By: Calum McLellan, CISSN, CSCS, NASM-PESSports Nutritionist and Sports Performance SpecialistSpectrum Sports PerformanceGas Station Nutrition

Ever find yourself on a road trip in the middle of nowhere, starving and the only place at your disposal is a gas station? Although eating from convenient stores isn’t the best choice, there are foods you can buy that aren’t that bad! Although I always recommend packing a bag with healthy portable snacks, sometimes you find yourself without a snack and needing something desperately so it’s important to know what to choose! It’s very easy to get lost in the aisles of potato chips and candy and full sugar beverages but with the right mindset you can end up picking the snack that won’t wreck your diet!

1) Craving something sweet:

  • Fruit- for obvious reasons
  • Protein bar- my suggestion for protein bars is find one that has half the amount of sugar that is has protein. Example: 20 grams of protein can only have 10 grams of sugar.

2) Craving something salty:

  • Beef/Turkey Jerky: Each serving of jerky can have up to 10 grams of lean protein and will be sure to satisfy your need for salt!
  • Nuts: Loaded with healthy fats fiber and a pinch of salt to keep you satisfied for hours!

3) Thirsty:

  • Water-obvious reasons
  • Unsweetened tea- has a few additional health benefits from the antioxidants
  • Sparkling water

4) Post Workout:

  • Any kind of milk: great protein and hydration in one! Choose a chocolate milk if you want the additional performance benefits or a regular low-fat option if you are looking to lean out.
  • Hard boiled eggs- yes some convenient stores sell them, but check the date! Add a piece of tropical fruit (pineapple or melon) for a boost in carbohydrates for performance athletes.

5) Meal replacement:

  • Chose one food item from category 1 and 2 for a decent meal that has a few more calories than any of the categories by itself. Although it isn’t ideal it still will get you by with some quality calories!

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