It’s important to remember that every athlete is different and you should talk to your parents, coaches and doctors before making big changes to your diet. Competition days vary for all athletes and you should make sure you tailor your food intake to yourself: if you are competing in fewer events than a fellow athlete, they may need more fuel, and vice versa!

Here are six easy-to-prepare athlete snacks to take with you on the day!

If you are performing multiple times in the day (for example, a sprinter may perform in varying distances) you may need smaller, more frequent snacks in between events. You could try these…

1. Get dipping with fruit and veg

Fruit and veg are easily digestible and provide you with a fantastic, healthy energy source. In between events, you can easily snack on prepared fruit and veg with a dip, for a balanced intake of fuel.

Do you prefer a savoury snack? Try carrot sticks (or even roasted vegetables) with hummus, for a satisfying light bite.

Fancy something sweet? Why not chop up some apples and bananas and dip them into peanut butter. You can even spice it up with some cinnamon.

Don’t forget! A top tip to keep your chopped fruit from going brown is to squeeze a little lemon juice over it.

2. Supercharge your smoothie

Not everybody is comfortable eating lots of solid food between events. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives- like bringing along a homemade smoothie! Many shop-bought shakes and smoothies are package with hidden added sugars, but making your own at home is quick, easy and can be completely personalised!

Test out some different flavours to find your favourite: mix up frozen berries, bananas, apples and pears with ingredients like spinach, kale or oats. Milk, or nut-based milk, can be a great addition. There are thousands of fantastic recipes out there – take a look!

The natural sugars in fruit should give you an instant energy spike in between events or matches.

3. Rice cake and crackers!

For a quick, light snack, you can rely on rice cakes and crackers! Topped with any of your favourite spreads, like a nut butter, cheese spread or hummus, this simple bite is the easiest to prepare.

If you fancy something different, mix it up with a low-calorie popcorn or a serving of pretzels!

 

In team sports such as hockey or netball, you may have a while to wait in between matches. If you have time to have something more substantial, you could try the ideas below – just make sure you have enough time to digest!

4. Your own granola bowl

Granola is often advertised as the healthier option, next to its sugary cereal alternatives. But, the reality is that many brands rely on extra added sugar to make their bars so moreish and sweet. Making your own granola bars, very simply, will make sure you’re taking in a punch of protein and good fuel, avoiding the quick spike of energy that comes with too much sugar.

In a baking tray, place your preferred quantities of oats, chopped or whole nuts, your favourite seeds (like pumpkin, or chia). With a sprinkle of salt and optional spices (like cinnamon), add a small amount of vegetable oil or nut butter (just enough to coat the mixture). The choice is yours.

Add a fair amount of honey and mix together loosely. Bake until golden and crunchy – make sure it doesn’t burn!

Once cooked, you can add dried fruit for great flavour and enjoy with yoghurt, fruit, or milk!

5. A small pasta salad

If you have time to eat something more substantial in between events, why not try a simple pasta salad. You can pack this with your favourite vegetables or a handful of lean protein, and pick your favourite pasta! For a healthier version, try mashing up some avocado (with a squeeze of lime and seasoning) to replace your typical mayonnaise or sauce.

Making your own pasta salads will cut out the added salt, sugar and preservatives that you’ll find in shop-bought options!

6. Prepare a protein pot

Lean protein like turkey or chicken breast can be easily grilled in the oven and made more exciting with some seasoning, like paprika. A single portion of protein alongside some carbohydrates (try seasoned sweet potato wedges, rice or couscous) is a great on-the-go food source; it can be stored easily in a lunch box and doesn’t require being heated up! 

Add salad or vegetables for a more complete dish.