Convenience Store Food

Whenever I go on longer rides — more than an hour and a half or so — I take along an energy bar, some Nuun tablets, and two water bottles. I make use of them all, but I usually add another source of sustenance: the convenience store.

Often, our informal rest stops happen in convenience store parking lots. It’s only natural to go inside and make a small purchase. But what to buy?

I start out by looking for G2, the lower-sugar Gatorade. I prefer the flavor to the original Gatorade. I’ll knock off half a bottle, and pour the rest into one of my water bottles. If I don’t want the energy bar I packed — usually a Lara Bar — I can always scour the shelves for a substitute. One of my favorites is the good old Pay Day candy bar. It’s a layer of peanuts, wrapped around a caramel-nougat center. The peanuts are a little salty — just the thing to help replace all the sweat I’ve been losing.

I’ve also noticed that Snickers now makes an energy bar of sorts. It’s still a candy bar, but not the Snickers we’re all familiar with. Good for a quick shot of energy, but I’m certain it provides nowhere near the nutrient replenishment of a real energy bar.

Salty snack food might be a good choice, too. Maybe a small bag of pretzels.

Honestly, I haven’t been riding far enough lately to test all of my in-ride junk food urges, but I think that once my mileage picks up, I might be doing it more often.

How about you? Are you a healthy eater while on a long ride, or do you occasionally (or frequently) give into temptation and pig out on some yummy stuff? And if you do, what kind of convenience store food do you prefer? I’m always open to new ideas.

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12 thoughts on “Convenience Store Food

  1. I am planning on posting something related soon!

    Before a ride I eat a GU, and on the ride, if I know it’s going to be over 1.5 hrs than I eat a bar or another GU.

    As far as rest stops…I find that Dunkin Donuts are the best places, since I usually carry enough food. They always have bathrooms (usually cleaner than any convenience store), they sell Gatorade, and they’ll fill your water bottles usually at no charge. If I need more food then yeah, a convenience store is the best. Fatty did a post on them here: http://www.fatcyclist.com/2010/03/15/convenience/

  2. I usually just stock up on water and sit in some shade. However, sometimes a snickers or something similar will call to me and I can’t resist.

  3. Convenience store fare? Always, always, always first answer will be Fig Newtons. I can get them individually wrapped (2 long-ish bars) for 99 cents or so. I’ve given up on any kind of “power” bar since the convenience stores only seem to stock the ones that fit into the “candy” category (ie, chocolate, peanut butter) and, frankly, that makes me wanna hurl.

    I’ve also learned to closely examine the Gatorade bottles since a lot of them are “sugar free” but are not so plainly marked. I absolutely HATE any kind of sugar substitutes and can spot (ne, taste) them a thousand miles away. Sorry, but it’s true.

  4. If I’m on a long ride, I’ll definitely go in for some Grandma’s Peanut Butter Cookies (the big ones made by Frito-Lay). Taste good, and tons of calories. Plus a little salt is in there too…

  5. I’ve been experimenting with 1-ounce packs of peanut butter and honey that I buy at Whole Foods. You squeeze ‘em into your mouth just like a gel and they go down nice and easy. It’s a peanut butter sandwich without the bread.

  6. Though I don’t stop at convenience stores when I rice I would have to agree with the Fig Newtons if I were to stop. On my longer rides take them with me.

  7. I always carry Builder Bars and Gu with me in my small handlebar bag. If I do a convenience store stop (i.e. bathroom break), I like to pick up a small package of Fig Newtons or Nutter Butters and refill my water bottles (or by a Vitamin Water 10 if I can find one).

  8. We typically stop at convenience stores and get the usual: gatorade, water, bars. Lately, as we have increased the training miles for the MS-150, we go into the convenience store at the midpoint of the ride and get: a corndog. Yes, soooo bad, but soooo good :)

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