Snacks are life. Snacks are the best. For active individuals, snacks are an important part of fueling your lifestyle. From snacks you find in the grocery store to homemade recipes, there’s SO much to choose from. How do you know if your snack choices are benefiting your performance on the run, on the field, or in the gym?
It is so important to eat enough, and eat regularly to keep up with your activity as well as build muscle and endurance. Although snacks may not be for everyone, more often than not snacks are a necessary part of an active adult's fueling routine to keep up with energy and training demands. It can be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to get all the nutrients you need in 1-2 meals per day. This is where snacks can fill in the energy gaps of almost any lifestyle.
There are so many options to choose from. How does one even begin?
I have a formula that makes up the best snacks for an active lifestyle. This formula can help guide you to choosing a snack that will meet your bodies energy demands, improve your training, and keep you full and satisfied until the next meal (or snack!). If you want to crush your active lifestyle and keep it up long-term, this formula can help you make that happen.
The formula for the best snacks to fuel your active lifestyle:
CARBOHYDRATES (CARBS) + PROTEIN (& perhaps fat/fiber)
We want a source of carbs in our snacks first and foremost. Carbs are the bodies preferred and most efficient source of fuel. These will give you the energy you need to perform your best during your workouts.
Protein is important as it helps maintain, build and enhance muscles and tissues. Research shows that eating protein frequently throughout the day is most effective for optimizing training adaptations. This makes a source of protein another integral part of your snacks.
If your snack includes some fat and/or fiber, then even better. These aren’t absolutely necessary, however, they can increase nutrient intake, fullness and satisfaction.
So - what are some snacks that are easy to grab'n'go, but also fuel my activity?
I have both savory and sweet options based on your personal preference...
Written by Maddi Osburn RDN LD
Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group. Sports Nutrition: A Handbook for Professionals. 6th ed., Chicago: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2017.