I like to run. A lot. I’ve been known to run marathons and the occasional shorter distance, too, and for roughly 7-8 months of the year my boyfriend affectionately refers to my running habit as “the other man.” His logic is pretty sound – I buy Running new shoes, I go out with Running most nights of the week, and on Sunday mornings I have a standing date with Running for 2-3 hours, not to mention how sweaty I am when I return home.
So you see, I am a runner, and contrary to popular belief, being a good runner or athlete depends on fueling just as much as training. I try my hardest to eat pretty well (and to be honest it isn’t too difficult when working at a natural foods co-op) but trying to find clean “sport” products proves to be another challenge entirely. You know what I’m talking about – the electrolyte drinks with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), the protein powders with flavors like “orange creamsicle” and “cookies and cream,” and those energy gels made out of….whatever they are made out of! All of these things seem counterintuitive to feed my body, and so when I found out that the co-op, MY co-op, was going to bring in a few “sport lines,” I literally leapt for joy.
Below is a short list of my favorite “sport” products – give them a try, especially if your sport-of-choice has developed into an imaginary friend who takes up all of your free time. Because in that case your imaginary friend deserves something new and awesome like a HFCS-free electrolyte drink!
Vega Sport Endurance Gel – just like all of those other weird gels on the market, but better! These sticky space-food-looking packets are awesome during long runs (runs lasting more than 90 minutes) and are made with dates and coconut oil!
Tera’s Whey Organic Whey Protein – A local, organic, DELICIOUS protein powder in real flavors and colors (I’m looking at you Big Brand orange creamsicle flavor!) I love to add a few scoops to my post-run smoothie to refuel; the Fair Trade Dark Chocolate is so good it tastes sinful.
Trace Minerals Electrolyte Stamina Power Paks – these little packets are the bees knees, small and simple, and not so different from your favorite vitamin-C supplement. Trace Minerals knows their stuff, and so they understand that athletes need electrolytes as well as potassium, vitamin C, and a few carbs and calories for good measure. Perfect for a sweaty summer run!
Zico Coconut Water – I admit it, I was slow to catch onto the coconut water craze. The thickness of its consistency really turned me off, but the benefits that it touted were hard to ignore, so I bought a few and gave them a try. Coconut water is seriously awesome stuff, made from pure water harvested from coconuts and loaded with electrolytes, potassium, and refreshing coconut flavor.