It can be tricky trying to eat healthily whilst eating enough to fuel your running training. Here are some great healthy snack ideas for busy women who run.
Homemade Oat Bars
There are plenty of recipes online for homemade energy bars made of oats, nuts, dried fruit and even some protein powder. Some need to be cooked, others just chilled and sliced. Here's a recipe we prepared earlier! The possibilities are endless so get creative in the kitchen!
Combine 400g natural, whole porridge oats, 20g flour, a pinch of baking powder and cinnamon (or other spices if you prefer). Add your choice of dried fruit or dried berries, chopped or flaked nuts, seeds or coconut (add as much as you're happy to consume - remember that dried fruit is high in sugar and seeds and nuts are high in fat, although it's a healthy form of fat). Stir the dry ingredients well. In another bowl, mash one ripe banana with two egg whites (leave out the banana if you don't need the extra sweetness). Combine wet and dry and mix well. Grease a shallow tray and press the mixture in firmly. Bake at a 180*C 20-25 minutes or until cooked through without burning. Allow to cool, chop into 10 portions and wrap them ready to grab and go.
A Portable Picnic
Picnic foods are a great idea to have on standby: we're talking hardboiled eggs, grilled chicken strips or skewers, homemade kebabs using beef or chicken chunks and your favourite vegetables, cherry tomatoes and other "quick grab" vegetables and dips such as hummus, salsa and guacamole.
Rice cakes are a go-to healthy snack for runners when we need to grab something from a shop. High in carbohydrates for instant energy, it's best to eat these before or after a training run when your body needs the glycogen boost. Pair with a source of protein like meat, fish (many shops sell pre-prepared cooked meat and seafood), eggs or a protein shake.
Fruit is a great source of carbohydrate, vitamins and fibre but be aware that it's also high in sugar, with dried fruit even higher in fructose than fresh fruit. Choose it before or after a run, when your body needs the sugar.
Did you know that yoghurts are actually high in carbohydrate? Lactose, found in dairy, is a sugar, and it's present in high amounts in most yoghurts. A small yoghurt, topped with a small handful of seeds or nuts, would be a great snack for a busy runner.
Protein Powder or Protein Shake
Protein is important all through the day, not least after your training session. It's very easy to carry a protein shake (protein powder and water) in a shaker, or even just a shaker with the powder in it, which you can fill up with water after training. Pair this with a piece of fruit or rice cake and you've got a great healthy snack for runners!