Finding the right snack options at the supermarket that will provide you enough fuel for your training session, to keep you feeling full between mealtimes, and to help with your recovery post training can be quite overwhelming given there are so many options out there.
Why are snacks important?
As an athlete, meeting your protein requirements through main meals alone can be difficult, mainly due to your requirements being higher than the general population (1.6-2.2g/kg/day compared to 1.5g/kg/day).Ensuring you consume enough protein is beneficial as it helps to build and repair your muscle tissue and fibres, which are broken down during exercise, as well as help you feel fuller for longer! For more details about the importance of meeting your protein requirements as an athlete, see our article here.
Also, as carbohydrates are our bodies preferred fuel source, and are easily broken down to provide us energy, without enough we can be left feeling low on energy, which in turn can affect our performance and training. To find out more about carbohydrates, see our article here.
Therefore, incorporating snacks into your diet between mealtimes, during work or university, and pre- and post-training can be a great way to increase your protein and energy intake to meet your requirements.
However, when you are already out and about and need to grab a quick snack, things can get a little tricky.
Below are some great examples of pre-made snack options available at supermarkets, requiring no preparation time in the kitchen, making them an easy snack to be eaten on-the-go on your way to work, training or university. These options offer between 10-20g of protein and moderate amounts of carbohydrates to support your needs, with the nutrition information provided below each snack.
Chobani Vanilla Greek Yoghurt Pouch
Serve Size: 140g
|Fat – Total (g/serve)||0.3|
|Fat – saturated (g/serve)||0.1|
|Dietary Fibre (g/serve)||0.14|
This yoghurt provides a good balance of carbohydrates and protein making it a great pre- or post-training snack, providing you with energy to train and protein to recover.
It is also an easy option to consume while on the go, as it does not require a spoon to eat!
As this product contains a low amount of dietary fibre and fat, it also means it is easy to digest before a training session.
This yoghurt also comes in a range of other flavours including: Strawberry, Blueberry, Mango, Raspberry, Watermelon.
Note: If you prefer, you can also purchase the Chobani yoghurt cups, which are also a great option with similar nutrition.
Chobani Fit Strawberry Yoghurt Pouch
Serve Size: 140g
|Fat – total (g/serve)||0.3|
|Fat – saturated (g/serve)||0.1|
|Dietary Fibre (g/serve)||0.2|
Chobani Fit yoghurt provides a higher protein, lower carbohydrate option compared to the original Chobani seen above, making it a better option for a post-training snack, rather than a pre-training snack, as it provides less energy but more protein for muscle recovery.
As above, this snack can be a great option if you are on-the-go as it can be easily consumed.
It also comes in other flavours including Vanilla, Raspberry, Salted Caramel, and Banana.
BC Chocolate Brownie Crunch
Serve Size: 40g
|Fat – Total (g/serve)||5.0|
|Fat – Saturated (g/serve)||2.6|
|Dietary Fibre (g/serve)||5.5|
Protein bars can be a great option if you are craving a sweeter option while still receiving adequate nutrition. The health food aisle can be quite overwhelming when it comes to protein bars, however, this brand provides a great amount of protein, while also offering a wide range of flavour options. This is also a great option that can be kept in your bag to have when you are on-the-go and need a simple and convenient snack to tie you between your mealtimes or following a training session.
Other flavour options in the high protein range include: Choc Mint Crunch, Honeycomb Chocolate Crunch, Raspberry Truffle, Dark Chocolate & Almond, White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, and Salted Caramel Fudge.
Woolworths Natural Tasty Cheese & Crackers
Serve Size: 50g
|Fat – total (g/serve)||13.0|
|Fat – saturated (g/serve)||8.2|
|Dietary Fibre (g/serve)||0.8|
This cheese and cracker option is another convenient on-the-go snack when you are wanting a more savoury option. This is a great option due to its good balance of protein and carbohydrates making it a great snack for pre-training, for energy from the carbohydrates, or post-training, for muscle recovery from the protein, as well as at work, university or between mealtimes.
This option can also be purchased with Light Tasty Cheese or Extra Tasty Cheese, depending on your preference.
Carman’s Gourmet Protein Bars
Serve Size: 200g
|Fat – total (g/serve)||10.7|
|Fat – saturated (g/serve)||2.2|
|Dietary Fibre (g/serve)||2.6|
Good-quality high-protein muesli bars are another great option to snack on while on-the-go or to be added to your bag for convenience. With majority of the protein coming from the nuts and seeds, this is also a great way to incorporate some healthy fats and micronutrients into your diet. Carman’s muesli bars also come in a large range of flavours if you would prefer something different, however, be sure to look out for the protein range!
Other bars in the protein range include Salted Dark Choc & Almond, Greek Yoghurt and Berry, Salted Caramel Nut Butter, Coconut, Yoghurt & Roasted Nut, Cookies and Cream, Double Dark Choc, Dark Choc Mint Crunch, and Iced Coffee.
Wicked Sister High Protein Vanilla Rice Pudding
|Fat – total (g/serve)||9.5|
|Fat – saturated (g/serve)||6.5|
|Dietary Fibre (g/serve)||0|
This is a great option for those with a sweet tooth! Tasting like a yummy dessert while also providing over 10g of protein, this snack is great to have after a meal or for dessert if running low on time. Given its good amount of carbohydrates and protein, it is also a great pre- or post-training snack, if this were an option you would prefer.
This range also comes in Banana or Chocolate flavour.
John West Protein+ Omega-3 Tuna Tomato Salsa with Crackers
Serve Size: 94g
|Fat – total (g/serve)||3.9|
|Fat – saturated (g/serve)||0.8|
|Dietary Fibre (g/serve)||1.1|
John West Protein Plus range comes in a broad range of flavours and provides a great amount of protein and carbohydrates in a small snack. Along with its good balance of protein and carbohydrates, this is an excellent choice for a pre- or post-training snack.
The range also has a focus on specific nutrients in each flavour, with this one focusing on Omega-3, which was found to improve aspects of performance in amateurs and elderly people – read more in the article here.
Other options available in the Protein Plus range include Calcium Tuna Sea Salt Lemon & Parsley with Crackers, and Vitamin B12 Tuna Capsicum and Basil with Crackers, which are also essential nutrients for athletes!