Colourful packaging, deceptive claims, and hidden ingredients confuse even the savviest runner.
Our expert tips will help you snack smarter, so you can get in and out of the grocery store – and back to running – fast.
Flavoured sparkling water: Bubbles without the sugar-packed kilojoules.
Best Buy: Caledon Sparkling Natural Spring Water has a refreshing, natural taste.
Low-sodium vegetable juice: Those made with tomatoes supply lycopene. A 2012 Nutrition Journal study found that this antioxidant may help lessen exercise-induced oxidative stress.
Best Buy: James White Organic Vegetable Juice contains a variety of juices including tomato, carrot, celeriac, apple, cucumber, beetroot and lemon, as well as a few herbs thrown in for good measure.
Flavoured Milk: A low-fat option to satisfy your chocolate craving.
Best Buy Steri Stumpie Chocolate has only 924kJ per 350ml and is ideal as a post-training recovery snack. It also comes in one-litre bottles for higher energy requirements.
Coconut water: Tangy coconut water contains natural sugars and electrolytes like potassium, making it ideal to drink before or after a run.
Best Buy Cocolife Coconut Water contains just coconut water – without any added sugars or flavours.
Tart cherry juice: This antioxidant-packed juice can reduce muscle damage.
Best Buy Cherry Active Cherry Juice concentrate – mix your own at home.
Green tea: A rich source of catechins – anti-oxidants to help lower cholesterol and protect against exercise-induced muscle damage.
Best Buy: Qi Green Tea makes an excellent iced tea for summer.
Whole-grain crackers: A 2011 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine linked eating more fibre-rich whole grains to weight loss.
Best Buy: The only grains in Ryvita Sesame Rye Crispbread are whole.
Popcorn: Crunchy and salty, whole-grain popcorn packs antioxidants and fibre.
Best Buy: Earth Products Popcorn pops nicely and is free from MSG, synthetic flavours and hydrogenated oils.
Hummus: Chickpeas, the main ingredient in hummus, are full of fibre, protein, and brain-boosting vitamin B6.
Best Buy: Pick n Pay Hummus Dip is low in kilojoules and contains just five grams of fat in a two-tablespoon serving.
Biltong: The high-protein snack keeps you feeling full between meals.
Best Buy: Woolworths Free Range Beef Sliced contains no added MSG, a food additive linked to weight-gain that’s used in many products.
Dark chocolate: A 2011 British study found that people who regularly eat antioxidant-packed dark chocolate reduce their heart-disease risk by a third. It’s also a source of iron.
Best Buy: Honest Raw Organic Chocolate – choc-full of antioxidant-rich cocoa.
Trail mix: Supplies antioxidants from dried fruit, and healthy fats from nuts.
Best Buy: Superfoods Organic Trail Mix contains goji berries, raw chocolate and white mulberries.