• Rachel Turi, RD

Race Fueling on a Budget - No Gu's, No Clif, No problem

You’ve seen it all. The gels, gummies, bars, waffles, powder- the endless options of sports performance products on the market. These options are amazing and they serve their intended purpose, which is to fuel you during long, hard training and racing efforts. While these options are helpful, they aren’t for everyone. Sports nutrition products can be unappealing to some individuals for many reasons whether it be that they may cause upset stomach, a dislike of the taste or texture, or simply that they are quite expensive. Fortunately for us, there are so many other ways to get nutrition in during a race or training run that don’t include these sports nutrition products. After all…you’ve seen the aid stations. A true sugar lover’s dream come true! As always, keep in mind that a food item that works for one individual may not work for others. Fueling for endurance sports is in no way a “one size fits all” concept. But, sugar is sugar, and salt is salt. You need them to run, so as long as you find a method of consumption that works for you, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! If you know that the food contains sugar and carbohydrates then you’re off to a good start and it could very well be an option for fuel. If you’re looking to try replacing some of your typical fueling options with whole food options, below is a list of some possibilities to get you started. Experiment during training runs and see what your body can handle. As always, don’t be afraid to reach out for guidance.

· Pop-Tarts (I’ll take brown sugar cinnamon, please and thank you)

· Dates (even better, fill them with a nut or seed butter and sprinkle with sea salt)

· Baby food pouches (say what?!)

· Dried fruit

· Fig Newtons

· Fruit snacks, ropes or leathers

· Applesauce pouches

· Granola Bars (you know, the good ones filled with sugar. Not “weight loss” protein bars, high fiber bars, or super nutty/dense ones)

· Crackers

· Pretzels

· Graham crackers or Teddy Grahams

· Potato chips

· Granola

· Trail mix (be careful, as too much fat can cause a stomach ache)

· Canned potatoes

· PBJ or PB/honey sandwiches or rollups

· Fruit (bananas, oranges, berries)

· Homemade energy bites

· Cookies/brownies (who doesn’t want an excuse to eat endless treats?)

· Chocolate covered espresso beans

· Salted nut rolls (salt + protein + sugar = winning)

· Oreos

· Animal Crackers

· Jerky (doesn’t contain the necessary carbohydrates, but does give a nice dose of protein and salt)

· Mashed sweet potatoes with honey or syrup and salt

· Mashed potatoes with salt Remember, it is takes time and practice to truly dial in on a fuel plan. Every individual will need something different. Check in with Rachel for help if you're unsure of where to begin. With few to no true races on the schedule, there is NO better time to experiment! Use your weekend long runs, virtual races, or adventure runs to try out different things so that come next season, you're ready to go!


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