Do you need a pre-run, afternoon, or mid-run snack to get through the day? I know I do. From soybeans to gummy bears (absolutely), here are 31 healthy snacks for runners that can be eaten anytime hunger comes knocking.
Let’s be honest: three meals do not match your appetite. Good news! Eating small meals throughout the day not only quiets your noisy stomach but can help you lose weight.
1. Steel Cut Oats
Steel-cut oats are minimally processed, require slightly more cooking time than regular oats, with have a different texture and flavor. They’re considered a whole grain.
My absolute favorite runner super food! This is Popeye’s spinach!
Nutrition facts: 1 serving size (1/4 cup or 40g), 27g carbs, 3g fat, 5g protein
2. Chocolate Milk
Chocolate milk is a great source of protein, carbohydrates, and vitamin B. It is also packed with calcium to keep your bones strong.
It will come as no surprise that chocolate milk is one of the more healthy snacks for runners!
One (8) ounce serving (with 1% milk) contains 160 calories.
3. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is packed with protein. The perfect food to repair muscles and aid in muscle building. It also serves as a great source of protein.
Cottage cheese is also great when mixed with fresh fruit. Blueberries, peaches, and grapefruits are popular choices!
Cottage cheese contain 165 calories per 1 cup ( 1% cottage cheese).
“Bananas are known to reduce swelling, protect against developing Type 2 diabetes, aid in weight loss, strengthen the nervous system and help with the production of white blood cells, all due to the high level of vitamin B6 that bananas contain.” (source- LiveScience)
Bananas are high in antioxidants. When it comes to healthy snacks for runners or cyclists, bananas are at the top of the list!
Pro tip – They also provide protection from the sunlight to the lotion you put on your skin.
Bananas have about 100 calories each (medium size).
5. Dried Plums
Dried plums are a great snack at any time. They are packed potassium, which is suggested to naturally lower blood pressure.
Dried plums contain plenty of carbohydrates and no fat. Also a great source fiber.
Calories – (5) plums has about 100 calories
6. RXBAR Protein Bars
Each bar packs in 12g of protein and core ingredients like egg whites, nuts, and dates.
RxBar is a simple and clean protein bar with only a handful of natural ingredients.
Calories – 210 calories per bar, with 12g of protein, 23g of carbohydrates, 9g of fat (2g saturated)
7. Nature’s Bakery Fig Bar
These tasty fig bars contain no dairy, no GMO, low sodium, no high fructose corn syrup, and are plant-based with no artificial flavors added.
Healthy snacks for runners can taste awesome like these Nature’s Bakery fig bars.
Handy ready-to-go snack that are great at anytime!
Calories – 200 calories per bar, 38 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein and 5 g fat.
8. Health Warrior Chia Bars
One of my favorite bars is the Chia Seed Bar. With 100 calories and 3g of sugar, Chia Bars are a great fit for your active lifestyle.
They’re gluten free, non-GMO and made with plant-based ingredients.
These bars are dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free and contain a mere 100 calories per 0.9-ounce (25-gram) bar. You can expect around 4.5 grams of fat, 14 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein per serving.
Soybeans are one of the world’s most popular and versatile food sources.
Edamame beans are often sold while still in their pods, which are not meant to be eaten. You can also buy shelled edamame already shelled.
Due to it’s complex nutritional profile, Edamame has a international reputation as one of more healthy snacks for runners.
Edamame are high in protein, may lower cholesterol, won’t raise your blood sugar, and rich in vitamins and minerals.
Calories (per 1/2 cup of shelled Edamame) – 120 calories, 11 g protein, 9 g fiber, 2.5 g fat, 13 g carbohydrate
10. Hummus and Pretzels
A Middle Eastern dish made of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lemon juice, sesame seed, garlic clove, salt, and parsley. Hummus is often served on crackers.
Looking for a great post-run recovery snack? At the end of my running challenge workout, this is a new addition to my post-run menu. Love it!
Hummus is a great source of plant-based protein, providing 8 grams per serving.
In addition, hummus contains iron, folate, and B vitamins, which is perfect for vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets.
Calories per 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving of hummus: Calories: 166, Fat: 9.6 grams, Protein: 8 grams, Carbohydrates: 14.3 grams, Fiber: 6.0 grams
11. Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter
Rice cakes are low in calories and the perfect between meal or after workout snack. Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein and heart-healthy.
The beauty of rice cakes is they can be top with almost anything and still taste great. The perfect dietary dance partner after a hard workout!
Looking for a great nut butter? Here are some suggested rice cake toppings you’ll enjoy! Almond butter contains 3.5 grams of protein per tablespoon and is also an amazing source of omega-3. Peanut butter contains 4 grams of protein per tablespoon. Hazelnut butter contains 2 g of protein per tablespoon.
The carbohydrates in rice cakes help to replace glycogen gets depleted during exercise. They also halt the breakdown of protein.
Rice cakes are very popular with bodybuilders and extreme sport athletes.
Calories: 35; Carbs 7g, Fiber .5 g, Protein .7 grams, Fat .3 g
12. String Cheese
Many athletes lack the proper amount of calcium and protein in their diets. String cheese is a great protein, with minimal carbohydrate and some fat.
Research shows that combining protein with carbohydrate can speed recovery to fatigued muscles.
When it comes to healthy snacks for runners, cheese sticks is a tasty and convenient choice.
Calories: 80 calories per serving, 6 g protein, 6 g fat, 1 g carbohydrate
13. Bean burrito
Tired of granola or bananas for a pre-workout meal? Try a bean burrito!
A vegetarian bean burrito is a tasty choice to satisfy your appetite and to provide you with a clean source of nutrients.
Vegetarian bean burritos are packed with protein and nutrients for anyone serious about their sports nutrition.
Combine black beans and pinto beans, with tomato paste, corn kernels, cheese, and brown rice on a heated tortilla. Add in your favorite toppings, such as shredded cheese, hot sauce, and fat-free sour cream.
14. Tuna Fish
Albacore tuna is packed with protein and heart-healthy omega 3 fats.
Healthy snacks for runners can come in a can!
Tuna is the perfect snack when placed on top of a salad or mixed with low-fat mayonnaise and served with crackers or on toasted whole-grain bread! Many tuna lovers eat it straight out of the can!
Calories: 80 calories, 16 g protein, .5 g fat, 0 g carbohydrate
15. Dried Apricots
Dried apricots gain all of their sweetness naturally with no added sugar.
Dried apricots are also high in fiber; each serving provides four grams of fiber.
Dried fruit is also associated with overall improved diet quality, lower weight and body fat. What’s not to like about that?
Try snacking on dried apricots or serving them with hot cereal or in your trail mix.
Nutrition – One serving has 0 g fat, 29 g of carbohydrates, and 1 g of protein.
16. Apple Slices with Peanut Butter
Apples and peanut butter provide lots of fiber, which helps keep your digestive tract operating a peak levels.
Fiber assists with your normal bodily functions and supports the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
Did I mention they taste awesome together! No wonder kids of all ages love them!
Every popular list of healthy snacks for runners includes apple slices and peanut butter!
Nutrition -One serving of peanut butter is about 2 tablespoons (32 grams), while a serving of apple roughly translates to one small or medium-sized apple (150–180 grams). Combined these foods provide about 283 calories, 8 grams of protein, 16 grams of fat, 7 grams of fiber, and 25 grams of carbohydrates!
17. Plain Yogurt with Fresh Fruit
FAGE Total 0% Milkfat Plain Greek Yogurt is by far my favorite yogurt and an incredible late night treat (that’s good for you!).
Nutrition – One serving (3/4 cup) has 0 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbohydrates, and (wait for it..) 18 grams of protein!
However, let’s be honest, plain yogurt is not for every palate. But there is good news. I like to add sugar-free vanilla syrup to my yogurt, about a tablespoon or two. It tastes like your favorite vanilla yogurt without wrecking your macros!
Plain and simple, popcorn is just a whole grain, just popped.
Some people might look at it as junk food, however, it’s not.
Whole grains are very healthy. Popcorn has volume, it’s satisfying, and has a nice crunch which are perfect qualities for a snack.
Any healthy snack can quickly make the not healthy list when you saturate it with butter, cheese, caramel, or any other popular popcorn topping.
Healthy snacks for runners and movie goers alike! Just be aware of the calorie trap tasty toppings can create.
Nutrition – One cup of plain popcorn has only 31 calories, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of protein, and 6 grams of carbohydrates. Air-popped popcorn is a good choice.
19. Hard-boiled eggs
Hard-boiled eggs are great snacks for several reasons: they’re inexpensive, extremely versatile, and have a long shelf life (3-5 days) once cooked.
Adding eggs to your diet may be one of the easiest things to do if you’re trying to lose weight. They can make you feel more full (because they are packed with protein) and help you eat fewer calories throughout the day.
Also, eggs are an important source of key vitamins and minerals for your diet.
- One large egg (with yolk) – 78 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g carbs, 6 g protein.
- One large egg (w / o yolk) – 17 calories, 0.1 g fat, 0.2 g carbs, 3.6 g protein
20. Trail Mix
Enjoy classic combination of Fresh Roasted Salted Nuts, Dried Fruit, and M&M’s.
This trail mix is a sweet and salty medley and includes Peanuts, Almonds, Raisins, Cashews as well as M & M chocolate candies.
Healthy snacks for runners are allow to be delicious!
Enjoy this flavorful mix as an on-the-go snack for everyday adventures.
Almonds may help you shed unwanted pounds. Researchers found people eating a diet rich in almonds lost more weight than those on a high-carb diet with the same number of calories.
A serving of almonds has 162 calories, 14 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, and 6 grams of protein, and when snacking on almonds, portion control is key. One serving of almonds is 23 almonds, which equals 1 ounce, ¼ cup, or about 1 handful.
Avocados are a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium.
Avocados have more potassium than bananas, and loaded with fiber and healthy fats.
They also provide lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids. Although most of the calories in an avocado come from fat, it’s the good kind!
How do you eat avacados?
You can put avocado slices on sandwiches or place in your salad. You can spread them on toast. And let’s not forget everyone’s favorite.. guacamole dip!
Nutrition – One serving (1 cup) contains 21 g fat, 12 g carbs, and 3 g protein.
23. High Fiber Cereal with Almond Milk
Start your day with the Quaker Simply Granola Oats Honey Raisins & Almonds.
Contains raisins, oats and honey.
It contains 210 calories per serving which makes it a simple yet healthy meal. This natural granola is an excellent source of protein.
Healthy snacks for runners typically include a natural cereal or granola in one form or another.
Quaker Simply Granola Oats Honey Raisins & Almonds:
- Good source of fiber
- 5g of fat per serving
- Very low in sodium
- Has no cholesterol
- Eat it with milk or with a bowl of yogurt
Nutrition – One serving contains 5 g fat, 38 g carbs, and 5 g protein.
24. Bagel with Peanut Butter and Jelly
What’s not to love about having America’s favorite sandwich served on a tasty bagel?
Something fruity, something rich and creamy and something to spread it on.
The fat in peanut butter is mostly good fat. The sweetness comes from the fruit jelly, and the bagel is the palette where the magic happens.
Healthy snacks for runners don’t have to be boring. The PB&J combination is satisfyingly delicious!
Nutrition – A PB&J has 15 g of protein per serving, 13 grams of plant-based unsaturated fat and 5 grams of fiber. Keeps you full and helps build muscle. As an added bonus, the 12.5 grams of sugar provides the quick release of energy that athletes need.
25. Tuna Fish Sandwich
Tuna sandwiches are a great lunch or afternoon snack for athletes. Whether you’re a long-distance runner or bodybuilder, a tuna fish sandwich is packed protein and carbs (your bread of choice), to aid with muscle recovery and endurance.
Tuna fish is very versatile and can be prepared in a number of ways. I enjoy mixing things up and am always on the lookout for new sandwich variations.
Try experimenting with different toppings, melted cheeses, and toasted bread to give add a bit a flair to your tuna sandwich.
Though dates are naturally high in sugar, they don’t spike blood sugar quickly. They provide a source of slow-releasing carb which allows for a constant stream of energy to fuel your workout. Try having two to four dates 30–60 minutes before a workout.
As a nighttime snack, they’re an excellent snack due to their high fiber content. Fiber takes longer to digest, helping you stay fuller longer.
Dates have an excellent nutrition profile. They have a calorie content higher than most fresh fruit since they are dried.
The calorie content of dates is similar to that of other dried fruits, such as raisins and figs.
Most of the calories in dates come from carbohydrates. They also contain a small amount of protein.
Dates contain some important vitamins and minerals, including potassium, plus loads of fiber.
Nutrition – A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving provides the following nutrients:
Calories: 277, Carbs 75 grams, Fiber 7 grams, Protein: 2 grams
27. Gummy Bears
Running is a strenuous fitness activity that can cause micro-traumas. These micro-traumas signal to your body that you need nutrients, particularly amino acids, to repair them.
Amino acids trigger protein synthesis, a important process of muscle repair after exercise.
Every time the muscle is “torn” and repaired, it gets a little thicker and larger, building in size and strength.
The start of repair process muscles uses energy as well. Getting off the road or weight room is not the end of your energy exertion.
Healthy snacks for runners? Enter gummy bears!
Gummy bears and other high-glycemic carbs with dextrose provide an immediate source of sugar to help start replenishing what’s been lost during your workout.
During the post-workout window, your body is still burning energy and the sugar is used instantly and doesn’t get stored as fat.
Nutrition – One serving (39g) – 33 grams of carbs, 2 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat.
Carrots are a super food and fill a necessary void in an athlete’s diet.
Carrots contain a lot of vitamin A. When I saw a lot, but mean a ton!
A serving of carrots contain 600% of what you need every day.
Vitamin A is a great antioxidant. But what exactly are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are substances to protect your cells against free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.
Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food or when you’re exposed to toxins.
Nutrition – One cup contains 12 grams of carbs, 0 grams of fat and 1 gram of protein.
A superfood smoothie is a great source of healthy, nutritious ingredients that enhances the performance of your digestive system and jump start your day!
Smoothies are available in a wide variety of flavors based on your choice of ingredients.
They are made with a combination of fresh raw fruits and vegetables (and sometimes eggs) to boost muscle development and recovery.
Add-ins are also used to provide extra protein, as well as specific vitamins and minerals.
Smoothies are a great way to add extra nutrients to your body in a tasty manner!
30. Whole Grain Crackers and Cheese
If you’re serious about enhancing your athletic performance, eating frequently snacks and mini-meals throughout the day should be part of your sports nutrition plan.
Focus on the nutrients you need for optimal athletic performance. Healthy snacks include whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables, and clean sources of protein.
Prepare a small plate of whole grain crackers and slices of cheese provides you with a delicious sources of protein and low carbs to power you through your day.
31. Baked Potato
Baked potatoes are just for dinner!
One medium baked potato contain more potassium than a banana, 26 grams of carbohydrates, and only 110 calories.
Baked potatoes are easily digestible and contain more energy than any other popular vegetable.
Potatoes are an excellent choice to fuel the high demands of athletes and are healthy snacks for runners and other athletes competing at a high level of exertion.