Thursday, August 20, 2015

Snacking for Training

Beast on the Bay Blog:  Snacking for Training

     A great way to prepare for training and recover from training is by snacking on nutrient-dense foods high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and low in saturated fat. I usually train first thing in the morning between 5 and 7a.m., but if I have to train in the afternoon, I like to eat lighter throughout the day. I’ll snack on bananas, peanut butter, almonds, and Kind bars in preparation for my afternoon workout. I try to consume 300-500 calories every 3 hours with at least 1 gallon of water per day. I use a vegan protein powder after my workouts, which uses split-peas as the protein source.

Shake recipe: Approximately 500 calories
2 scoops split-pea protein powder
1 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk
1 banana
2 tbsp. natural peanut butter
6 ice cubes
The following foods are my favorite snacks and the ones I routinely use for dietary and training needs.

1)  Chia seeds – Put 2 tbsp. of these in a glass or bottle of water in your refrigerator for about 3 hours to allow them to absorb as much water as possible. Chia seeds are a perfect post-workout recovery drink as well as a great way to stay hydrated through the night for your morning exercise routine. They have 5 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein and 7 grams of polyunsaturated fat per serving (2 tbsp.).

2) Peanut butter – I live on peanut butter. I use it in my shakes, with apples and bananas, and I make my own peanut sauce for chicken, steak, noodles and rice. It’s a great source of healthy fats and some protein. Its high caloric value helps fuel my long runs and keeps me satiated throughout the day.

3) Almonds and natural almond butter – I have a giant jar of almonds on my refrigerator from which I grab 2-3 servings per day (1 serving = 1 handful). Almonds are a great source of healthy fats, some protein, and help keep you from getting hungry throughout the day.

4) Coconut oil – I use this along with minced ginger and minced garlic every time I cook vegetables, noodles or quinoa. It’s in solid form in the jar when you get it, so just use 1 tbsp. in the skillet and it melts down quickly. It’s a source of saturated fat, which should only constitute about 10% of the fat you consume per day. It tastes great and it is known to enhance satiety (helping you feel full and stave off hunger.) 

**For more information about the benefits of healthy snacks and some great ideas for on-the-go snacking, you can check out the Newark Nut Company on their website at

-Dave Hopkins, M.S. ACSM-HFS, NSCA-CSCS
Fitness Supervisor
LECOM Medical Fitness & Wellness Center
5401 Peach Street Erie, PA 16509

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