The Best Road Foods for Runners

In the fast-paced world of a runner trying to balance work, family, training and a social life, time for a sit-down meal often falls last in line. When you're always on the go, it can be difficult to get the energy and nutrition you need to support your busy schedule. Oftentimes, we're forced to resort to a fast food drive-thru, offering little else but high-fat greasy foods; or we skip eating all together.

However, with a little planning and shopping ahead of time, you can stock up your car, briefcase or gym bag with a range of portable, nutritious snacks that will help give you the energy you need to make it through the day.

Shelf-Stable Milks

Shelf-stable milk has one distinct advantage over the milk we're used to seeing in cartons and plastic jugs: it doesn't require refrigeration until the package is opened. This is achieved through the use of ultra-high temperature pasteurization, which eliminates all bacteria from the milk, and aseptic packaging in a special container that seals out light and air, preventing spoilage. Shelf-stable milk doesn't require any added chemicals or preservatives and it's exactly the same in taste, texture, color and nutritional value as regularly pasteurized milk.

More: 7 Healthy Milk Alternatives

Low-fat milk is, and has always been, a great food choice for athletes and active individuals, particularly due to its favorable nutrition profile. Not only is milk a complete protein, containing adequate amounts of all nine essential amino acids, it's also:

  • A good source of vitamin A, which is important for maintaining healthy tissue. It also plays a role in bone development and is key for good night vision.
  • A great source of vitamin D, which helps increase the absorption of calcium, promotes healthy bone and teeth formation, and plays a role in preventing colon cancer and some autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • A great source of calcium, which is essential for healthy bone formation. It also plays key roles in the activation of important enzymes, as well as the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contraction.

More: Keep Your Bones Strong With 4 Key Nutrients

Shelf-stable milk is a good choice for a post-exercise food, as it can help replenish fluid and electrolytes after a long workout. Furthermore, chocolate or flavored milk has been studied as a top-notch recovery drink due to its high carbohydrate and protein content. Most products available will remain fresh with or without refrigeration for about 13 weeks from the production date.

More: Easy Post-Workout Snacks That Aid Recovery

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