Your training plan may say it's time for your lunchtime five-miler, but your grumbling stomach begs to differ. So how can you get through your workout without keeling over from hunger? Have a snack, of course.
"The right snack can prevent premature fatigue on a run and keep blood-sugar levels steady, thwarting cranky moods that might cause you to peter out early," says sports dietitian Jan Dowell, M.S., R.D. She recommends eating up to 150 calories if you're running within 15 to 30 minutes and as much as 300 calories if you have an hour or more to digest.
And, yes, it's okay to have a nibble if you're trying to lose weight, just keep it on the lighter side. These options contain carbohydrates for quick energy, a bit of protein to hold off hunger, and some electrolytes to keep your fluid levels balanced (it's best to avoid too much fat and fiber, which take longer to digest and can spell GI trouble).
Best of all, these snacks take little or no prep, so you can grab a bite and go (if you're craving for more than just a snack, try these Portable Meals You Can Take To Go).
Running in 15 to 30 Minutes
Easy to stash, slow to spoil, and hard to bruise, oranges quench your thirst while providing more than 100 percent of your daily need for vitamin C. "This vitamin helps prevent muscle injuries and replaces collagen in muscle fibers that break down during exercise," says sports dietitian Pamela Nisevich Bede, M.S., R.D., of Swim, Bike, Run, Eat! Sports Nutrition. One orange has just 62 calories, enough to quiet a growling stomach before a short run without going overboard.
Stick with whole fruit. Orange juice is a very concentrated source of sugar, supplying too many carbs at once, and drinking a lot of it may upset your stomach during a run. If eating whole fruit bores you, try spicing it up with these fun and healthy ways to enjoy fruit.