Posted by Angie Leach

Walk through the aisles of a sports nutrition retailer and you could very easily be forgiven for thinking that proper sports nutrition needs to cost A LOT of money.  The truth is that you can reach all of your sports nutrition requirements with relatively inexpensive foods that you can purchase at your local grocery store and of course FUTURELIFE® is always there to lend a helping hand.

My personal challenge in writing this article is to show you that you can easily get everything you need to fuel for and recover from 3 hours of intense exercise for under R50, as opposed to the hundreds that sports nutrition retailers would have us believe. How is it done?


The meal you choose before you begin your exercise plays a very important role in making sure that you are properly fuelled and that any discomfort is minimised during exercise.

In previous articles I have covered the what, when and how of pre-endurance nutrition. Below are 4 cost-effective meal options that I picked. Portion sizes are chosen to fulfil the requirements of a 60kg athlete but can easily be adapted.

Food choice Grams of carbohydrates/protein Price
75g FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ + 1 large banana (136g) 63g/ 15g R7.62
75g FUTURELIFE® Smart Oats® + 100g low-fat sweetened yoghurt 65g/10g R7.75
3 slices of FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread™ with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (32g) and 1 tablespoons of Jam (20g) 65g/20.5g R5.10
50g FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ + 1 cup low fat milk and 200g fruit salad 61g/17g 61g/17g


During exercise, nutrition is very important for sessions exceeding 60-90 minutes Glycogen (energy) stores are quickly depleted and need to be replaced in order to keep you performing at your best. 30-60g of easily digested carbohydrates per hour should do the trick for this athlete. Exactly how much you would need within the 30-60g range will depend on the intensity of exercise among other things. Below are some great options, as well as the amount of carbohydrates it would provide in total and per hour for the 3 hours.

Food choice Grams carbohydrate/ Grams per hour Price
FUTURELIFE® High Energy Smartbar™ + 75g jelly sweets + 500ml sports drink 129g/43g R27.20
75g jelly sweets + 500ml sports drink 107/36g R19.50
2 slices of white FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread™ with 2 tablespoons of honey + 1l cordial (already diluted with water at ratio 1:3) 90g/30g R9.45
FUTURELIFE® High Energy Smartbar™ +1l cordial (already diluted with water at ratio 1:3)+ 75g nougat 106/35g R23.15


Nutrition after exercise should be rich in carbohydrates to refuel energy stores and contain some lean protein to repair muscles. The carbohydrate to protein ratio should be around 3-4:1. Fluids and electrolytes are also essential to rehydrate the body. Here are some very simple and cost-effective options that will help you to reach these goals. For more information on the benefits of FUTURELIFE® Smart Drink™ in sports recovery visit:

Food choice Grams of carbohydrates/protein Price
75g FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ + 1 large banana (136g)+ 500ml cordial (already diluted with water at ratio 1:3) 72g/ 24g R14.85
250ml FUTURELIFE® Smart Drink™ with 2 slices of FUTURELIFE® Smart Brown Bread and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of honey. 75.5g/25.8g R19.85
Open sandwich: 2 slices FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread™ with 2 boiled eggs and lite mayo + 150g sweetened fruit yoghurt. 54.5g/24.4g R9.80
FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ Muscle fuel smoothie: 65g/28g R16.19


Using these wallet-friendly options pre, during and after your 3 hours of exercise will cost you a minimum of R24.35 and a maximum of R56.96 while giving you everything you need to be everything you want to be.