It’s not easy to keep those snacks healthy, and many of us make the mistake of thinking we are eating right when actually we are taking in too much sugar, fat or carbs and then wondering why we are not seeing the positive benefits we should. I’m certainly not qualified in nutrition so all I say needs to be taken with a pinch of salt (but not too much 😉) as with all you will read around the place, but here are my top 5 snacks to keep those ‘runger’ pangs at bay. The same warning would go for juices and smoothies, you might think you’re being healthy but check the labels and you’ll find quite a surprise. One morning I had some juice in my fridge, I looked at the label and compared it to coke and beer and found that I’d be better off with a beer with my breakfast!
1. Fruit (50-90 calories per piece) – I love to snack on some tasty fresh fruit, my normal go to’s are an apple or a banana, particularly a banana if it is pre-workout, but I try to limit my fruit intake to 2 pieces a day as they are laden with sugar, natural yes, but still it’s sugar, so be careful and don’t over indulge. If I’m aiming for a particularly tough training session I can be tempted to add a smear of crunchy peanut butter to my quartered apple for some extra energy, give it a tray, but be warned it is very addictive!
2. Nuts (607 calories per 100g mixed nuts) – Tasty and due to their texture and high fat content a great snack to make you feel fuller. But as above only to be consumed in moderation as although they are full of ‘good’ fats, too much of the will certainly impede any gains through your training. Not only are they great for a snack at your desk but if you’re into endurance events like me then nuts are a great lightweight option packed full of good fats and high in calories, perfect for multi stage races as post stage run snacking.
3. Rice crackers (41 calories per cake) – for me the salt & vinegar ‘Snack a Jacks’ do it for me. At only 41 calories per cake they are a tasty little treat, I almost feel like I’m having crisps, the only danger is they are moorish and you can easily consume more than you should.
4. Eggs (155 calories per 100g) – packed full of good nutrition such as potassium and protein and can be easily taken on the go by pre-preparing some boiled eggs, or if you have the luxury to poach/scramble or fry. Eat them in their own or on a bit of rye/pumpernickel bread or even better get more bang for your buck and serve with some tasty avocado for even more nutritional goodness.
5. Biltong (294 calories per 100g) – Not only does this taste delicious (unless you’re vegetarian of course) but it’s a snack packed full of protein, again great to have generally but it’s another one of my favourites for multi stage racing as well, or as a tasty snack when I’m out on a long run. If you can’t get your hands on some delicious ‘fresh’ biltong then try out Stript Snacks from Totally Fuelled, they come in handy little portion packs for only £1.99 (and if you use my special discount code ‘Dutchie’ when you order you will save yourself 15% valid until April 2016, and that’s on all products not just the Stript Snacks of course).
Snacking should be just that, a snack. It can be too easy for any of us to consume extra calories throughout the day that just aren’t necessary, think to yourself are you truly hungry or are you just thirsty. If you can hold out until your next meal then do, but if you have a few hours of work to go, or you’ve got a training session planned then you are going to need some good energy otherwise you won’t be any use to anyone, least alone yourself! Hungry for more? Check out some great ideas and information from the team at Nuts.com to keep you going.