Fuel Up for Summer Outdoor Activities
Whether you find yourself hiking, bike riding, swimming, or playing sports this summer, one thing is for certain: any outdoor activity will require fueling up with healthy snacks! Aiming for snacks that are both filling and functional will provide you with the boost of energy you need to power through your outdoor adventures, while staying satisfied until your next meal. Below are some important tips and snack ideas to keep in mind, when choosing healthy snacks for your favorite outdoor activities this summer.
As outdoor temperatures rise, it is easy for hydration levels to quickly fall. In addition to packing plenty of water, electrolyte-containing beverages, or other thirst-quenching drink options, don’t forget to pack snacks that will contribute to your overall hydration status. Many fruits and vegetables are primarily made up of water and can help keep you hydrated, especially if you find yourself losing water through heavy sweating. Some quick and easy snack examples that will help keep you hydrated include:
- Fresh watermelon or strawberries
- Frozen grapes
- Sliced cucumber
- Mini sweet peppers
- Chopped celery stalks
Pack Plenty of Carbs
When it comes to moderate-to-high intensity outdoor activities, carbohydrates will not only come in handy, but will be super important to provide a boost of energy and prevent fatigue or lightheadedness caused by low blood sugars. For our body to perform optimally during periods of continuous energy expenditure, it is highly recommended to include a source of carbohydrates both before, after, and even during the activity, as needed. Fueling your body with a sufficient amount of carbohydrates is key – aim for at least 15-30 grams of carbohydrates (1-2 servings) both before and after your outdoor activities.
Diversify your Food Groups
Now that you understand the basics of some important components your snack should include – let’s discuss how exactly to build a delicious snack that will keep you feeling both satisfied and energized. The first step is to choose a snack that contains more than one food group; this will help diversify the macronutrients included in the snack. For example, pairing together a carbohydrate source with a protein/fat source as follows:
- Sliced apples + almond butter
- Whole-grain crackers + hard-boiled egg
- Popcorn + low-sodium deli turkey roll-ups
- Cherry tomatoes + low-fat spreadable cheese
Another quick and easy option is to choose a snack that already contains multiple food groups and macronutrients within it, such as a protein bar. This is perfect for the person who wants a grab-and-go option without having to focus on pairing food groups together.
One of the best examples of this combination are NuGo Egg White Protein Bars. Not only do these delicious bars contain whole food ingredients in multiple food groups and all three macronutrients, but they do not contain added sugars and are certified gluten free, kosher, and non-GMO. Additionally, all four flavors are between 180-200 calories with 13 grams of high-quality egg white protein, so they provide just enough fuel to power you through your activities, without leaving you feeling stuffed or bloated afterwards.
Overall, choosing hydrating, carbohydrate-rich, snacks that contain varied nutrients is the key to fueling up properly with plenty of energy for your outdoor activities this summer. If you will be participating in strenuous activities for a long duration, such as a 5 mile hike or 25 mile bike ride, don’t forget to pack multiple snacks for your stops along the way! Happy Fueling!