Natural Energy Foods: How to Ditch Packaged Bars and Drinks

Chicago Tribune

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This weekend marks the annual New York City Marathon. The streets will be littered with, among other things, packaging from the supplements runners use during the race. Bars, gels, gummy snacks, and energy drinks rule the athletic supplement market. However, there is a growing number of conscious eaters who make efforts to make their own energy supplements at home.

One of the most popular energy boosts used in running comes in the form of a gel. I've run races using the various brands and flavors of energy gels and although I eventually came to like their strange gooey texture and fake taste (I know, call me crazy), I knew there had to be a better, more natural way, to boost my energy. The Chicago Tribune reports on the growing trend of cooking snacks to replace using packaged bars, gels, and drinks.

This really expands to the idea of cooking your own snacks and knowing how to fuel your body. So-called energy foods don't give magical athletic abilities; they rely on sugars and proteins that can be easily whipped up in your own kitchen. The article focuses on snacks to eat while cycling, where tucking, say, a peanut butter sandwich in a pouch on your bike is feasible. Try eating a banana or a homemade trail mix. Once your body adjusts to eating solid food while exercising, you can try small sandwiches or cookies For runners, I've seen recipes for making your own energy gels, usually with a honey base.

Do you make your own workout snacks?

Read More: Some athletes ditch processed foods for the real deal at the Chicago Tribune

Related: Workout Snacks: What do You Eat Before Exercising?

(Images: Emma Christensen)