The best gluten-free fitness bag essentials

Jun 8, 2011 at 7:36 p.m. ET

If you've got celiac disease or gluten sensitivities, the workout snacks and locker room items in your gym bag are going to look different than the fitness enthusiast who doesn't have gluten issues. Fortunately, the growing incidence of food allergies and dietary restrictions has prompted a growing selection of gluten-free foods and personal care products that you can safely pack in your fitness bag. Here are a few of our favorite gluten-free fitness items.

Gluten free

1Exfoliating Olive Oil Cleanser; $28

After a hard, sweaty workout, this olive oil-based cleanser will give your skin a fresh, clean feel. Made of virgin olive oil, cane sugar and castor oil, it gently exfoliates and moisturizes, and can be used every day. All ingredients are gluten-free, vegan-friendly and considered safe even for expectant mothers. Since this gluten-free beauty product is 100 percent natural, it does need to be kept at moderate temperatures (don't leave your gym bag in your car when the temperatures rocket).

2Argan Body Butter; $55

It's true: Skin care and beauty products can contain gluten. Since your skin is your largest organ and absorbs what you put on it, using only gluten-free personal care products is another step in boosting your health. Argan Body Butter is made with organic argan oil, shea butter and essential oils that lend the moisturizer a light, sweet, floral scent. Best yet, if you're taking your exercise outside the gym, the body butter's palmarosa oil is also considered a natural insect repellent to ward off summer pests. This gluten-free beauty product is also a luxe anti-aging cream to slather on your skin after your post-workout shower.

3Gluten-Free Savonnerie Shampoo and Conditioner; starting at $3

When you're ready to hit the showers, treat your hair with Gluten-Free Savonnerie Shampoo and Conditioner. The clear, fragrance-free shampoo contains pro-vitamin B5 and some of the mildest cleansers available, to leave your hair soft, shiny and manageable. For beautiful, supple hair, follow the shampoo with the gluten-free conditioner, which is made with jojoba oil and is light enough to be used daily. Available in 2-ounce and 8-ounce bottles.

4Larabar nutrition bars; $25 for 16-count box

Don't hit the wall during your workout because you're running low on fuel. Pack a few Larabars in your gym bag so you always have a convenient gluten-free snack on your way to exercise. With more than a dozen fabulous flavors, including ginger snap, lemon bar, cashew cookie, and chocolate coconut, these gluten-free bars are made with natural ingredients, health-promoting nutrients, muscle-building protein and hunger-curbing fiber.

5Gemma Protein Pea Isolate (non-GMO); starting at $5 per pound

Shake up a gluten-free protein smoothie with True Protein's Gemma Protein Pea Isolate. Featuring vegetable-based protein from peas, this tasty protein powder is low-allergenic, vegan-friendly and gluten-free. At 104 calories and 25 grams of protein per serving, this pre- and post-workout drink mix is available in dozens of flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, coconut and a variety of fruits. You can even customize your protein shake with your choice of sweetener and supplements. Sold in one-pound increments.

6Recoverite Recovery Drink; starting at $3 per serving

Though water is the best option for the recreational or occasional exerciser, a gluten-free exercise recovery drink may be a better choice for a hard-core athlete, particularly after grueling workouts. Hammer Nutrition's Recoverite, available in three flavors, is formulated with the amino acid glutamine (key in muscle health), a 3:1 ratio of complex carbohydrates and whey protein isolate, antioxidants and electrolytes. Drinking Recoverite can also boost your immune system, reduce the symptoms of overtraining, and enhance glycogen synthesis for faster recovery. For optimal results, drink soon after your workout is over.

More tips for living gluten-free

How to convert a recipe to gluten-free
Gluten-free BBQ recipes
New gluten-free foods for 2011