1. Bananas (Smoothies)
Everyone knows bananas are full of carbohydrates. Less known is the fact that they contain vitamin B6, which is essential for managing protein metabolism. (Runners need more protein during and after training.)
When: Before, during, or after exercise. Great for snacks between meals. They're great blended into a fruit smoothie. My favorite: Banana, frozen strawberries, orange juice and soya protein powder (The B6 will help metablize the protein).
Carrots contain carotene and vitamin A, which promote eye health and a strong immune system. You need a healthy immune system as you step into your long-runs
When: Eat them whenever you want something to munch something. I like juicing carrots with apple and ginger - prevents shin splints.
3. Cereal bars
A cereal bar will satisfy your sweet cravings, and also provide B vitamins and iron.
When: Snack between meals.
4. Cereal with skimmed milk
Most cereals are vitamin and mineral fortified, and they're great with fresh fruit sliced on top.
When: Great for a pre-run or post-run snack
5. Chocolate milk (Or Chocolate Soya milk)
Chocolate milk helps keep you hydrated. It also provides plenty of protein, carbohydrates and B vitamins. The calcium in milk will help keep your bones strong.
I drink Chocolate Soya milk instead - keep cartons from Whole Food in my refrigerator at work and home.
When: Perfect on a hot day or a hard run in summer.
6. Cottage cheese (paneer)
Packed with protein for muscle rebuilding and repair
When: Any time except just before running. Great after-run snack or afternoon/evening snack.
7. Dried fruits: Apricots or Prunes
High in carbohydrate, they provide a decent amount of fibre and potassium.
When: Any time. (Don't eat prunes just before a run, as they can act as a laxative and make you head for the port-a-potty)
8. Energy bars
Pick your favorites - from high-carb bars, protein recovery bars, or ones that contain a mixture of carbs, protein and even vitamins. They're tasty and come in all kinds of flavours.
When: Post-exercise. Any mid-day snack - just not before exercise.
9. Fruit yogurt
Active cultures in yogurt help boost the immune system. Great source of calcium, protein and potassium - and fairly high in carbohydrates.
When: Any time you feel like snacking.
10. Peanut butter (on rice cake or bagel or...)
Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein. It also contains vitamin E, which helps with muscle recovery.
When: A perfect filling snack for mid-morning or mid-afternoon.