Kitchen MacGyver’s Top-5 Nutrition Picks at Boston Expo

I just returned to my hotel from the Saturday rush at the Boston Marathon expo and I’m full. After sampling nearly every edible product available at the convention center (also after eating lunch), I’m contemplating repeats in the Newton Hills. The hottest trends: coconut, protein and low-glycemic. Here are my picks for the top five most delicious sports nutrition products featured at this year’s expo:

1. Pom Wonderful’s Cranberry Pomegranate 100% juice: Not too tart, not too sweet, the newest flavor packs all of the antioxidant punch of the 100% pomegranate juice and is, surprisingly, a good source of iron.

2. Tart cherry juice and dried tart cherries: Tart cherries provide more health benefits than blueberries as well as anthocyanins 1 and 2, components that have been shown to relieve pain associated with inflammation, muscle and joint soreness, according to the Cherry Marketing Institute. The tart juice makes a great post-race or workout recovery drink; uses for the dried tart cherries are practically limitless (use in baking, sprinkle into salads, add to granola)

3. Cookiehead Whole Grain Cookies: I’m crazy for cookies and these little gems have it all: Soft texture, good mouthfeel, moisture and sweetness. Yes, they provide whole grains and a list of ingredients that are entirely recognizable, but the most important thing is that they taste good.

4. Power Crunch protein energy bar: Made with a whey and milk protein blend, these cookie bars provide 13 grams and 10 grams of carbs, with the added bonus of 90mg of potassium, per 1.4oz serving. The low-sodium, low-sugar (only 5 grams per serving) bars are similar in taste and texture to the creamy, crunchy cookie wafers I loved as a kid.

5. Bolthouse Farms’ Bom Dia Coconut Splash Tropical Mango drink: Made with real mangoes, this coconut water is a delicious, natural way to hydrate: It delivers more potassium than a banana in each bottle for only 60 calories per 8oz serving.

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