A large number of athletes have busy schedules, limiting opportunities to properly nourish and hydrate. In this way, it is important to find strategies that allow these athletes to consume nutritious foods throughout their day, meeting their nutritional and energy needs.
There are some snacks that, due to their practicality and nutritional characteristics, can be of value. We’ll move on to the seven (potentially) best snacks for busy athletes:
Oleaginous fruits, such as coconuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts and olives, have an excellent lipid profile, containing a considerable amount of mono- and poly-unsaturated fats. Moreover, these fruits contain carbohydrates, selenium, magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamin E. Consequently, including these fruits in the daily diet, as snacks for busy athletes, can be an excellent way of meeting some macro and micronutrients needs. Oleaginous fruits also promote satiety. Due to their high calorie content, they can be an ally for athletes who want to gain weight.
Carrots are a great source of vitamin A, which is essential for eye health and for the immune system. Most people include carrots at lunch and dinner, which justifies their presence in supermarkets as a snack, in the form of baby carrots. In order to increase the protein content, natural yoghurt can be added – turning this snack into a “yoghurt dip”.
This snack is obvious – however, it has to be mentioned because of its content in vitamins and minerals, as well as in carbohydrates, providing energy for the practice of physical activity and for the daily life of athletes.
Skyr is a high-protein yoghurt – in most cases, it contains twice the amount of protein of a “normal” yoghurt. In addition, it has a low amount of fat and, consequently, has a low caloric value. Derived from its protein content, this yogurt promotes satiety, making it ideal for busy athletes with few opportunities to eat.
Eggs are one of the most nutritionally rich foods. It has a moderate energy value (82 kcal per 55g – 1 egg) and it is rich in high quality proteins. In this way, it can be an excellent snack, in the form of boiled or scrambled eggs. Nevertheless, it is important to store the egg properly to minimize the risk of food poisoning.
Some athletes have high energy requirements, so foods with a high caloric density should be provided. One option is energy balls, which can be easily prepared at home. Different ingredients can be combined to form these balls, but one of the most common combinations includes peanut butter, dates, and cocoa.
In addition to providing energy through carbohydrates, dates provide fiber, minerals (potassium and calcium) and vitamins (C and B5). On the other hand, pure cocoa has antioxidant properties – making it an excellent food for athletes. Besides, peanut butter is a source of vitamin E, fiber and magnesium. The combination of these ingredients turns this snack into a great option!
This is a slightly different idea from the previous ones and not recommended daily – however, canned salmon can be a nutritious and practical snack 1 to 2 times a week. Salmon is a fish rich in omega-3, a type of fat whose consumption is essential and beneficial, particularly for athletes. Likewise, salmon is rich in protein, vitamin D, and calcium.
What are your favourite snacks for busy athletes?
The content of this article does not constitute medical advice by a registered healthcare professional. Please consult a qualified sports nutritionist before starting any new diet, exercise or training programme.