohydrates like dry fruit, pretzels, and granola can offer decent amounts of protein. This combination is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which play a key role in increasing energy, quickening post-game recovery, and burning excess fat.

Another major benefit of this option is that you do not have to worry about the snack going stale during the day.

3) Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwich (Half):

If you are prepping for a particularly intensive training session (such as a soccer drill or cross-country sprint), you will need a more substantial amount of fuel to keep you active throughout the day.

Raise the health game by replacing peanut butter with almond butter, and throw in a few slices of actual strawberries to increase the fruit content of the snack. If possible, you should also go for whole-grain bread instead of its white counterpart. If you are a parent to a young athlete, you might think that your kid will only prefer white bread and pull their nose up at the whole-grain stuff. However, recent studies have shown that kids are equally happy to eat whole-wheat.

Using premium ingredients for this sandwich will provide you or your kid with the perfect combination of macronutrients. Not only that, but this meal can be consumed quickly and with ease.

4) Sports Bar:

A nutrition bar is another portable and quick snack, making it a good grab-and-go meal choice. However, not all nutritional bars are suitable for athletes, since many are loaded with calories and sugars. Hence, you should do your research to find a brand that is aligned with your dietary and athletic needs.

5) Greek Yogurt Containing Honey and Dried Fruit:

Greek yogurt is ripe with protein, giving an athlete the kind of energy and endurance that is required to stay on top of their game from start to finish. Even though the higher fat content in Greek yogurt is not a problem for breakfast consumption, it can cause a bit of abdominal distress if consumed prior to a practice session, and will also not help with post-workout refueling. For this reason, you might want to consider a no- or low-fat Greek yogurt option.

In order to avoid extra sugars, opt for a plain yogurt. By including honey into the mix, you can monitor the sweetness of the yogurt. Dried fruits like berries, meanwhile, provide a better and healthier burst of flavor.

6) Salmon Sandwich:

Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which makes it extremely beneficial for post-workout muscle recovery.

Alongside omega-3 fatty acids, you get a wealth of other nutrients including antioxidants, Selenium, Vitamin B, potassium, and of course, copious amounts of protein.

7) Hard-Boiled Eggs Along with Banana or Apple:

If you are getting ready for a shorter and less-intense burst of athletic activity, you might need a lighter snack. The combo of hard-boiled eggs and bananas/apples offers carbohydrates, fats, and healthy proteins, without going over the top. Eggs are an excellent go-to for any athlete, as a single egg contains seven grams of fats and satiating proteins.

As far as carbohydrates go, the natural sugar (fructose) present in apples provides just the right burst of energy, while bananas can add to the carbohydrate content and is more suitable for hungrier athletes.

8) Raw Vegetables:

The nutritional value of raw vegetables often goes under the radar. However, the truth is that raw vegetables are extremely beneficial and even essential for all kinds of athletes. You can visit your nearest supermarket and grab a few cauliflowers and broccolis, and a few sticks of baby carrots.

All you need to do is mix this vegetable package together, get a salad dressing ready, and enjoy the benefits.

9) Fruits:

Ever noticed Roger Federer munching a banana in between sets? This is because the high potassium content of bananas helps prevent cramps.

Fruits, even in general, provide a surprisingly strong power-punch of essential electrolytes and vitamins that will keep you powered during a game. Apples, for instance, contain healthy amounts of fiber and sugar. Eating even a small bunch of grapes will keep you energized throughout the game.

 Our Final Thoughts:

The life of an athlete is extremely fast, which makes it hard for them to stick to three meals a day. In fact, nutritionists recommend eating 6-7 smaller meals in briefer intervals, in order to maintain exceptional health and maximize your workouts and game performances.

However, snacks do not always have to equate to unhealthy, which is the primary message that we wanted to convey through this guide.