When it comes to replenishment before and after exercise, many folks turn to the wrong foods and packaged products; people reach for what they think is nourishing, but is actually filling them up with unwanted sugar, salt, fat, carbohydrate, GMO-ingredients and calories. Protein bars tend to be a popular choice for those on-the-run, but if you really take the time to read the ingredients and nutritional facts on labels, you will find you’re better off running away from them!

Typically, protein bars are made with processed grains, GMO-soy, a lot of sugar (and thus simple carbohydrates), additives, preservatives, and chemicals. Instead of taking them off the shelf, reach for a bag of organic, unsalted mixed nuts and have a reasonable portion with some fruit and/or veggies. The amount of sugar in the average “protein bar” can tip the sugar scale at what is equivalent to 2 or 3 chocolate bars, so be mindful and read labels! If you absolutely must have one, select paleo varieties with a lower sugar count on the label. NoGii offers a few. Raw Revolution makes gluten-free, raw, organic protein bars that are better for you as well. You’ll soon find them available online at GlutenFreeSmartStore.com.

Sweet is our usual “go-to taste” for comfort. There are many reasons why we should all avoid refined sugar like the plague. Sugar is linked to type-2 diabetes, it’s bad for our heart and overall immune system, to name a few. According to Dr. William Davis, cardiologist and best-selling author of Wheat Belly, the best sweeteners for our health are stevia (pure liquid, powdered with inulin or pure powdered), monkfruit (Lo han guo), erythritol and xylitol.

If you’re taking the time and putting in the energy to take care of your body with respect to fitness, then you should consider taking the same care with respect to nutrition. After all, although it may sound cliché, the research continues to show, we really are what we eat.

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