It’s 5:45pm, and you are hitting the home-stretch of your after school marching band rehearsal. The problem is you are expected to be giving your highest level of energy during these last 30+ minutes, but your tank is running on empty.
The last meal you ate was a slice of cafeteria pizza that tasted more like cardboard and ketchup, and that was over 5 hours ago. The Sour Patch Kids you got out of the snack machine after class got you through the first 45 minutes of rehearsal, but you need more than that to last through a full rehearsal. Here are seven options you can turn to before band practice to give you the energy to perform better.
1. Trail Mix
This is probably the most accessible snack on the list as it is positioned in just about every campus snack machine. Trail mix gives you the combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to have immediate energy to start rehearsal, but also the caloric density to maintain your performance to the last rep. It’s also the most cost effective at less than a dollar per package.
This is a staple of every drum corps’ diet, and for good reason. The bread and jelly have the carbohydrates to give you quick energy, and the peanut butter is loaded with fat calories to sustain you. To make it even healthier, substitute a banana for the jelly so you aren’t consuming high fructose corn syrup.
3. Fruit and Nut Butter
Take your pick – apple or banana, natural peanut butter or almond butter? These are whole foods, meaning they are ready to be eaten without all the processed additives other snacks contain. By eating fruit, you will avoid the sugar crash associated with many packaged, sugary snacks.
4. Beef Jerky
Beef Jerky is probably the most filling snack on this list due to its high protein content. You could argue that it may be more beneficial to eat after rehearsal to aid muscle recovery, but heck, who doesn’t want an excuse to eat more jerky? (To all the vegans and vegetarians out there, stick with me).
5. Kind Bars
These are my favorite bars due to their great taste, natural ingredients, and portability. I stick a box of Kind Bars in my backpack for competition weekends when I need a quick snack on the go. They also have several excellent flavors that have more protein and fats than sugar to help sustain your energy levels throughout rehearsal. Plus, now that you’re no longer hangry you can be much more kind (see what I did there).
6. Greek Yogurt with Fruit
High protein content, sweet taste, and filling? Whether it’s Chobani, Dannon, or another brand, Greek yogurt offers marching band members the total package. (I’m a sucker for the key lime flavor!)
7. Hummus Dip
I used to be a huge critic of hummus dip. I did not see a ton of nutritional value compared to some of the options listed above, but it’s fairly inexpensive and is a much better alternative to potato chips or candy. Hummus dip also has a decent amount of healthy unsaturated fats to sustain your energy levels.
Take your pick on which one of these fits your taste buds and is easily accessible to you. As a general rule, try to find snacks that are minimally processed and offer you a balance of fats, carbohydrates, and protein while still tasting good.