Sprouted bread such as manna may have a leg up on its competitors. When grains like wheat, oats and millet are sprouted, their proteins and starches are broken down into forms that are easier to digest. Sprouting also amplifies the levels of B vitamins and minerals such as iron, something that female athletes especially need. More good news: A 2012 study in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism found that using sprouted grains give bread a lower glycemic index for a more sustained release of carbohydrate energy. Plus, many sprouted brands include healthy items like seeds and nuts in their blends.
The bread & butter: Most sprouted breads are made without preservatives, so it’s best to store loaves in the fridge to keep them fresh. For this reason, you’ll often find sprouted bread in the refrigerated section at the supermarket.