Nancy, what are some suggestions for snacks mid-workout, such as after running for 45 to 60 minutes and before lifting? I think my lifting would be better if I could refuel a bit after the run.
Answer: Having a snack between your run and lift is a smart choice. A small energy boost (100 to 300 calories) can help you lifter harder—and you’ll better enjoy the workout.
What do YOU want to consume? Only you know what your body will be able to tolerate. Some athletes want only liquids mid-workout. Others are able to tolerate solid foods (plus water). Some may have little interest in anything (in which case, they should make the effort to eat a substantial breakfast the hour or two before the workout and at least sip on some water.)
Some "healthy options" include:
Chocolate milk (low fat or skim)
Orange juice or any kind of fruit juice
Canned peaches or fruit cocktail
Dried fruit (raisins, dates, dried pineapple)
What the body really wants is sugar, water, and yes, some caffeine (makes the effort seem easier). Sweetened iced tea might be popular, as would Coke or Pepsi. Not sure I'm recommending these choices, but they would do thejob!
Other (not necessarily recommended but popular options) are sugary foods: sports drinks, gels, bloks, gummy candy, sports beans, any kind of sugary candy, marshmallows, swig of maple syrup, or a spoonful of honey—plus water. Given that 10% of daily calories can appropriately come from sugar, a mid-workout sugar-snack can be balanced into an overall wholesome diet. Sugary snacks just don't don’t support the “health” message; so if you go that route, please choose primarily “quality calories” at other times throughout the day.
When you’ll be exercising in the heat for more than three or fours hours, you should pay attention to your sodium intake. You might be losing 400 to 1,500 milligrams of sodium per hour (depending on how much you sweat and the sodium-content of your sweat). If you are, let's say, biking for 5 to 8 hours, these losses can take a toll.
Although most sweaty athletes believe sports drinks are an exceptional source of sodium, sports drinks are actually low in sodium compared to many to many other foods.
Here are some portable snack ideas that can better boost your sodium intake. These salty suggestions will likely be a welcome flavor-change if you have been downing sweet gels, sports candies and sugary sports drinks for several hours.
Few of these options offer stellar nutrition, so limit them to during endurance events when your goal is to survive (as opposed to optimize your health!
Salty sports snacks that you can easily carry in a bike shirt pocket or backpack: