Why You Don’t Need Expensive Sports Foods

You don’t need to pay for those expensive brand name exercise snacks when cost effective alternatives are already within reach.

After an ordinary workout, a simple bowl of whole-grain cereal and milk can replenish muscle fuel as efficiently as a pricey sports drink, finds a new study from the University of Texas at Austin. In fact, most exercisers don’t need expensive packaged sports foods, says nutritionist Nancy Clark, RD, author of Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook.

After a workout, a bowl of whole-grain cereal can get the job done just as well as a pricey sports drink.

Her wallet-friendlier substitutes:

Instead of these: Energy bars (PowerBar, Clif Bar, Pria): $1.25 to $1.75 per serving
Buy These: Fig Newtons or granola or cereal bars: 30 to 70 cents per serving
And Still Get: Enough carbs and calories to sustain energy and keep hunger at bay

Instead of these: Gels (GU Energy Gel, Clif Shot, PowerBar Gel): $1.25 to $2.50 per gel
Buy These: Go-Gurt, honey sticks, or single-serve applesauce: 20 to 50 cents per serving
And Still Get: A shot of concentrated sugar that supplies instant fuel

Instead of these: Chewies (Sport Beans, Luna Sport Moons): $1.25 to $2 per serving
Buy These: Jelly beans, dried fruit, or raisins: 35 to 75 cents per serving
And Still Get: Small doses of a chewable sweet that’s easy to digest on the run

See also: 8 Healthy Breakfast Recipes for Energy and Appetite Control

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest