Reaching for a snack before a run can give you the extra oomph you need to power you through. But choosing the right types of healthy snacks when you’re on the go is crucial to performance.
Ideally, a pre-run snack should be rich in carbs to supply quick-acting energy, but it shouldn’t have too much fiber to cause GI issues. Snacks with simple, fast-acting carbs digest fairly quickly and can be eaten 30 to 60 minutes before a run.
With the thousands of packaged snacks on supermarket shelves, it can be difficult to find one that fits into the “pre-run” category. Luckily, we compiled our favorite on-the-go snacks for before a run that tick all the nutritious and delicious boxes.
Often referred to as nature’s candy, medjool dates are plump, juicy, and naturally sweet. Not only do medjool dates have 16 essential Unhealthy Foods That Arent That Bad for You, The Best Jogging Strollers to Cover More Miles complex carbohydrates, which are digested slowly to provide sustained energy to working muscles. Just two dates have 33 grams of carbs, enough to power you through at least 60 minutes of running. And as an added bonus, medjool dates have 50 percent more potassium Daily Calories Calculator muscle recovery and hydration.
This squeezable applesauce is made with 100 percent fruit and no added sugar—it’s like eating an apple without all the chewing. Since apples contain simple sugar, they break down quickly to deliver rapid energy to the working muscles. As an added bonus, you can store one of these in your running pouch and use it as fuel during a long run.
True to their name, these bars contain fruit—that’s it. Each bar is made from a mixture of dried apple and other dried fruits, such as blueberries or mangoes. It’s packaged into a convenient bar with 22 grams of carbs, making it a great option for fueling up when you’re on the go.
If you have a bit more time before you run, you’ll want to eat something more substantial like an energy bar. KIND Energy bars are made with oats—a complex carbohydrate that breaks down slowly—and 10 grams of plant-based protein. For a long run, eating an energy bar like this with a combination of these two nutrients, will keep you energized for a longer period of time.
Is there anything more quintessential than a pre-run bagel? This one by Dave’s Killer Bread is made with nutritious ingredients—whole wheat flour, oats, chia seeds, flax seeds, and sesame seeds. These bagels are perfectly portioned to fill you up before a longer run. They have 44 grams carbs and 13 grams of protein per bagel.
Inspired by the Belgian stroopwafel—do yourself a favor and try one if you haven’t!—this thin, easy-to-digest snack sandwiches honey between two wafers. Each waffle has 21 grams of carbs, and honey has low glycemic properties that give continuous energy without a blood sugar crash. Rest one on top of your steaming mug of hot coffee or tea in the morning, and it’ll warm up for an ooey gooey treat.
Fig Newtons are getting an upgrade! This soft baked bar has a fruit and fig filling wrapped in whole wheat. Not only does it taste good, but each bar has 38 grams of carbs to fuel you through a run.
Although eating a juicy and ripe mango or papaya is delicious, they’re not exactly a convenience food. That’s why dried mangoes and papayas make the perfect stand in. Harvested at the peak of freshness and dried without any preservatives or sugar, Peeled Snacks tropical blend is just as good as eating the fresh fruit, and it has 25 grams of digestible carbohydrates for fuel.
A crunchy carb-rich snack covered in salt is perfect before a hot and sweaty run. Pretzel Crisps are easy to snack on and have 12 percent of your daily sodium needs in just 11 pretzels. That may seem like more sodium than you need, but runners who exercise in the heat actually need a bit more sodium to replace the amount lost in sweat. Eating a salty pretzel snack will do the trick.
Crunchy, salty, and made with just three ingredients—wheat, oil, and salt—Triscuits are an old favorite that works as a pre-run snack. With 20 grams of carbs and 160 milligrams of sodium in six crackers, Triscuits provide quick-acting energy and may even help keep you hydrated, since sodium triggers your thirst response.