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Muscle snacks

Energy crunch
(Image credit: Unknown)

The Waldorf salad isn’t just a punchline in a classic sitcom. This sandwich, which includes all the traditional ingredients of the salad, is also a dish that overflows with energy-providing carbohydrates and quality protein, which will drip-feed your body throughout the day. It’s low in fat, while the fibre content from the walnuts, celery and apple will help curb hunger pangs and energy slumps without making you gain weight.

To make

Combine 75g of chopped cooked chicken, half a chopped apple, a chopped celery stick and three chopped walnuts in a bowl. Mix with 1tbsp low-fat mayonnaise and a dash of lemon juice. Place the mixture between two slices of raisin bread and get eating.

Raisin bread

The raisins raise the bread’s glycaemic index (GI) rating, which means it will release energy into the bloodstream quickly for an instant energy boost.

Lettuce

The water content in lettuce will rehydrate your cells and therefore boost your performance. Dehydration means your heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body, which can weaken your workout.

Apple

Apples contain the turbo-fuel thiamine. This B vitamin helps to release energy from carbohydrate and is also essential for the functioning of the heart, muscles and nervous system.

Celery

Coumarin, a sweet-smelling compound found in celery, will get your blood and energy pumping because it increases the blood flow into the veins.

Walnuts

Like most nuts, walnuts are nutrient-rich. They contain protein, fibre, calcium and most importantly manganese, a key mineral for brain function and concentration.

Chicken

The protein in the chicken slows carb absorption, preventing blood-sugar spikes which lead to energy slumps. Its B vitamins are also vital for converting fats, sugar and protein into pure brawn.