On-the-go athletes can have difficulty finding healthy snacks. Since they should eat every few hours, having options is critical if you want to stick to this plan.
Homemade trail mix is a healthy, nutritious and portable snack that can complement any diet and nutrition plan. It's simple to make, and each serving provides carbohydrates (for quick energy), protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Combined, all of these nutrients will fuel your body and make sure you are ready for a workout, practice or game later in the day. (Learn the 5 Pillars of Nutrition.)
I recommend buying the ingredients in bulk, making several servings and storing your homemade trail mix in snack-sized baggies. You can then keep them in your backpack, locker, car or any other place that's convenient.
Trail Mix Ingredients
Nuts and Seeds
Every serving of nuts provides protein, fiber, healthy fats and minerals like potassium and phosphorus. I typically use almonds, pecans, pistachios and/or walnuts. Sunflower seeds are also a great option since they also provide zinc and vitamin E.
Fruit is an obvious choice because of its carbohydrate and nutrient content. Dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, apples and bananas are great options. You can pick only one or as many as four of these fruits.
Yes, chocolate is on the list of ingredients. It can be very good for you as long as you don't overdo it. Opt for dark chocolate because it is rich in flavonoids— antioxidants that protect cells from damage. (Find out more about antioxidants.)
Homemade Trail Mix Recipe
There is no specific recipe for this trail mix. It's as you like it. You can combine as many ingredients as you want. Here is a combination that I've found works quite well:
- Almonds - 20-25 almonds
- Walnuts - 1/4 cup
- Raisins - 1/4 cup
- Dark Chocolate M&M's - 1/4 cup
This makes one serving. Multiply as desired.