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.