Energy boosting sugar-free snacks

Is watching the Olympics on television inspiring you to get up and exercise? There's nothing like following some of the world's fittest athletes to encourage you to hit the gym or head out for a run.

Yet during winter it can be pretty hard to drag yourself out of bed in the morning and brave the chilly morning frost. It's not much easier in the evenings, either! Sitting at home with a glass of red is always a more attractive option than going to the gym.

That said, the Heart Foundation recommends that everyone get at least 30 minutes or more of physical activity every day. Any less and your health and wellbeing could start to suffer.

So instead of giving into feelings of lethargy and tiredness, say hello to energy instead! Here are a few snack ideas that are bound to give you enough oomph, vigour and vitality to tackle your daily workout with enthusiasm.

Afternoon coffee

Forget the tea - if you want to be running fast at the end of a long day at work, try having a cappuccino for your afternoon snack. Your energy levels will thank you for it - just make sure you don't drink so much that you stay up all night!

To make sure this is sugar-free, try using Xylitol to sweeten your beverage. Long blacks are also great for those wanting to avoid the sugar and fat found in milk.

Rolled oats

Oats are a great low GI option for those looking to retain energy. However, many supermarket mueslis or pre-mixed porridges are all quite high in sugar.

Try buying plain or wholemeal oats instead, and sweetening them yourself with a sugar replacement such as Xylitol.

You could also use berries or fruit to get more vitamins and minerals into your diet. These aren't sugar-free, but they do contain lots of goodness!

Peanut butter sandwich

A small sandwich on wholemeal bread with a thin layer of peanut butter is a great afternoon snack if you plan on doing physical activity later in the day.

It will keep you going until dinner time, and help you fit a run in between! For the carb-conscious, you could try a handful of blanched almonds or a small wedge of low-fat cheese.

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