Training

Healthy Snacks for Runners

We like to get out and run as often as possible at lunchtime, but we’ve recently realised that this healthy activity doesn’t count for much because, when we get back to our desks, we stuff our faces with fig rolls all afternoon. If you also find yourself reaching for a bar of chocolate or a family-sized pack of cheese puffs to power you through a mid-afternoon energy slump, check out this runner’s guide to snacking to find out how to satisfy your cravings with this selection of healthy – and homemade – savoury options, put together by Annie Rice.

Snacking is part of running. There are hundreds of energy bars and sweet treats out there but sometimes it’s not your sweet tooth you need to satisfy. Why not make one of these savoury snacks to see you through the afternoon?

Hummus

Chickpeas are packed with protein for running recovery and if you whip up a batch yourself, you will slash the fat from shop-bought goods.

Ingredients
  • 1 x tin of chickpeas
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1 x clove garlic
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Seasoning to taste
  • Cold water
  • Splash of olive oil (optional)
Method
  1. Drain your chickpeas and put into a blender with the peeled garlic clove, lemon juice, tahini, seasoning, splash of cold water and a drizzle of oil. Blitz the mix until smooth and at your preferred consistency. Add a little more water if necessary.
  2. Serve with mixed vegetable crudités or sweet potato wedges. You can also add spice such as cumin, chilli or paprika if you want an extra kick.

Sweet potato wedges

Sweet potatoes are full of slow-release energy so they will see you through an evening run. They also contain vitamin C to boost your immune system, anti-oxidants for recovery and anti-inflammatory properties to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMs). You can prepare these ahead of time and portion them out for the days ahead.

Ingredients
  • 3 x medium sweet potatoes
  • Seasoning
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • Drizzle of oil of your choice
Method
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Chop the sweet potatoes into wedges.
  2. Put the wedges in a baking dish and drizzle the oil over them, using your hands to ensure all the potatoes are coated in oil, then sprinkle with paprika and seasoning to your taste. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes. Check and shake the tray, then cook further if necessary until the potato is cooked through and slightly crispy.

Pitta chips

Pitta provides fibre and slow-release carbohydrate to power you through any afternoon slumps. These baked versions are far healthier than any shop-bought crisps.

Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 2 x wholemeal pitta bread
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
  • Seasoning
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Slice the pitta bread into thin slices, place on a baking tray and add the coconut oil, sesame seeds and seasoning.
  2. Use your hands to coat the pitta then place the baking tray in the oven. Check and toss the chips until slightly browned then remove to cool.

Kale chips

Kale is a superfood. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals including iron, which is essential for runners. It also packs a healthy dose of fibre to keep you full and your digestive system healthy.

Ingredients
  • ½ bag of kale
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
Method
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Place the kale onto the tray, rub in the oil and seasoning, then sprinkle with the dessicated coconut and put the tray in the oven.
  2. Bake for about 10 minutes and then check and place back in if they need longer – they should just start to crisp.