Athlete’s guide to snacks that match training demands

Posted on January 29, 2019 by

Athletes have demanding training loads which change from day to day. As an athlete, you can’t eat exactly the same amount every day as you may fall short in your energy needs on those days when training loads are high. Conversely, you may eat more than is needed when training days are light or if it’s a rest day.

Identified here is the ultimate guide to energy based snacks.

The four snack groups below take into consideration what type of training day you have ahead of you to match the energy in that snack. The low activity snacks are lower kilojoule options which have higher fibre carbs, more protein, vegetables or good fats, and the high activity snacks are higher in carbohydrates and kilojoules to help support your high training demands.

Each snack identified in the low, moderate or high activity group has the same kilojoule amount, done so by varying the specific portion size of each snack.

It means that you can have variety in your snacking options while still remaining consistent with your energy budget as you move though different training days.

The number of snacks you have in a day will depend on your goals and energy demands. Use the below as a guide for the types of snacks you need specific to your training demands.


1. Low activity snacks

When to eat: Include these options on lower activity days as a mid-meal snack or an afternoon mid meal if not as active during the day:
  1. 2 vita weat + 1 slice cheese + 10g avocado
  2. 1 tub or tube of chobani yoghurt
  3. 170g natural yoghurt + 2 Tb berries or 2 strawberries
  4. 2 vita weat or corn thin with 30g ham and 40g cottage cheese
  5. 1 apple + boiled egg
  6. 18 almonds
  7. 2Tb Hummus and a carrot
  8. 3 corn thins and ¼ avocado
  9. Carmens fruit muesli bar
  10. Regular coffee and 10 nuts
  11. 2 vita weat or ryvita and 95g tin of flavoured tuna drained
  12. 3 vita weat + 1 slice cheese OR 50g cottage cheese
  13. 2 vita weat + 40g ham and 10g avocado



2. Moderate activity/ day to day snacks

When to eat: Include these options as mid meal most days you are generally active or as a mid-morning snack to fuel the earlier part of the day if moderately active:
  1. 220g tin Baked Beans
  2. 1 slice grain bread + 1 egg + 10g avocado
  3. 200g tub yoghurt
  4. Smoothie = 125ml light milk + 1/3 cup blueberries + 2tb natural yoghurt +1 scoop protein + water and ice to top and blend
  5. ¾ cup fruit salad + 150g yoghurt
  6. 1 slice regular raisin toast + 60g low fat cottage cheese or ricott
  7. 1 piece of fruit + 12-15 almonds
  8. 1 Carmens nut bar
  9. 1 carrot + 4Tb hummus
  10. Regular skim coffee + large banana
  11. 1 slice toast or 4 vita wheat + 15g avocado + slice cheese
  12. 300ml light milk + 1Tb milo
  13. 2 vita weat + 95g tuna + 1 square slice cheese
  14. Double serve of low activity snack



3. High activity snacks/ active snacks

When to eat: Include these choices around training times, either as a mid-morning snack after an early training or for an afternoon snack if you are training later in the afternoon or evening:
  1. Heinz 220g Low fat Creamed rice OR Le rice or bircher muesli
  2. 220g tin baked beans + 1 slice helgas grain toast
  3. 140g tin Baked beans + 1 thick slice toast + 1 slice cheese
  4. 2 thin slices grain or sour dough bread with 2 slice low fat cheese
  5. 2 slices grain toast with 30g sliced ham and 1 slice cheese + tomato
  6. 2 thin slice grain toast + 1 egg + 15g avocado to spread
  7. Chobani 2% yoghurt + piece fruit
  8. 170g low fat yoghurt + ¼c muesli
  9. Fruit smoothie = 125ml skim milk + ½ cup berries +3Tb Yoghurt + 1 scoop protein powder + 2 Tb whole oats + ice and water
  10. 6 Vita weat +50g ham +50g cottage cheese
  11. 4 vita weat + 95g tuna + 2 slice cheese
  12. 4 vita weat + 30g avocado + 50g ham or turkey or other cold cuts.
  13. Double serve of mod activity snack



4. Carb boost

When to eat: Easy to digest and absorb options to consume 30min prior to a training session for an additional energy charge:
  1. Corn thins or rice cakes or bread sandwiched with jam or honey (2 sandwiched together)
  2. 2 scoops or 500ml powerade
  3. 2 dates or 1 raw food ball
  4. 2 slice raisin bread with jam
  5. Large banana
  6. Banana sandwich
  7. Muesli bar – oat based/fruit bar (opposed to a nut bar)
  8. Pancake or pikelet with jam
  9. Small bowl low fibre cereal = nutri-grain or cornflakes
  10. Sustagen


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