As you read earlier this week, snacks are an important part of an athlete’s training and a healthy athletes diet. Since not every athlete has access to a refrigerator, your snack should be portable and capable of staying good for hours inside a gym bag, backpack, or locker.
Here are the best snacks for swimmers and athletes in general:
1. Homemade Trail Mix
Nuts, like almonds, peanuts and cashews, provide protein and healthy fats. Mix them with a source of simple carbs, like dried fruit, granola or even bits of pretzels, and you’ve got the ideal combo. Athletes have the opportunity to be creative here by mixing and matching their favorite tastes and textures to create a unique snack that stays fresh for the entire day.
2. Coconut Water and Protein Powder
Toss a bottle of coconut water and a zip-lock baggie with a scoop or two of your favorite protein powder in your gym bag before you leave for work or school, then down it an hour before practice starts. This is a great go-to for pre-workout because it's easily digested and increases your hydration, which is always keys for swimmers. Also, coconut water is full of electrolytes and has less added sugar than some sports drinks.
3. Sports Nutrition Bar
Sports nutrition bars are great because they take the thinking and the prep time out of the equation and give you a portable, non-spoiling snack specifically designed to fuel you for sport. The only drawbacks? They can be expensive, and some have tastes or textures that are less-than-awesome, in addition to high calories. But with dozens of brands and flavors to choose from, you can experiment and find what works best for you in order to have a healthy athletes diet.
4. Piece of Fruit with Beef Jerky
Surprisingly, jerky is high in protein and sodium, which can keep you from cramping if you’re sweating buckets, and the fruit will be rich in carbs, the fuel that powers you through workouts. A combination of jerky with your favorite fruit can be kept with you for that quick and satisfying carb and protein mix.
5. Sports Drinks
Since they don't take long to digest, sports drinks will be in and out of your stomach faster than the solid foods on this list. Choose ones that provide a good balance of carbs, sodium and potassium to replace what you lose during training.
6. Dry cereal
Try some finger-food cereals, alone or mixed with nuts, raisins or dried fruits. Nutrient rich cereals like whole grain and bran cereals are perfect to keep in your gym bag. Take your cereal blend with you and eat it dry if you don't have time to add milk, however we do advise adding milk if it's aftera workout.
This fatty fish can be a good source of protein for on the go athletes. A can of the water-packed snack size goes well with whole wheat crackers and a piece of fruit. This protein-carb duo will keep you fueled for practices and trainings while away from the kitchen.
8. Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwiches
It’s a tasty twist on a modern favorite that will stay fresh in your bag all day long. This combination of healthy fat and protein, sandwiched with the fiber from the whole grain bread, provides athletes with the optimal combination of nutrients.
9. Pretzels and Hummus
This cocktail party favorite is not only snack portable, but it's also healthy. This snack can easily be kept in any athlete’s bag and while getting your dose of carbs from the pretzels, hummus is full of protein, fiber and plenty of helpful nutrients.
10. Whole grain bagel with nut butter
This tasty treat is high in carbs and protein, but low in sugar. With so many nut butters to choose from; almond, sunflower, and peanut, you can choose which one you like best and keep this satisfying snack in your bag for a quick pick-me-up.