When it comes to physical activities like sports, hiking, backpacking, long walks, or working out– it’s important to stay fueled appropriately. In particular, carbohydrates and protein are important for sustaining physical activity and promoting recovery. Don’t settle for unhealthy, convenience store items–plan ahead with these 8 smart, healthy snacks to fuel your activity of choice.
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Trail Mix Granola (GF, V, Veg Options)
Granola is one my favorite to things to have on hand to throw over morning yogurt or eat as a snack. My granola recipe is essentially a trail mix, as you can throw in whatever nuts, seeds, and add-ins you like. The twist is, I like to throw quinoa into the mix for some extra protein and added crunch. With plenty of great ingredients like whole grain oats, protein packed nuts and seeds, and fiber-filled dried fruit–this is a nutritious and energy sustaining snack option.
Energy Bites & Bars (GF, V, Veg Options)
Nowadays, grocery stores have shelves stocked with energy bites and bars, however, watch out for sneaky added sugars and fillers hidden in some. I always try to shoot for 10 grams of added sugar or less and 5 grams of protein per serving. Some of favorite pre-made bars to grab on the go are Lara Bars, KIND Bars, and CLIF Nut Butter Filled and Fruit Filled Bars.
Bites and bars can easily be a cheap DIY recipe as well. Much like my granola, my energy bite recipe template is flexible with options for various ingredients you likely already have on hand. Throw in your favorite nut butter and almost-empty pantry items to create the perfect ball filled with whole energy and subtle sweetness.
Cheesy Chickpeas & Pulses Puffs (GF, V, Veg Options)
As delicious as it sounds to dive into a bag of Cheetos, save yourself the orange fingers and energy crash. Instead, try creating a plant-based version of your favorite childhood snack with roasted chickpeas sprinkled in nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese. These are a wonderful, healthy snack to pack on-the-go or throw over soups and salads later. If you’re running low on time, Peatos are also a fun one. These crunchy pea and lentil-packed snacks are high in protein and fiber without all the unpronounceable ingredients in their junk food counterparts.
Hard Boiled Eggs (GF, Veg Options)
One hard boiled egg contains 6 grams of protein. Pair it with cheese slices and whole grain crackers for a bento box-style snack or meal to fuel your activity.
Jerky (GF Options)
Turkey, pork, and beef jerky are other satisfying bites to pack. Try making it yourself or picking it up at the store. My favorite is Perky Jerky as it is a great source of protein, while still low in fat and added sugar.
Fruits Forms (GF, V, Veg Options)
Fruit is a classic, healthy snack that is filled with incredible fiber, phytochemicals and a variety of minerals and vitamins. Try packing it in various forms–dried, fresh, frozen, and squeezable. Dried fruit is a great, shelf-stable option for packing a shelf-stable snack, but try to limit yourself to a standard serving of 1/4 cup as this item can provide extra sugars and calories when eaten in excess. Fresh fruit, as opposed to fruit juice, is loaded with fiber, which will help you stay fuller longer. Try packing snack-friendly fruits like apples, cuties, grapes, and bananas. If you are going to be in hot weather, freeze the fruit ahead of time so it is refreshingly cold when you eat it. Finally, squeezable fruit is another awesome, quick option. I like to grab Brainiac Applesauce Pouches for days when I’m on-the-go and need an easy, nutritious option. Throw it in your bag and squeeze it whenever you need it! No fridge needed.
Smoothies (GF, Veg Options)
Smoothies can be a great meal pre-activity or something to sip on throughout. I like to make fruit and veggie packed smoothies like this Strawberry Kale Smoothie. If you are a cold-snob like me, throw it in a Hydro Flask Insulated Food Jar to keep it cold throughout the day.
Hummus & Veggies (GF, V, Veg Options)
Hummus is a great source of plant-based protein and pairs perfectly with hydrating veggies like celery, peppers, or cucumbers. Skip the store bought stuff and make your own with my fresh hummus recipe. No tahini needed! Instead, I like to use peanut butter to give it an incredible creamy, nutty flavor.
And there you have it! These are my favorite snacks to munch before long hikes with my dog Buddy, working out at the gym, or a fierce tennis match. Ultimately, choose snacks and physical activity you love. What’s your favorite form of physical activity?