Running is a pretty inexpensive sport -- invest in a water bottle and a good pair of running shoes, and you're pretty much good to go. However, your wallet can take a hit if you start using energy bars on a regular basis [source: Clark]. If you'd like to find a cheaper food to replace energy bars some, or all, of the time, there are alternatives.
Many granola bars, although not specifically created and marketed for energy building, do have filling, moderate- to high-carbohydrate content. And much like energy bars, they're individually wrapped and ready to take with you anywhere.
Another portable source of energy (although much more perishable) is fruit. Bananas and apples, in particular, are great choices because they're easy to tote and eat.
Believe it or not, sweets can also be beneficial (in terms of energy, that is). Chocolate will give you a boost -- although it's messy in warm weather. Sweet tarts and gummy bears are options. So are rice crispy treats. When it comes to getting an energy spike, runners have been known to eat anything from graham crackers to packets of honey.
The key to choosing an energy food that works for you is to experiment. Eventually you'll happen upon one you enjoy that also gives you the boost you need.
On the next page, you'll find lots more information for runners.