Healthy Snacks for Runners

One of the benefits of running is that you can get away with eating sweets and other high-calorie snacks in your diet every so often. You'll definitely run and feel better, though, when you're eating healthful, nutritious foods, including snacks. So the next time you're feeling hungry (which happens a lot for runners) and reaching for that bag of potato chips or a package of Oreos, consider one of these healthful snacks instead. 


Apple slices with peanut butter

Apple and peanut butter
Lew Robertson

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 steer clear of added sugar and hydrogenated oils.


Whole wheat crackers and string cheese

String cheese and whole wheat crackers
Brian Leatart

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



Stuart Minzey


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 especially easy to digest, which means they're a good pre-run snack (just make sure you still give yourself at least 90 minutes to digest before running after eating).


Energy or cereal bars

Kind bars

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 just a few ingredients, so you know they're not filled with unnecessary additives. Kind bars are a nutritious and tasty options. There are dozens of flavors to choose from and they're made from all-natural ingredients.​



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.


Plain yogurt with fresh fruit

fruit and yogurt
Gregor Schuster

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


Chocolate milk

Chocolate milk
Don Farrall/Getty Images

Chocolate milk provides plenty of protein, carbohydrates and B vitamins — making 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.



Baby carrots
Jenny Acheson

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.



Jonathan Kantor

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 a whole grain, so they have similar nutritional benefits to brown rice or whole wheat bread. Popcorn is also full of fiber, so even a 100-calorie serving (about 3 cups) will help you feel fuller longer.


Pineapple and cottage cheese

pineapple and cottage cheese
Alex Cao/Getty

Not only is the combination of pineapple and cottage cheese delicious, it fills you up, so it's a perfect mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. Pineapple contains bromelain, which may speed up muscle repair. And the cottage cheese contains protein and calcium, both important to runners.


Peanut butter on toasted English muffin

peanut butter on English muffin
Joseph De Leo/Creative RM/Getty

Peanut butter is high in protein protein and healthy fats, so you'll get fuel for your muscles and feel full for longer. which fuel muscles and sustains energy levels. Just spread a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter 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 and hummus
Joff Lee/Getty

Pretzels are a great snack alone, but eating them with hummus gives some extra flavor and other benefits. 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. give you easy-to-digest carbs for fast energy plus sodium to keep you hydrated; the hummus offers iron for strength, plus protein.


Hard-boiled eggs


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.



John Kelly/Getty

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


Cereal with skim milk

cereal with milk
Dual Dual/Getty

Cereal is quick and easy to prepare and a good source of easily-digestible carbs, so it's a good pre-run snack. And because it's easy to find out the nutritional information on the box, you can look for one that is fortified with vitamins and minerals and high in fiber to keep you full. You can also add some fruit, such as mixed fruit, on top for even more nutrients.


Trail mix

Trail mix
Tom Grill

Trail mix is made from different kinds of nuts, which are a great source of protein 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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