In an ideal world, you’d pick up a piece of fresh fruit or chop up some veggies for your post-practice nibble. In the real world, there’s often just enough time to unwrap and inhale whatever packaged morsel has been sitting in your yoga bag or office drawer for weeks. We understand. Which is why we set out to find the most nutritious (and tasty) snacks beyond the produce aisles.
We began by talking to nutrition experts who are also yoga teachers, and while they all said that the most nutritional snacks are fresh, they also agreed that prepackaged alternatives can be nourishing. “A lot of yogis think that eating a sattvic diet—a class of foods in Ayurveda that are light, nourishing, and delicious—must mean eating fresh,” says New York City nutritionist and yoga teacher Ilene Cohen, RD. “And while that’s certainly ideal, choosing snacks that are minimally processed and well balanced also qualifies.”
Kara Lydon, RD, RYT, a nutritionist and yoga teacher and author of Nourish Your Namaste, agrees: When it comes to packaged snacks, look for minimal ingredients lists that contain wholesome components, “like naturally occurring sugars and easy-to-digest sources of protein and fiber,” she says. “These give your body the nourishment it needs before and after yoga.”
With these guidelines in mind, we tasted more than one hundred packaged snacks and asked our experts to weigh in on their faves, too. Here are the 13 you’ll want to keep stocked in your pantry.