Should You Pack Energy Bars for Outdoor Adventures?

There was a time when GORP and a bottle of water were all outdoor enthusiasts needed to maintain their energy levels between meals.  That may still be the case for many, but there has been a revolution in the sports world and popping gel packs and guzzling electrolyte supplements is a new norm. 

While I tend to rely on my old standbys, I have taken to adding a few energy bars and gel packs to my emergency rations.  Nothing replaces whole food, but if a sudden storm hits or an emergency occurs and you need a sudden boost of energy, these long-lasting little packages offer big returns. 

Winter sports take energy

What should you look at when choosing an energy supplement?

  • Read up on protein and carbohydrate amounts.
  • Quick energy gels and sports drinks are usually all carbs with no protein; they get you going fast, but fizzle out fast. 
  • For a quick energy burst that will last, look for bars with protein and carbs. 
  • Try to avoid energy bars that are high in saturated fat, simple sugars, or loaded with caffeine or other stimulants – that is, unless you have the night leg of an adventure relay race!

Three energy bars:

  1. PowerBar –  first on the scene in 1987 and it’s still going strong. Why? Because they work.
  2. Clif Bar – the idea for the all-natural and mostly organic bar started on a bike ride.  After chowing down on other energy bars all day, Gary Erickson decided he could make something better.  In 1992, Clif Bars, named after Gary’s father Clifford, came onto the growing sports bar scene. 
  3. Larabar –  a newer option in energy bar. They are packed with fruit and nuts. That’s it, that’s all. It provides pure power – and tastes good to boot.

Try one, try them all and find your favourite – but don’t forget that GORP and water still go a long way too.

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