During a recession, even endurance athletes have to watch their wallets. Increasingly, the Boston Globe reports, marathoners and pro athletes are turning to cheap, readily available means of replacing carbs and electrolytes—even if that means pounding pickle juice. “It’s been a hidden secret,” said the maker of Pickle Juice Sport. “Teams didn’t want to divulge the secret because it’s an edge on the competition.”
Common, if counterintuitive, foods like pickle juice—which replenishes salts that help the body retain water—can outperform sport drinks and gels. “There’s nothing magic about the engineered foods,” a nutritionist said. “There’s nothing you can’t get through real food.” Take chocolate milk, used after a workout to speed recovery: 64 ounces costs just $3. A chocolate nutrition shake? $3 for an 11-ounce can.