Be it Hike, Trek or Cycle, when the going gets tough, the tough get snacking! Let’s face it, when your cycling that super steep incline at the end of a long day or on the verge of tears as you walk around what feels to be the millionth bend, the only thing you’re going to be thinking of is food and how you wish you brought the entire contents of your fridge back home…maybe even your neighbours.
Fear not, however this shall not and will not happen to you thanks to this short guide to some great exercise foods that will be your comfort in your time of need. Here are some of my top light, satisfying and more importantly portable snacks for the road, inspired in part by my own dad, a seasoned hill-walker and a fountain of knowledge when it comes to all things outdoors.
Read our top 5 food tips for hikers:
- Apples & Bananas…single-handedly one of the greatest energy providers. Bananas especially are high in potassium, great for staving off cramps which are going to keep you and your legs happy. A quick guideline for bananas, the riper the better for that quick energy fix, the unripe the better to maintain that full feeling. Both fruits thankfully are readily available no matter what the season, so have that apple and banana a day to keep that hunger at bay, just remember to bring the skin with you.
- Nuts & Seeds- Thanks to their mix of good fats and protein, nuts are a slow-burning food and provide sustained energy. Great for going that extra mile and easy to carry with you. Throw in some dried fruit to provide a touch of sweetness if desired. Just a small handful is best as in all worldly things moderation is key.
- Glucose Barley Sweets- Now this one is all my dad. These traditional hard boiled ‘sucky’ sweets, are sure to put a smile on your face, as you face that gruelling climb. Individually wrapped and perfect for sharing, popping one of these drops of heaven will make the road ahead easier and is bound to make you a few friends along the way.
- Considering all things sweet, it would be crazy not to mention chocolate. In a world where ‘energy balls’ are becoming the next food fix frenzy, you can’t deny the simple fact that a bar of chocolate in your backpack will take you miles. Funnily enough back in my early days, when I used to be out walking with dad, the promise that there would be a ‘shop’ on top of the mountain with the prospect of chocolate would be a great motivator. I have climbed a lot of mountains now, and yet I have never seen one with a shop on top. That rewarding feeling hasn’t changed much though and must be testament to the immense motivating force of chocolate. Word of warning though, it may result in fond memories and the road ahead being that little bit shorter. =)
- Dioralyte- Not food, but worth mentioning all the same. Nobody survives without water and when you’re out in the wilds you won’t either. Factors like the intensity of your activity and the heat of the day all play a part in how much extra water you will need. When you lose water, your losing energy and your performance will decline accordingly. Continue to drink as much water as you can, but by adding a sachet of Dioralyte, (easily found in many pharmacies), containing re-hydration salts which help replace the salts and important electrolytes lost from your body through perspiration.
I hope you enjoyed this candid tit-bit of energy food advice which is sure to keep you going to the other side of that elusive hill. From me, Seán and all of us here at TrekkingBug.com, we hope to see you on that walk/cycle/trek of a lifetime soon. For more information on any of our walking or cycling holidays in Ireland or abroad, please contact one of our Travel Specialists.