Athletes these days are far savvier about what they put into their bodies—so smart supp makers are creating natural (and surprisingly tasty) alternatives to the typical chews, goos, and powders. Here are four of the best.
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Quest Protein Bars
These bars were conceived and created in a regular home kitchen after endless rounds of experimentation. It worked. They quickly became a favorite among bodybuilders and fitness models, thanks to their great taste and incredibly high protein content—21-plus grams per serving. Best of all, they’re completely free of gluten and sugar. Instead, the bars are sweetened with a blend of Stevia, sucralose, and erythritol. Flavors include S’mores and Chocolate Chip Cookie.
While deployed in Iraq in 2009, Ian McCollum often wondered about the best way to sustain energy in the searing heat. When he read a book on Mexican Indians who run 100-mile races fueled with little more than chia seeds, he figured he’d give their model a shot. It was a success, and when his tour ended, he officially went into business selling the stuff. Today athletes swear by this simple concoction of chia, fruit puree, brown-rice syrup, sea salt, and coconut water.
Eboost is a single-serving dissolvable powder designed to infuse your water with a totally natural mix of vitamins and electrolytes, as well as a caffeine-packed dose of green coffee bean and green tea leaf extract. Instead of potent Tang-like citrus flavors and the jitters, you get a subtle, natural flavor that refreshes instead of overpowering your taste buds. While perfectly suited for sipping during endurance efforts, it’s an ideal, simple all-day pick-me-up.
Sports scientist Allen Lim began developing natural supplements to keep the Tour de France cyclists he worked with from getting sick from the processed carbs found in typical energy bars and drinks. Traveling with his team while carting along a rice cooker and an electric frying pan, he designed these Fruit Drops, which stabilize blood sugar using a natural base of pectin, natural carbs like real fruit and cane sugar, and a more natural sodium in the form of sea salt.