Easy protein snacks for tournament days

Author: Jennifer Lucore

I have received four different inquires about snacks and what tops players pack for long tournament days... So here are some healthy ideas I've gathered along the way:

Many say that protein helps repair damaged muscles and tissues and by choosing omega-3-rich protein sources you'll help counter inflammation that can build up in tendons, joints and tissues after a hard game of pickleball. While protein powders and energy bars seem like the easiest choice to snack on after play, there are several more wholesome protein picks that are just as quick and easy.

Traditional hummus is made with chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, garlic and spices. Packed with fiber, protein, vitamins and heart-healthy fat, hummus can be enjoyed on the go in small packs bought at the grocery store, or you can make your own. Dip pita chips or raw veggies in hummus to boost your carb, fiber and antioxidant intake.

Now packed in convenient pouches, tuna fish can be tossed in your bag before you dash out to the court. The packs come in various flavors, so you can enjoy a wholesome protein source straight out of the bag while also reaping the benefits of this anti-inflammatory omega-3 source.

Protein-packed nuts are one of my favorites. Best picks include raw or lightly salted almonds, walnuts, peanuts and pistachios. To get your nut and chocolate fix try Costco's trail mix with those m&ms.

You can find bags of single-serve edamame in grocery stores now, or simply fill a cup of shelled or unshelled pods in a re-sealable bag. Roasted soy nuts also offer a crunchy, low-maintenance snack when hunger strikes.

Nonfat plain Greek yogurt is also good because in just a single serving you can get about 20g of protein. The single-serve packs are great for an easy, on-the-go snack. Adding fresh berries and even some high-fiber cereal makes it that much better.

And, don't forget chocolate milk.

Keep the fuel in your body and the fire in your play :-)

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