By Shawn Radcliffe Men's Fitness
Are you gearing up for a fall marathon or a 100-mile bicycle ride? As your training schedule jumps into long-distance territory, you'll need an extra energy boost. And if you don't want to rely on gels and bars with tons of artificial ingredients, these natural alternatives will keep you fueled.
Natural bars and chews can be found in most sports stores and supermarkets. Products like Honey Stinger's Organic Energy Chews will give you a tasty shot of energy. If you're doing endurance training, avoid high protein bars, and go for carbohydrate-rich options, like Mule Bar's Apple Strudel.
Fresh fruit like bananas, apples, and plums all travel well... as long as you don't sit on them or pack them at the bottom of your bag.
Dried fruits are super portable and will survive even the longest races, and a 2012 study even found that raisins give an endurance boost similar to endurance as energy chews.
Honey is not only filled with simple carbohydrates to fuel your body, but is also chock full of healthy antioxidants. Eat it straight, on a slice of bread, or mixed a little in your water.
Homemade fruit roll-ups are easy to make and pack well. Select your fruit (one kind or mix-and-match) and puree it in a blender, then spread the mixture on a pan or tray lined with parchment paper. Dry it in an oven (at a low temperature) or food dehydrator. Tip: If your fruit is very ripe, you may not even need added sweetener.