BUILDING UP endurance is key, but you can’t do that without the fuel your body needs. To help your body feel and perform at its best, you need to give it the right foods. These smart, tasty snacks will help give you sustained energy with loads of nutrients important to any fitness practice.
The cheerful colour and built-in packaging are just the start. Bananas are a good source of potassium, which helps prevent cramping. Plus, they are a wonderful source of natural sugars (the good kind) and carbohydrates, which help provide sustained energy. It’s a common misconception that bananas aren’t as healthy due to the higher sugar content; however, the natural sugars in bananas come with fibre, which slows digestion and gives the body time to use it as fuel instead of storing it as fat.
Scoop up some of this white wonder and enjoy with your favourite fruit or a sprinkle of your preferred herbs. You can also add a satisfying crunch by sprinkling in omega-rich cashews or almonds. Cottage cheese is packed with protein, so it helps you feel full longer. For fitness folks, this protein helps assist in rebuilding and repair of muscles during training periods.
Refreshing, energising and perfectly customisable, smoothies feel more like a treat than a healthy snack. Yet these cold concoctions are perfect as pre- or post-workout foods or even as a meal replacement when on the go. You can use milk or juice as a liquid base and then add in fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables as desired. For a lip-smacking smoothie with just four ingredients, follow this recipe:
Quick Banana Smoothie
1 whole banana, sliced
1.5 ounces low-fat Greek yoghurt
1/8 cup fresh pineapple juice
1/4 cup orange juice
Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Makes one serving.
More than just a delicious appetiser at your favourite sushi joint, edamame is an ideal workout snack. The tasty green soybeans you pluck from the pod are a good source of protein, iron and B vitamins. What’s more, the heart-healthy isoflavones support bone health. So dig in and enjoy with a dash of sea salt and a big glass of water. It’s perfect when you’re craving a salty snack so you can avoid the junk.
If you don’t run, you probably think chocolate milk is just for kids. In reality, chocolate milk has almost a cult-like following in the endurance sports world. It’s rich in calcium to keep bones strong, particularly important for runners. Plus it has protein and carbohydrates to keep you fuelled. Reward yourself with this sweet treat after a run and you’ll feel satisfied all around.
With these snacking tips you’ll be fuelled and feel your best.