Any road trip leads to the unavoidable stop at the QuikTrip, 7-Eleven, or one of thousands of other convenience stores across America. If you’re not watching what you eat, that can spell trouble. Lauren Antonucci, R.D., a nutritionist and the owner/director of Nutrition Energy in New York City, suggests looking for something with protein or fiber to keep you awake, plus a drink to keep you hydrated behind the wheel. If the store doesn’t have any of those options, hit the road immediately and look for a smarter choice next time you pull over.
No time to pack a breakfast? Antonucci suggests a protein-packed Greek yogurt like Chobani. If you need something heartier, some stores have eggwhite wrap sandwiches. “Just try to avoid the ones with sausage, cheese, and bacon,” she says.
Skip the fountain cappuccino, even if you think the jolt of caffeine might help you stay awake. Anything low calorie, like Propel or sparkling water, is the smarter choice. Those liquids will help keep your muscles and brain operating at their peak. “Since most of us aren’t race car drivers, we don’t need to worry about replacing calories,” Antonucci says.
Search for Fruit
Sure, it’s not Whole Foods, but sometimes you can find an apple or banana by the counter. “As long as it’s edible,” she says, “you can’t pick a better option.”
Craving something sweet? Ditch the candy bar and opt for an energy bar with at least 10 grams of protein, instead. (We like the Carb Conscious bars from Supreme Protein.) Feeling more savory? Avoid crackers and go for canned nuts or a bag of low-sodium jerky instead.
When you’re stuck in a car with an entire bag of chips or candy, no good can come of it, says Antonucci. In fact, studies show the longer you’re near junk food, the more likely you are to stick your hand into it. If you have to buy it, get a single-serving pack.