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A wide variety of energy bars, endurance drinks, and gels are available to provide quick energy, hydration, electrolyte replacement and more. Here's a quick rundown:
• Energy bars. Originally, most of these bars merely contained high concentrations of easily processed carbohydrates. Today, many bars also contain decent amounts of protein as well, which has been shown to reduce recovery time after hard workouts.
• Drinks. Various formulations are available. Some are designed to improve hydration and electrolyte replacement. Others contain easily absorbed carbohydrates to provide extra fuel during a workout. And some are designed to optimize recovery with a blend of carbohydrates and protein.
• Gels. As with drinks, a variety of gels are available. Some simply provide plenty of easily absorbed carbohydrates for energy. Others add electrolytes to the mix. Still others combine carbohydrates with protein. One brand even adds herbs and antioxidants to its formula.