With spring among us, and the weather warming up (hopefully), we're sure your walking will become a lot more frequent!
Food for the trail is one of the most important factors, but it can be the most confusing. What snacks to pack that will last, aren't too heavy and will give you the energy boost you need? Here are 10 of our favourites:
Chocolate – packed with high energy due to the amount of sugar, you can beat fatigue with a chocolate bar. Cacao contains caffeine and the fat in cocoa butter becomes burnable fuel when active. In summer, opt for chocolate sultanas as they are less likely to melt. Melt a bar of chocolate for a cup of hot coco in winter to keep you feeling fuzzy inside.
Fruit – for daywalks strawberries, pineapple and paw paw pack a punch, but apples provide energy that will stick around longer than most other fruits. Oranges provide a lot of energy and vitamin C and are refreshing on summer hikes. Bananas are full of magnesium and potassium that serve as a muscle and nerve relaxant and would better at the end of the day. On overnight hikes, we recommend dehydrated fruits.
Dried Fruit – dried fruit is an excellent energy space saver. Containing lots of good vitamins and calories to keep you moving, this is a must have. You can dry your own fruit to save yourself from chemicals and added sugars but just remember, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Jelly Beans – Jellied Beans are quick energy boosters to nibble on. They also are meltproof, which makes them perfect for whatever the weather. Hard lollies are good to suck along the trail, as they stimulate your saliva reflex and take your mind off the hard work you're doing. Sugar gets released quickly, fuelling your skeletal muscles and keeping your brain alert.
Trail Mix – The ideal lightweight snack that can be easily stored in your pocket. It's packed full of healthy nutrients and delicious. Our favourite combination is dried apricots, almond, pistachios, sultanas, pepitas and chocolate bullets. They can be bought pre-mixed or you can put your own spin on it by adding yoghurt covered raisins, chocolate bullets, soy crisps or salted nuts.
Bars – mixed with cereal, muesli bars are a great source of carbohydrates and containing plenty of energy and protein. They're also great for muscle repair, and fit nicely in your pocket! Bars help to regulate blood sugar, refuel glycogen and fights fatigue.
Energy gels – the quickest surge of energy you're likely to experience. Energy gels are packed with a high concentration of carbohydrates in a semi-liquid form and boost energy faster than anything else.
Jerky – trimmed of fat, cut and dried, it's easy to store and perfect to take camping or hiking. It's full of energy, with 9 grams of protein per ounce. It also contains iron, vitamin B12 for healthy red blood cells and comes in a variety of meats e.g. beef, lamb and pork.
Grains – grains are a good source of carbohydrates, which makes breads and crackers great on your your hikes. They're easily storable in zip-lock bags and don't take up much space. Add tuna to crackers for some extra taste and protein.
Dates – dates are natures lollies. They have a large percentage of glucose, which the body can quickly transform into energy. This pint-sized treat is super easy to pack in your bag or pocket, a delicious addition to your hike. Containing fibre, potassium and copper minerals – what are you waiting for?
We hope this has given you some inspiration for your next walks. With so many to choose from, we're sure you'll be well nourished.
Happy Hiking, Bushwalkers!
Source: National Parks & Wildlife Services NSW.