A local man recently paused for nourishment while shopping for sports nutrition products at a Safeway supermarket.
"You gotta stay fueled up," said Marcus Brody, 32, a personal trainer and veteran of numerous Warrior Dash 5K obstacle runs. "Just like a race car, you know? Fuel."
Brody was at the Safeway, he said, to pick up a few items including energy gels, sport beans, coconut water, whey-protein bars, recovery drink powder, and a case of sports drink, when his Fitbit beeped.
"It goes off every 15 minutes to remind me when to fuel up," he said. "It's important to space out your intake of carbs just right."
Brody popped several "ancient grain" pretzels into his mouth and took a long drink from a bottle of blue liquid.
"Fueling is so important," he said, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. "Electrolytes, too. Need to replenish your body's store of electrolytes. It's all part of a smart fueling strategy."
Then, noting with alarm that he had worked out some 20 minutes earlier but hadn't yet ingested any protein, he grabbed a whey-protein bar from his basket, opened its package, and tore off a large bite.
"Normally I wouldn't eat food I haven't paid for yet," he said, "but you've got to get some protein within 30 minutes of working out. For recovery."
Experts agree with Brody's approach to fueling.
"Fueling is key to optimal performance," said Marion Ravenwood, a registered nutri-specialist, Certified Sports Fueling Coach, spokeswoman for the American Council of Electrolyte Experts, and advisor to the PowerBar-Gatorade Institute for the Study of Performance Optimization.
"Fuel," she added.
Back in the aisles of the Safeway, Brody was crossing the final items off his list—with one exception.
"I was hoping to grab a box of Opti-GLYCO® Trip-X Surge Tabs™," he said, "but I guess Safeway doesn't carry them."
Brody's next stop, then, was to a Vitamin Shoppe store across town.
"First, though, I'm gonna crush this Vanilla Crisp energy bar," he said. "Gotta fuel up."