As an athlete, it can be common to not have time to eat throughout the day especially with school starting. However, snacking does not have to be complicated! This blog will teach you how to make a performance snack and show you my favorite 5 healthy athlete snacks.
How to Build a Healthy Athlete Snack
In a healthy snack, I recommend combining both carbohydrates and protein to help preserve muscle mass and balance blood sugar. The choice of these two is up to your preference, and the combinations are endless!
Carbohydrates are your main source of energy and should be included in all meals/snacks. You want to aim for 25-30g of carbohydrates In a snack.
Healthy Snack Carbohydrates
- Fruit (can list some examples out)
- Vegetables (can list some examples out)
- Rice cakes
Now it’s time to make your snack a complete and balanced fueling option! You want to pair your carbohydrate source with a protein. Your protein can/cannot contain fat! Depending on your hunger level or your performance goals will determine if you want to choose protein and fat or just protein.
Adding a protein (with or without fat) will slow your digestion down and help you stabilize the energy that the carbohydrate is giving you while also giving you some long-term energy. This will help keep you satisfied until your next meal and help you get a variety of nutrients!
Healthy Snack Proteins
- Beef jerky
- Nut butter
- Cheese sticks
- Deli meat
- Greek Yogurt
- Low fat milk/soy milk
5 Healthy Athlete Snacks
As you can see, building the snack is simple but there are so many options to what to include. If you have trouble deciding, here are five easy healthy athlete snacks you can choose to take on the go during busy school days.
Apples and Greek Yogurt Dip
Sliced apples and this 3 Ingredient Greek Yogurt Dip is one of my favorite combos, for good reason! Thai snack combo provides carbohydrates from the apple and the dip helps provide both protein and fat.
Peanut Butter and Jelly
This sandwich combo is unmatched in the ease and the efficiency of the snack. Opting for a whole grain bread can add some more fiber along with the carbohydrates from the jelly and the protein and fat from the peanut butter. If you want to pack even more protein into your sandwich, try mixing some collagen into your jelly before putting it on your sandwich!
Popcorn and Beef Jerky
Did you know popcorn is a whole-grain snack? It is a great option that gives a lot of volume and it tastes great! Pairing it with some beef jerky can provide the protein that goes with the carbohydrate.
Make Your Own Trail Mix
Trail mix is something easy to stick into your backpack, and you can easily make your own to have exactly what you want! Some carbohydrate sources to include are dried fruit, chocolate covered nuts, crackers, chex mix, and more. You can include nuts and seeds to give you some healthy fats and proteins.
Chocolate Milk and Banana
Chocolate milk is a great snack as well as it is a great source of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Adding a fruit of your choice, like a banana, can help you meet the carbohydrate goals for a proper performance snack.
You may think you don’t have time to make a quick snack, but there doesn’t have to be much effort put in to make a healthy snack! This blog taught you how to pair a carbohydrate with a protein and gave you some ideas of healthy athlete snacks you can take with you on the go to school or in between activities.
If you struggle with finding the time to eat within your busy schedule. I encourage you to sign up for the Performance Fueling Club (PFC). PFC is an online sports nutrition coaching program that helps athletes with flexible on-demand content and live nutrition coaching with a sports dietitian.
We currently have open enrollment, and I would love to help support you in getting to your goals!