10 Mid-Workout Snacks to Sustain Performance


Many people understand the importance of proper nutrition pre- and post-workout, but a lot of people forget about the importance of mid-workout snacks. Regular and consistent exercise requires an adequate supply of energy from your body’s glycogen stores. The amount and timing of your carbohydrate intake plays a critical role in glycogen resynthesis. This means that during workouts lasting over an hour, refueling may help prevent workout crashes and allow you to sustain a high intensity throughout the entire workout. It may take some time and experimentation to find the perfect workout snack for yourself, but we provide here ten great mid-workout snacks to sustain maximum performance. 

  • Pretzels: Pretzels are an ideal mid workout snack for many people due to many reasons. Pretzels provide an excellent source of fast carbs and salt to feed your body energy and help replenish minerals and electrolytes lost through sweat. In addition, pretzels are a very light snack that won’t weigh you down as you move into the second portion of your workout. It’s easy to fit a handful of pretzels into a ziploc bag for a mid workout snack to increase and sustain your performance. 
  • Whey Protein Shake: For longer workouts, a mid workout protein shake presents a great opportunity to sneak in some protein for muscle recovery and keep energy levels up throughout the workout. Whey protein is ideal as it is fast-absorbing, allowing your muscles to repair and regenerate faster. It’s super easy and convenient to scoop some protein powder into a shaker bottle for a mid workout boost. 
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  • Whey Protein Bar: Protein bars offer many of the same benefits as shakes (listed above). One advantage of protein bars, however, is their macronutrient content. Bars contain more macronutrients in general and are often better when you’re lacking nutrients and calories. At the same time, protein bars are often higher in sugar and take longer to be absorbed into your body systems. 
  • Banana: For workouts longer than an hour, simple carbohydrates such as bananas are incredibly important. Bananas are an easily-digested, quick energy source to sustain high performance. They also provide an excellent source of potassium, a crucial mineral that’s quickly used up when your muscles undergo physical stress
Bananas are a great source of simple carbs and potassium to help you through your workout
  • Sports Gels: Sports gels are designed to be fast-acting sources of sugars and carbs, helping to boost your performance especially when you’re already tired. Consuming these gels along with water is an excellent way to boost your endurance during longer workouts. Many brands such as Gatorade and Cliff produce these gels, some being caffeinated if that’s your preference. It’s very easy to bring a gel pack with you for a quick and effective mid workout refuel. 
  • Sports Drinks: Many people drink sports drinks during workouts, as they provide an excellent source of sugar and electrolytes to give your body an energy boost. It’s important, however, to remember not to overdo it with these drinks. Workouts lasting over an hour likely require an entire sports drink along with water, but shorter power workouts may require less. When unnecessary, these drinks are simply a source of sugar and calories for your body. For shorter workouts, consider water instead of an entire sports drink!
  • Watery Fruits: Watery fruits such as cantaloupe and oranges are a great mid workout snack to sustain performance. Natural nutrients from fruits including their sugars and vitamins help to replenish your body’s lost ones, and the fluid content of these fruits helps to maintain adequate hydration levels. Watery fruits are often a quick solution to lags in energy or performance during longer workouts. 
Watery fruits such as cantaloupe provide a quick source of vitamins, minerals, and hydration
  • Sunflower Butter: Like many nut butters, sunflower butter is packed with protein and fiber. The main advantage of sunflower butter is the amount of vitamins packed into it. Snacking on sunflower butter paired with apple slices or celery is a fantastic way to bring in healthy fats and micronutrients into your body, giving you a much needed energy boost. 
  • Nut Bars: For those looking to maintain endurance rather than power, such as long-distance runners and swimmers, snack bars may be preferable over protein bars. Snack bars filled with fruits and nuts are fast-acting sources of glucose to help your body get through the last mile. Without the protein and fat content associated with many protein bars, snack bars can often give you that extra boost in less time. 
  • Dried Fruit: If you’ve had plenty of water throughout your workout and are just looking for a quick boost, dried fruit is often a great option. This light snack is packed with vitamins and minerals to replenish your body’s energy stores without slowing you down by expending unnecessary energy towards digestion. Just be careful as many dried fruits are packaged with high amounts of added sugars! 

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