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For many of us women life is so busy that we eat most of our meals and snacks away from home.  For that reason it’s super important that we keep on hand plenty of healthy snack options that combine high amounts of protein with healthy fats and carbs.

On our Athlean-XX for Women meal plan we recommend that women eat 5 – 6 small meals per day.  Why this strategy?  Eating about once every 2 – 3 hours helps ensure that your metabolism keeps running smoothly like a well-oiled machine, preventing a slow-down in your metabolic rate (and fat burning capabilities). So, as you can imagine, when you’re eating 5 – 6 times per day, portable snacks become all the more important!

But why is protein so important?  There are a few major reasons. First, protein takes longer to digest than carbs, so it helps keep you feeling full until your next meal or snack.  It takes more energy to digest, meaning that your body will also burn more calories in processing it.  Protein is also important for building lean muscle and repair muscle tissue, so if you’re following a fitness program you’ll want to be sure you’re getting enough.  How much is enough?  Check out this article to see why we recommend women get more protein than the USDA recommendation.

When it comes to snacking, protein definitely isn’t as portable as other types of foods.  If you think about typical protein-packed foods (meat, dairy, eggs, fish, beans), you can see why.  For example, if you go to a convenience store, how many protein snacks vs. carb snacks do you find?

jerky proteinAll of this means that you’ll need to prepare in advance to make sure you’ve always got your pantry stocked with protein packed snacks that you can bring with you to work, the gym, or anywhere else you go.  If you rely on what you can find in a pinch, your options will be limited!

Let’s look at 15 different options for high-protein snacks that you can take with you wherever you go.  All are very handy, and just a few require refrigeration if you’re not going to eat them within a couple of hours.

While I’m sure some of these are already part of your arsenal, I hope there might be a few in here that you’ve forgotten about. And maybe you’ll want to add them back into your snack rotation!

1)      Hard Boiled Egg – Ok to eat within 2 hours if unrefrigerated.

2)      Canned Tuna or Salmon in Water – Super portable and perfect for picnics and hikes.  Make it a mini-meal by combining it with an apple and an avocado.

3)      Beef, Turkey, Salmon or Tuna Jerky – The ultimate in portable meat products!  Salmon and tuna jerky can be found at your health foods store.  Worried about the nitrates or other additives?  You can make jerky at home if you get yourself a high quality food dehydrator.

tuna protein4)      Nuts – These are one of the few lifesaver snacks that you can find at a gas station or convenience store!  Take advantage when needed!

5)      Salami or Serrano Ham – Ok to eat within an hour or 2 if unrefrigerated.

6)      Protein Bars – The best choices are those that are highest in protein (more than 20 grams if you can find them) but low in calories, sugars and fats.

7)      Greek Yogurt – Greek yogurt is higher in protein than regular yogurt so it’s a great choice for a snack.  Some sources say that yogurt is good for 12 or more hours without refrigeration.  While you might not want to stretch it that far, a few hours is surely fine.

8)      Apple & Peanut Butter – Nut butters are awesome portable protein sources.  Just put a tablespoon or two in a tiny plastic container and carry with you to eat with your apple.  If you’re allergic to peanuts or not a peanut fan, give cashew, almond or sun butter (sunflower seed) a try.

9)      String Cheese or Baby Ebel – Like yogurt, these cheeses will hold up for a while without refrigeration.

Greek yogurt10)   Grilled Chicken Breast – While you might not think of chicken as portable, precooked chicken breast will hold up in its original shape, can be stored in a plastic bag and can be eaten within 2 hours without refrigeration.  Make it more appetizing by cutting it up and tossing on a salad.

11)   Hummus – Hummus is awesome to dip raw veggies in or as a salad dressing. Pack some with you in a small plastic container and eat within two hours if not refrigerated.

12)   Kashi Go Lean Cereals – Kashi cereals area specially made to be high in protein and fiber.  Just fill up a bag and you’re ready to go!

13)   Pumpkin Seeds or Sunflower Seeds – Ultra portable and available in a variety of flavors, take a small bag of seeds with you to keep hunger at bay.

14)   Dry Roasted Edamame  – Edamame are soy beans and most health foods stores now carry dry roasted edamame which pack a ton of protein.

protein shake15)   Protein Shake – Did you know it’s really important to your workout recovery to get some protein in within 20 minutes of the end of your workout? Just put some protein powder in your cup and head out the door.  When you’re ready to make your shake, just add water and voila!

Looking for a great protein powder?  In response to requests from women for a whey protein powder specific to a woman’s nutritional needs, we created Athlean-RX4 Women.  This low carb, low calorie protein powder contains 26 grams of protein per scoop to help you boost your protein intake to build a lean, strong body faster.  It’s also free of excess sugar, filler ingredients and harmful chemicals.

But, we didn’t stop there.  To create an optimal supplement for women, we chose to include other nutrients that are frequently lacking in a woman’s diet including calcium, vitamin D and iron.  Calcium is important for bone growth, but studies also show that it prevents unwanted weight gain, protects your heart, protects teeth, and also eases the effects of PMS.   Vitamin D is integral to calcium absorption and insufficient vitamin D can result in muscular weakness.  Iron helps to prevent anemia, stabilize mood, improve depression, boost stamina, and stimulate the immune system. Athlean-RX4 Women is also enhanced with Co-Q-10, Resveratrol and Papaya Enzyme, three antioxidants with energy boosting, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties.  If you’re looking for a protein powder that you can trust – one that was designed for your needs, give Athlean-RX4 Women a go!  It’s available in tasty vanilla cream or Dutch chocolate and will give your smoothies a healthy, nutritious protein boost!

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