Fast Fuel: Snacks

When your grumbling stomach threatens your next run, meet it in the middle and have a snack. "The right snack can prevent premature fatigue and keep blood-sugar levels steady," says sports dietitian Jan Dowell.

These options contain carbs for quick energy and a bit of protein to hold off hunger (it's best to avoid too much fat and fibre, which take longer to digest and can spell tummy trouble). Best of all, they take little or no prep, so you can grab a bite and go.

(Picture credits: Dana Hursey)

Running in 15-30 minutes' time

Have... up to 150kcal

Oranges
One 62kcal orange provides more than your RDA of vitamin C. "This helps prevent muscle injuries and rebuilds muscle fibres after exercise," says sports dietitian Pamela Nisevich Bede.

Eat smart:
Eat whole fruit – orange juice has concentrated sugar, and may upset your stomach during a run.


Running in 15-30 minutes' time

Have... up to 150kcal

Yoghurt
A hit of carbs and protein with little or no fibre – and up to a third of your daily bone-building calcium. Stick with varieties with two and a half grams of fat or less.

Eat smart:
Experiment with lactose-free versions: they may be easier to digest.

Running in 30-60 minutes' time

Have... up to 225kcal

Dried Dates
Their natural sugars are a concentrated source of quick carbs, says Dowell. They are also packed with potassium, which aids muscle function. Two dates have 10 per cent of your RDA.

Eat smart:
Dried fruit can have up to three times the calories of fresh, so stick to a handful per serving.

Running in 30-60 minutes' time

Have... up to 225kcal

Cereal
Forget bran: "Simple carbs can be converted into energy faster than fibre-rich foods," says nutritionist Barbara Lewin.

Eat smart:
Choose cereals with two grams of fibre or less per serving, such as Special K or Rice Krispies.

Running in 60-90 minutes' time

Have... up to 300kcal

Hummus and carrots
This protein/carb combination will help keep you satisfied during long runs. Carrots are rich in beta carotene which, according to the journal Nutrients, may help defend skin against sun damage.

Eat smart:
Pitta bread, raw peppers and cucumber are other sensible dunkables.


Running in 60-90 minutes' time

Have... up to 300kcal

Sweet potatoes
One spud contains 230 per cent of your daily immune-boosting vitamin A. Leave an hour to digest before running.

Eat smart:
Microwave a small sweet potato at home, wrap it up, and take it to work. Reheat in a microwave.