Longer days and warmer weather go hand-in-hand with spring sports. As we eagerly shed our winter wardrobe – and any excess winter weight we may have gained during the “off season” – it’s helpful to have some fresh, energizing but simple snacks on hand to give us that extra edge.
The best choices are snacks that are light and portable that we can easily pack and eat before or after a competitive game, match or tryout. Remember the saying, “If you fail to plan, then plan to fail”? Taking a few minutes to plan your snacking can make all the difference in giving you the sustained energy you need so you can get the most out of whichever sport you’re playing.
So, what are some snacks to choose which will fuel your body for maximum energy, health and endurance? Here are a few with the right mix of carbohydrates, protein and a touch of fat to give you loads of energy while helping you easily recover so you can “stay in the game” as long as you’d like.
1. Seasonal fruit with a handful of nuts or a piece of light cheese.
2. Do-it-yourself granola – low fat granola mixed with almonds and chopped dried fruit.
3. Do-it-yourself trail mix – nuts or seeds, low-fat/low-sugar dry cereal, shredded coconut or dried fruit.
4. Low-fat yogurt topped with granola or nuts.
5. Greek yogurt topped with berries.
6. Whole grain crackers (without trans fat) topped with peanut or almond butter.
7. Pumped-up PB&J – 100% whole grain or sprouted grain bread with peanut or almond butter and all-fruit jam.
8. Energy bars – with so many varieties available, look for bars low in fat and sugar with enough protein to help keep you full. You can make them yourself (so many easy recipes for healthy energy bars can be found online) or find your favorite. A few brands to try: Larabar, Zone Perfect, Kashi or Luna.
9. Simple smoothie – mix 1 cup of either low fat yogurt, milk, soy or almond milk with a handful of ice and a cup of berries or a banana. Add a scoop of your favorite high-quality protein powder, blend and go.
10. Cut up veggies with low fat dip.
With choices like granola or trail mix, keep your servings to a snack-sized baggie and remember, along with your snacks, it’s important to drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated. With a little bit of pre-planning, you’re sure to have a healthy and action-packed season. Have fun!