Hiking is an incredibly pleasurable activity. At the same time, it is incredibly strenuous. You need to be physically fit to undertake long hikes with a good level of endurance. Of course, for the best performance, you need to focus on your nutrition. This is where protein bars come in.
If you want to get the most out of your hikes, you need to know why you must consume protein bars. You must also learn which protein bar to opt for. You’ll find these details and more below.
Why Consume Protein Bars?
As the name suggests, protein bars offer a wholesome amount of protein. However, do you know why you should eat them? Here’s why.
- Protein: The main reason for consuming protein bars is the protein. Protein helps your body recover from the intense workout that is hiking. After all, proteins are a major component of muscles. As such, you’ll recover from the exhaustion faster.
- Satiety: Hiking takes a lot of out of the body. As such, you are bound to get hungry. However, eating the wrong foods will not only eliminate the health benefits from hiking, it can even be dangerous when out on the trail. Protein bars eliminate this issue by filling you up healthily. They reduce your appetite and the proteins also increase satiety.
- Space: When you are out on the trail, you simply cannot more than you can carry. In other words, you must make the most out of the limited space in your bags. This makes protein bars all the more beneficial. Although small, these bars pack a punch. They contain a range of nutrients and fill you up. As such, they make the perfect snacks to munch on while hiking. One will be enough to keep you going for hours.
Choosing a Protein Bar
Before you go off and buy some protein bars for your next hike, there are a few things to keep in mind with respect to the ingredients.
Protein: Of course, it goes without saying but protein bars should certainly offer you a high amount of proteins. However, check the source of proteins. Whey proteins are the best option. If you prefer vegan, then pea proteins are a better choice.
Carbs: Generally speaking, you will need enough carbs to keep you going during the trail. However, it should not be too much or it will affect your performance.
Fiber: It is a good idea to choose protein bars with significant fiber content such as 3 grams per serving or more. Extra fiber will keep you fuller for long and decrease your appetite while hiking.
Sugar: Check the type of sugar used in the protein bar. High fructose or sucrose types of sugars must always be avoided. You should also avoid bars containing sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and xylitol. They can have a laxative effect and can cause bloating.
Fats: Always opt for protein bars that have zero trans fats. The amount of saturated fats should be low as well.
The Best Protein Bars
There are several kinds of protein bars available in the market. Hwoever, not all of them are meant for hikers. After all, hikers will be consuming these bars during their activity. Protein bars that are meant for consumption before or after workouts are not a good choice. Keep this point in mind; here are some of the best options in the market.
KIND Bars Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt
This is easily one of the best options in the market, combining great nutritive value and taste. It provides 200 calories to keep you pumped for an hour and more. Among the ingredients, you will find dark chocolate, honey, mixed nuts and glucose syrup.
Larabar Gluten Free Energy Bar
For those with gluten sensitivity, this protein bar is sure to be a hit. Moreover, it is free from diary and even soy. Larabar even went the extra step to avoid GMO ingredients. The simple recipe makes this all the more nutritious.
CLIF Bar Chocolate Chip Energy Bars
It is not easy to create a protein bar with chocolate chips and low sugar content. However, this bar manages that perfectly by sourcing most of its calories from various dried fruits. No artificial sweeteners are used. The bar also offers organic ingredients and a good variety of vitamins and essential nutrients.
Vega Sport Protein Bar
If you are looking for a protein bar that offers only plant-based protein, this can be a good option. Some of the sources include pea, alfalfa and whole grain brown rice. They are perfect for those long hikes.
LUNA Energy Bar
This is another gluten-free option to try out when hiking. It is also chocolate-flavored but does not contain any artificial flavors or fructose. It is suitable for vegans as well. The sizeable bars are likely to keep you satiated for longer as well.
There is no easy way to find the best protein bar for your hikes. You may need to try a few before you find the right one. However, always ensure that you check the ingredients before purchase.