Appendix c

Engineered Sports Fuels and Fluids

Athletes always ask me which brand of sports drink, gel, energy bar, protein bar or other commercial sports food is "the best." The answer is that the best product is the one that tastes best to your taste buds and settles well in your intestinal tract. Be sure to experiment with unfamiliar products during training, not during an important event.

While there is a time and place for many of these products, especially if you need fuel during intense exercise, these engineered products are more about convenience than necessity. They are neither magic nor better than natural foods. They are a commercial response to a marketing niche. The engineered sports food business is, indeed, a booming business!

As you look over this list, I invite you to appreciate the numerous categories of products, so you can see for yourself how enterprising businesses have developed a product for each market niche. Your job is to experiment with products during training to determine if they are worth the money, or if orange sections, bananas, water, defizzed cola, tea with honey, chocolate milk and other standard "sports foods" do as good a job at a lower price and with a better taste.

When making your choices, keep the following information in mind:

  • Extra sodium is a good idea if you plan to exercise hard for more than two hours in the heat.
  • Maltodextrins are often used for a sweetener because they are supposedly "longer lasting" than sucrose.
  • Gels should always be tested during training. They can taste very sweet and are common contributors to diarrhea.
  • Drinks labeled as recovery drinks offer a little protein along with the carbohydrate.
  • Energy drinks offer concentrated sugar, often with added caffeine.
  • Nutrition bars come in three basic types: energy-boosting preex-ercise snack bars, protein bars, and meal replacement bars. (You will also see diet or weight-loss bars in stores, but these are not listed here.)
  • Energy bars should be eaten for extra energy, not as a meal replacement.
  • Meal replacement bars offer some protein, vitamins and minerals, but they are better saved for emergency food than used as a standard meal replacement. They generally do not offer enough calories to replace an entire meal.
  • Protein bars typically offer a blend of soy, whey, casein, and egg protein. They commonly offer 15 to 35 grams of protein. Because commercial-grade protein does not taste very good, these bars have strong flavors (such as chocolate mint) to mask the protein taste.

Sports Drinks

With Sodium

Gatorade, Edge Energy, Hydro-BOOM!, GU2O, Cytomax, Motor Tabs Without Dye or Food Coloring

First Endurance EFS, Clif Shot Electrolyte Drink, Hammer Nutrition HEED, Recharge Extra Sodium

Gatorade Endurance Formula, PowerBar Endurance, e-Fuel, First Endurance EFS, Clif Shot Electrolyte Drink, e load, Hydro Pro Cooler

Added Buffers

Cytomax, Perpetuem, Revenge Sport Extra Carbohydrate

Carbo-Pro Endurance Drinks

Perpetuem, Hammer Nutrition Sustained Energy, Edge Endless, Amino Vital

Maltodextrins as the Sweetener

Cytomax, Accelerade, PowerBar Endurance, HEED, GU2O

Added Protein

Amino Vital, Perpetuem, Accelerade, Revenge Pro

Recovery Drinks

Recoverite, Endurox R4, Ultragen

Added Extras

HEED (chromium, carnosine), Perpetuem (protein, fat, lactic acid buffer) Fewer Calories For Dieters

PowerAde Option, Ultima Replenisher, Xxtra LowOz, Propel, nuun For Women

Rain Sports Drink for Women (added calcium, folic acid, vitamin D)


Endurolytes, nuun, e load Zone Caps Gels

Gu, Carb-BOOM!, Clif Shot, Honey Stinger Extra Sodium

PowerBar Gel, Crank Sports e-Gel, Cytomax Energy Gel

Added Protein

Accel Gel, Edge Endless, Hammer Gel

Added Caffeine

GU Espresso Love; Clif Shot Mocha, Cola, and Strawberry; Carb-BOOM! Chocolate Cherry; Hammer Gel Espresso; PowerBar Gel Double Latte, Tangerine, Chocolate, Green Apple, and Strawberry-Banana; Honey Stinger Ginsting and Strawberry

Added Extras

EAS Energy Gel (taurine), GU Energy Gel (histidine, ginger, chamomile)

Endurance Food

Jelly Belly Sport Beans (with sodium; kosher certified), Clif Shot Bloks (gummi candy in a block), Sharkies (organic fruit chew), SPIZ (liquid food), Revv Instant Energy (chocolate mint wafer)

Recovery Drinks

First Endurance E3, EAS Endurathon, Perpetuem, PowerBar Recovery Shake, Recoverite, Go Fast Energy Drink, Endurox R4, Gatorade Nutrition Shake, Hormel Health Labs Great Shake, GNC Pro Performance Distance, Clif Shot Recovery Drink, First Endurance Ultragen

Energy Drinks

Red Bull, Rock Star, Monster, Rebound/* Full Throttle

Energy Bars

All Natural or Organic (No added vitamins or minerals)

Clif Bar, PeakBar, Perfect 10, Clif Nectar, Clif Mojo, LaraBar, Optimum, Trail Mix HoneyBar, Odwalla Bar, PowerBar Nut Naturals, Honey Stinger Bars, Kashi Bar, ReNew Life Organic Energy Bar, BoraBora Organic Bar, First Endurance

Granola-Type Bars

PowerBar Harvest, Nature Valley Granola Bar, Quaker Chewy Granola Bar, Nutri-Grain Bar Women's Bars (Fewer calories; soy, calcium, iron, folic acid) PowerBar Pria, Amino Vital Fit, Luna Bar, Balance Oasis Low Carbohydrate Bars (40 percent carbohydrate calories)

Balance Bar, ZonePerfect Kosher

Pure Fit Nutrition Bar, Lara Bar, ReNew Life Organic Energy Bar Dairy-Free

Clif Nectar, Pure Fit, Perfect 10, LaraBar, Clif Builder's Bar



Fruit Only

Kalahari FruitTrekker Bar, Tropicana Fruitwise Strip


Perfect 10, Elev8Me, Hammer Bar, EnviroKidz Organic Crispy Rice Bar, Omega Smart Bar, ExtendBar, BumbleBar, ReNew Life Organic Energy Bar, Kalahari FruitTrekker Bar, Paleo-Bar

Wheat-Free (Not necessarily gluten-free)

Clif Nectar, Clif Builder's Bar, Odwalla Bar


Carobar, Perfect-10, Clif Nectar, Vega Nutrition Bar, Organic Food Bar


JayBar, PaleoBar


Pure Fit, LaraBar, Hammer Bar, Vega Whole Food Energy Bar, Clif Builder's Bar, Perfect 10, ReNew Life Organic Energy Bar

Bars With Caffeine

PeakBar Energy Plus

Vitamin and Protein-Pumped Candy Bars

Marathon Energy Bar, Detour Bar

Recovery Bar (4 to 1 Carbohydrate to Protein Ratio)

PowerBar Performance

Protein Bars

PowerBar ProteinPlus, EAS Myoplex Deluxe, High5 Protein Bar, Maximuscle Promax Meal, USN Pure Protein, Atkins Advantage, Tri-O-Plex, Clif Builder's Bar, Detour Bar, Honey Stinger Protein Bar, Special K Protein Meal Bar, AllGoode Organics, Boulder, GeniSoy, Spiru-Tein, Odwalla, Luna

Meal Replacement Bars

Kashi Go Lean Bar, Balance Satisfaction, MET-Rx Mr. Big, MET-Rx Big 100 Colossal Meal Replacement Drinks

Carnation Instant Breakfast, Boost, Ensure, EAS Myoplex, MET-Rx RTD 40

Protein Powders

Hammer Soy, Hammer Whey, Bi-Pro Whey Protein Isolate, GNC Pro Performance 100% Whey Protein, CytoSport Muscle Milk

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