Whether you’re training for a 10K, competing in an all-day marathon, or simply running after a long day at work, you're bound to get hungry somewhere along the way. If you're competing, you definitely don't want to stop to eat for too long, but a quick mid-run snack can help you to gain the energy and endurance needed to finish strongly. These top mid-run snacks are the perfect means to quickly and healthily refuel without feeling too full!
You can carry a small pouch of dried fruits during your run for a well-rounded sugar spike and energy boost. Dates are great in terms of vitamins, sugars, and a low fiber content to increase absorption time, but there are many other solid choices as well. Dried cherries are equally sweet and replenishing, and raisins can be eaten quickly to help keep you going. All of these fruits are reasonably low in fiber as well so that you don't feel too full before the finish line!
Pretzels are a simple and portable snack that contain just enough carbohydrates and salts to quickly replenish your power. Unfortunately, pretzels are lacking in vitamins and the salt content may dehydrate some. However, a few pretzel sticks can go a long way in replenishing your energy and helping you to gain the lead!
Coconut water may not be a snack, but it will help you more than water and most other drinks will. It contains essential electrolytes such as sodium and potassium to help you refuel after sweating and exerting your strength. Due to its mineral content, coconut water can also help to alleviate any minor cramps or pangs during your run.
Who says that snacks have to be boring? While gummy bears shouldn't be eaten often, a few during a run can actually be quite beneficial. Gummy bears aren't recommended daily since they basically contain only sugar. However, they can help to give you a boost when your legs feel like quitting. Just three to five bears should be enough to speed you up without fullness, but make sure to limit your intake since it's a lot of sugar.
Helpful, But Not Portable Foods
Everything on this list so far can be effortlessly carried while you run. However, there are many great foods that can't easily be put in a pocket or carried during a race. Even if you could fit these following foods in your pocket, they'd likely be grotesque after a sweaty run. If your race allows for a quick stop and you can have an aid provide you something, then try:
• Bananas to increase potassium and vitamin C levels without too much fiber
• Peanut butter on a white bread square to get a small amount of protein plus simple carbohydrates that can be absorbed quickly (wheat breads take longer to digest)
• Grapes are a nice source of vitamins and sugars without a high fiber content (if you want to carry them with you, try freezing them the night before to keep them in shape!)
All of these foods will help you to recharge during your run, but make sure not to overeat any of them to avoid cramps or worse. For the best effect, eat small portions sporadically throughout the run to keep your energy levels even. As with anything, try out these foods on a practice run before eating them during a race to ensure that the choice is right for you!
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