Discover guilt-free indulgence with this guide to healthy snacks at gas stations. Grab nutrition on the go.
Gas station snacks have a reputation for being unhealthy and loaded with calories, sugar and preservatives. But not all gas station snacks are created equal.
With a little knowledge and some careful choices, you can find nutritious and satisfying road trip snacks to keep you energized. This article will guide you through the gas station aisles to discover some of the healthiest snacks that will leave you feeling good about your pit stop.
Healthy snacks at gas stations
Healthy snacks at gas stations don’t have to be complicated. At most convenience stores you’ll have a plethora of snacks to choose from. You’ll even be able to find keto snacks.
“As a sports dietitian, I am commonly asked, what is the best healthy gas station snack to choose? While eating on the road is a challenge, I try to emphasize protein, fat and fiber options to stay fueled.”— Leah Reitmayer, MS, RD, CSSD, Lettuce Eat Dessert
Fresh fruit cups
Many gas stations now offer fresh fruit cups with a mix of seasonal fruits like sliced apples, grapes or melon. These are an excellent choice for a quick vitamin and fiber boost. They’re refreshing and a healthier alternative to sugary snacks.
“Most gas stations have bananas, apples and even pre-cut fruit like watermelon in their fridge section.”— Nicole Ibarra, RD, LD, Altitude Nutrition & Fitness
Nuts are packed with healthy fats, protein and fiber. A small handful can keep your hunger at bay and are delicious, too.
“While we try not to buy snacks at gas stations, sometimes we get desperate, especially on long road trips. My favorite healthy snack to buy at a gas station is a pack of nuts. I’ll usually go for almonds or peanuts, preferably unsalted.”— Sarita Harbour, An Off Grid Life
Some gas stations stock Greek yogurt cups with no added sugars. Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein and probiotics, which is good for promoting a healthy gut.
“Greek yogurt is a good source of protein and can be found in the refrigerated section of gas stations. You can add some granola, fruit or nuts to make it a more satisfying snack.”— Wan Na Chun, MPH, RD, One Pot Wellness
Hummus and veggies
Many gas stations now carry single-serving hummus cups with baby carrots or celery sticks. This combination provides a satisfying balance of protein, fiber and vitamins. The hummus adds flavor and creaminess to your snack.
While not all protein bars are created equal, you can often find healthier options at gas stations. Look for bars with minimal ingredients, high protein content and low added sugars. These bars can keep you full and provide a quick energy boost.
“I love RX bars. They have only five ingredients and are a good source of protein and healthy fats. Plus, most gas stations have them.”— Shelby, Fit as a Mama Bear
Some gas stations offer pre-packaged hard-boiled eggs, which are an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. They’re a convenient and healthy gas station snack that’s perfect for a quick pit stop.
If you’re a fan of meat snacks, opt for beef or turkey jerky. Look for brands that have minimal additives and lower sodium and sugar content. Jerky is a protein-packed option that can satisfy your cravings and keep you full during your journey.
“I love recommending Beef jerky as a great snack option because it’s loaded with protein. Opt for a zero-added or low-sugar option if possible. Pair it with some whole-grain crackers for extra fiber. This snack combination is delicious, filling and nourishing.”— Maya Oueichek, MBA, RDN, MayazBites
Staying hydrated is crucial during long drives. Choose protein shakes, kombucha or unsweetened beverages like herbal tea or sparkling water. Avoid sugary sodas and energy drinks, as they can lead to energy crashes and dehydration.
“Looking for a refreshing drink when on the go at a gas station? Fairlife’s Core Power Drinks are high in protein, low in added sugars and lactose-free. They often have chocolate, strawberry and— Jamie Adams, MS, RDN, Well Nourished Mamas
vanillaflavors available to satisfy any sweet tooth while keeping your blood sugars stable throughout the day.”
“When I’m in a rush and don’t have time for a full meal, I’ll stop at a gas station for a crisp, cold Olipop. With 9 grams of fiber, only a few grams of sugar and over a dozen flavors to choose from, I always feel satisfied and know I’m making the best decision for my blood sugar and gut health.”— Kaytee Hadley, MS, RDN, IFMCP, Kaytee Hadley
Eating healthy on the go is not as challenging as it may seem. With a bit of mindfulness and the right choices, you can find nutritious snacks. Even peanut butter can work in a pinch at gas stations to fuel your body without derailing your diet.
Remember to read labels, opt for whole foods and keep portion sizes in check. The next time you’re on a road trip or simply need a quick snack, consider these healthier options to keep you energized and feeling great.
Lara is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Personal Trainer. She is also a photographer and recipe developer and has a food and travel blog Lara Clevenger. She shares easy recipes that are mostly low-carb, along with some bowling and travel adventures. Whether you’re cooking with an air fryer, Blackstone or Instant Pot, she has you covered with healthy recipes.