Practice Safer Snacks: 6 mid-workout fuel options that aren’t orange slices

By Paige Snyder on June 8, 2017 , categorized in Health

what to eat during a workout

If you are serious about your workouts you probably know that high intensity and/or long duration exercise may require some refueling mid-way through. Carbohydrates should be your go-to when it comes to sustaining your energy as carbs are the key fuel for your body and helps support muscular activity for a wide range of athletic intensities.3Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American College of Sports Medicine, and Dietitians of Canada. (2016). Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. JOURNAL OF THE ACADEMY OF NUTRITION AND DIETETICS. Accessed on 3/16/16 from: http://www.eatrightpro.org/~/media/eatrightpro%20files/practice/position%20and%20practice%20papers/position%20papers/nutritionathleticperf.ashx

You may have faithful oranges slices ready to go for every mid-soccer break since you were 4. But just because you repeat your routine 5 times a week, doesn’t mean your fueling snacks have to be routine. Give orange slices a rest, and pack one of these snacks instead:

1. Dried Fruit (such as dates, dried apples or dried mango): Besides being great tasting, dried fruit is a solid source of carbohydrates. My favorite is dates, which have vitamins and minerals like potassium.4Chomping one 1-2 of these when you need an energy boost will do the trick.United States Department of Agriculture. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Dates, medjool Retrieved 3/24/16 from: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2424?fgcd=Fruits+and+Fruit+Juices&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=35&offset=&sort=&qlookup=date 

2. Bananas: Not just for topping your oatmeal or blending with your protein shake, bananas also provide carbohydrates to get you through the second half. Plus, bananas are also a good source of the electrolyte potassium.5United States Department of Agriculture. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Banana Long. Retrieved 3/24/16 from: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2159?fgcd=Fruits+and+Fruit+Juices&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=35&offset=&sort=&qlookup=banana 

3. Goji berries: Probably my favorite option for workout fuel is the bright red goji berry. Goji berries have antioxidants vitamin A and C. Exercise is said to increase oxidative damage making the intake of real food sources of antioxidants important to protect the body. 6Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American College of Sports Medicine, and Dietitians of Canada. (2016). Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. JOURNAL OF THE ACADEMY OF NUTRITION AND DIETETICS. Accessed on 3/16/16 from: http://www.eatrightpro.org/~/media/eatrightpro%20files/practice/position%20and%20practice%20papers/position%20papers/nutritionathleticperf.ashx Munching on a handful of these is a satisfying way to address your mid-workout needs. Your favorite berries that are dark red, blue or purple have antioxidants regardless if they are fresh or dried.

The best part about these three options is they require no planning ahead! There is no prep work, washing or chopping. Throw a few in a sandwich bag or container and you’re out the door. If you want a variety go ahead and make yourself a mix of all three.

It is also important for each athlete to find a hydration plan that works for them.7Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American College of Sports Medicine, and Dietitians of Canada. (2016). Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. JOURNAL OF THE ACADEMY OF NUTRITION AND DIETETICS. Accessed on 3/16/16 from: http://www.eatrightpro.org/~/media/eatrightpro%20files/practice/position%20and%20practice%20papers/position%20papers/nutritionathleticperf.ashx Proper hydration before during and after training supports optimal performance and health.8Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American College of Sports Medicine, and Dietitians of Canada. (2016). Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. JOURNAL OF THE ACADEMY OF NUTRITION AND DIETETICS. Accessed on 3/16/16 from: http://www.eatrightpro.org/~/media/eatrightpro%20files/practice/position%20and%20practice%20papers/position%20papers/nutritionathleticperf.ashx Drinking fluids during exercise replaces sweat losses to avoid dehydration and helps balance electrolytes which may help prevent muscle cramping.9Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American College of Sports Medicine, and Dietitians of Canada. (2016). Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. JOURNAL OF THE ACADEMY OF NUTRITION AND DIETETICS. Accessed on 3/16/16 from: http://www.eatrightpro.org/~/media/eatrightpro%20files/practice/position%20and%20practice%20papers/position%20papers/nutritionathleticperf.ashx

watermelon smoothie

Here are three delicious hydration options:

  • Hydrating Lemonade: A new spin on an old favorite.
  • Hydrating Watermelon Smoothie: Nothing says summer and refreshing like watermelon.
  • Vega® Clean Energy 10 At Vega, clean means Non-GMO Project verified, gluten-free, vegan certified and made without artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. : It doesn’t get easier than one scoop of Vega Clean Energy in water to top-up your tank mid-workout.

Your workouts are unique to your body and goals, so your workout snacks should be unique too. If prepping is in your routine you can make a large batch of these drinks and have them ready to grab and go.

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Paige Snyder

Paige Snyder works at Vega as a Regional Educator. She is a plant-based nutritionist who specializes in sport performance, stress management, and achieving your optimal weight. Paige is currently completing her Masters in Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, and loves to develop raw dessert recipes.

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