In an ideal world, athletes would have a permanent supply of nutritious meals and snacks to ensure they hit their nutrition goals at all times.
However, athletes lead busy lives.
While we support athletes to incorporate quality nutrition preparation into their schedules, we also understand that life can get in the way, making optimal preparation difficult at times.
For example, imagine you’ve just finished a day of university or work and are heading to training. You turn to the muesli bar stash in your training bag for a pre-training fuel top-up, but realise you have run out.
Or perhaps after training, before embarking on your long commute home, you go to grab the yoghurt you packed and realise it has gotten warm.
Do either of these examples sound familiar?
Training without a fuel top-up snack beforehand can compromise the quality of the session, and delaying nutrient intake after training can delay the recovery process.
Neither of these scenarios support optimal performance, short or long-term.
This is where a service station can save the day.
While service stations often supply an abundance of nutrient-poor snacks, you will generally be able to find at least one option that is more aligned with performance goals.
Below are some useful options you may find in a service station:
Pre-training snacks (carbohydrate-focused)
- Oat-based muesli bar for example by Carman’s
- Fresh/dried/pre-packaged fruit
- Natural popcorn such as from Cobs
- Chicken sandwich (if close to training, white bread may be preferable as it will provide a faster release of energy than brown/grainy)
- Raw food energy ball or bar
Post-training snacks (protein + carbohydrate-focused)
- Greek yoghurt such as Chobani
- Flavoured milk smoothie
- Tinned tuna + beans mix for example John West
- Beef jerky + fruit
- Drinking yoghurt
- Nuts/seeds + fruit
- Nut-based muesli bar + fruit
- Individual cheese and cracker packet
These are general suggestions and individuals have different taste preferences and requirements. For more tailored advice, chat to an Accredited Sports Dietitian.