16 Healthy Snacks for Runners

One of the benefits of running is that you can eat sweets and other high-calorie snacks every so often. You'll definitely run and feel better, though, when you're eating healthful, nutritious foods. The next time you're feeling hungry (which happens a lot for runners), consider one of these snacks instead of chips or cookies.

Apple Slices With Peanut Butter

Apples and peanut butter make a good snack for work.
Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Everyone knows apples are good for you, but they're not always, well, satisfying. Try eating apple slices with a little bit of peanut butter, which is a great source of healthful fat and protein.

Opt for all-natural peanut butter to avoid added sugar and hydrogenated oils. For a different eating experience, you may want to try other nut butters like almond or cashew.

Crackers and String Cheese

healthy snack of crackers with string cheese

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

The string cheese and crackers combo is a nutritious way to curb in-between-meals hunger. The crackers provide fiber and good carbs, while the cheese offers protein and calcium.

Bananas

Bananas

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You'll get carbs from bananas as well as potassium, which helps prevent muscle cramps. The simple sugars and low amount of fiber make bananas easy to digest, which means they're a good pre-run snack (but give yourself at least 60 to 90 minutes to digest your food before running).

Energy Bars or Cereal Bars

granola bars on a plate

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

When you need a snack that's easy to pack in your gym bag, cereal or energy bars can be a healthful option. Just be careful when selecting your bars—some of them contain as much fat and sugar as candy bars! Choose bars with more carbs, especially if you're running a longer distance.

Kind bars are nutritious and tasty options. There are dozens of flavors to choose from and they're made from all-natural ingredients.​

Smoothies

Creamy Mango Banana Smoothie
Stephanie Lang, MS, RDN, CDN

Smoothies can be a nutritious and refreshing snack for runners, especially post-run. Mix 1/2 cup of skim milk or juice, a banana, and frozen strawberries (or other fruits you love) in a blender for a tasty and refreshing smoothie. For extra protein and probiotics, add fat-free Greek yogurt.

Plain Yogurt With Fresh Fruit

bowl of yogurt and fruit

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Low in fat and fairly high in carbohydrates, yogurt also contains calcium, protein, and potassium. Its live and active cultures are good for the digestive system.

Chocolate Milk

Chocolate milk
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Chocolate milk provides plenty of protein, carbohydrates and B vitamins—which may make it a great recovery drink. Cold chocolate milk tastes pretty refreshing after a run.

Another benefit: The calcium will help keep your bones strong. Some runners like to buy individual boxes of chocolate milk and drink an ice-cold one after a long run.

Carrots

Baby carrots

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Carrots fill you up but are low in calories, making them a great snack for runners who are trying to lose weight or maintain their current weight. A great time to eat them is when you're hungry before dinner, so you can satisfy your hunger pangs and avoid overeating during dinner.

Popcorn

Popcorn

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As long as it's not loaded with butter, oil, sugar, or loads of salt, air-popped popcorn can be a healthy, low-cal snack. Corn kernels are whole grain, so they have similar nutritional benefits to brown rice or whole wheat bread.

Popcorn is also full of fiber. Even a 100-calorie serving (about 3 cups) will help you feel fuller longer.

Pineapple and Cottage Cheese

cottage cheese with pineapple in a bowl

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

Not only is the combination of pineapple and cottage cheese delicious, but it also fills you up, so it's a perfect mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. Pineapple contains bromelain, which may speed up muscle repair. A study of 15 cyclists showed that bromelain reduced subjective feelings of fatigue.

Also, bromelain has demonstrated to reduce exercise-induced muscle damage and inflammation. And the cottage cheese contains protein and calcium, both important to runners.

Peanut Butter on English Muffin

toasted English muffin with peanut butter

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

Peanut butter is high in protein and healthy fats, so you'll get fuel for your muscles and feel full for longer. Spread a couple of tablespoons of PB on a whole-wheat English muffin and you have a satisfying and tasty snack. Add a banana and it becomes a quick and easy breakfast.

Pretzels and Hummus

pretzels with hummus on a plate

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

Pretzels are a great snack alone, but eating them with hummus gives some extra flavor and other health benefits such as phytochemicals. Pretzels are easy to digest, so you'll get some quick energy, plus some extra salt. The hummus provides some iron and protein, which are essential for runners.

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

Eggs are an excellent source of many nutrients, including riboflavin and biotin, which are essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. One medium hard-boiled is about 100 calories. Sprinkle some salt, pepper, and paprika on an egg for a tasty, satisfying snack.

Dates

Dates

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Dates are a popular snack among runners, whether they're eaten alone or with some nuts. They're naturally sweet and are a quick and easy source of carbs, fiber, and some protein. A 1/4 cup of dates has about 110 calories.

Cereal With Skim Milk

Whole grain cereal

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Cereal is a good source of easily digestible carbs, so it's a good pre-run snack. And because it's easy to find nutritional information, you can look for a cereal that is fortified with vitamins and minerals and high in fiber to keep you full. Add fruit for more fiber and antioxidants in your bowl.

Trail Mix

Trail mix

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Trail mix is made from nuts, which are a great source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber, and something sweet such as raisins or chocolate chips. Pre-packaged trail mix can be expensive, so many runners like to save money by making their own mix with their favorite nuts, dry cereal, and dried fruits.

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9 Sources
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