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This is Why Refueling Throughout the Day is Better

fueling your body for performance hikning

You’ve finally made it to the trail. After a busy morning of packing, preparing a big breakfast, and traveling up to Colorado’s Four Pass Loop, you’ve found yourself eager to begin your family’s latest hiking adventure.

You know the day will be tough, but you can’t wait to experience the Maroon Bells wilderness for yourself. With numerous waterfalls, impressive mountain lakes, and fields of wildflowers, you know it’s going to be a trip well worth the challenge.

But there’s a problem. How do you squeeze out the best performance possible so that you can feel incredible with energy to spare? It’s a long journey, and you know you’re gonna need the right food.

So how do you do it?

keep your energy levels highKeep Your Energy Stores Primed

Think of your energy-producing body as a fire. You can add a lot of fuel at once, making the fire burn super hot, but then it’ll die down quickly as the fuel is depleted. Or, you can feed it a log or two at a time, making the fire hum consistently with strength and energy.

The same is true with how you fuel your body. Keep your fire burning at a consistent rate to be sure that you’ll have enough energy for a big hike or adventure.

Glycogen is your body’s stored energy, but it doesn’t last forever. According to sports medicine expert Elizabeth Quinn, glycogen can get used up in as little as 30 minutes. You’ll need more than that for most outdoor adventures.

And as we’ve mentioned before, refilling that tank of energy depends upon consumption. The sooner and more often you refuel, the faster you’ll regain the energy that’s been lost.

Fueling Through Small Breaks is the Way to Go

Fueling throughout the day is the best way to keep you moving and maximize your performance. That way, energy will be readily available as you go and can be burned once it’s needed.

Thus, it’s incredibly important to choose the right foods to snack on that will provide you with the constant flow of energy necessary for ongoing physical activity.

But how do you know what to bring with you?

high energy fuel for the trailYour Day Food May Be More Important Than Your Dehydrated Dinner

It’s important to bring adequate food with you out on the trail.

As we’ve mentioned before, a large portion of your calories should come from carbohydrates since these convert more quickly into readily available energy. The sooner and more often you refuel, the faster you’ll recover and regain the energy that’s been lost.

And, as noted by Sally Hara, a board certified specialist in sports dietetics and owner of ProActive Nutrition, carrying high energy/high carbohydrate snacks and sport supplements that you can eat along the trail is essential. Foods like energy bars, dried fruit, and mixed nuts can all work to keep you adequately fueled between formal stops and are relatively convenient to eat as you hike.

While you’ll definitely need to consume some fats, (which contain a lot of calories per ounce of food) Hara also mentions that it’s advisable to steer clear from foods with high amounts of fat while hiking, since they are difficult to digest and take longer for the body to process. These foods should be consumed during formal breaks like breakfast and dinner and not while you’re out and about.

Clearly, snack foods are essential. Not only do they provide the energy necessary for ongoing activity, they also serve to make the whole process much easier and worry-free.

But, What If I Prefer a Longer Lunch Break?

If you’re like us, you go on adventures because you want to have fun. So, it’s important to do what you enjoy. If you decide you’d rather have a longer sit-down lunch, then go for it. Just follow these tips:

  • Choose foods you don’t have to cook. Otherwise, you have to break out the camp stove, carry extra water for boiling, and deal with a clean-up effort after you eat (not fun).
  • Make the lunch a little smaller than you would normally eat so you don’t direct too much of your body’s energy to digestion. Supplement that with a few smaller breaks with good energy food to keep your energy levels high.
  • Opt for “shelf stable” foods that don’t need refrigeration. Or, store the food along with some freezer packs. Most sandwiches can last unless it’s really hot, but be careful of ingredients that are likely to spoil, such as mayonnaise.

Trailfoody’s Goal

Our aim is to get you out on the trail much faster, without any hassle, and with the best food for the job.

We’re dedicated to bringing you new, healthy trailfoods each month that are packed with nutrition. And while they can be eaten separately as snacks throughout the day, our trailfood is hand-picked so that they can go together as a meal if you choose to eat them in one sitting!

Learn more here about how you can sign up for Trailfoody today.

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Trailfood Review: Health Warrior Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Bar

Looking for a rich and tasty treat that’ll keep you on the move? Try Health Warrior’s Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed bar!

This delectable energy bar is packed with both flavor and nutrition. The dark chocolate and organic wildflower honey blends perfectly with the pumpkin seeds to create a rich and crunchy goodness that’s truly irresistible.

And while splendidly crunchy, the dark chocolate adds just the right amount of soft chewiness to the mix.

Nutrition-wise, this bar provides 2g of fiber, 8g of protein, 13g of fat, 6g of sugar, 15% iron, and 35% magnesium. Oh, and it’s completely non-GMO and gluten, dairy, and soy free!

Each of Health Warrior’s bars are made with you in mind: they all contain a superfood as a main ingredient. This particular bar features pumpkin seeds, a plant-based superfood that’s one of the best natural sources of protein on the planet!

If you’re a lover of dark chocolate, you’ve gotta try this bar. It’ls crunchy sweetness will surely hit the spot.

Health Warrior’s Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed bar is featured in the August 2017 Trailfoody.

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Trailfood Review: Allgood Organic Trail Mix

Calling all trail mix lovers!

Are you looking for a trail mix that differs from the pack? If so, you’ve gotta try Allgood’s Organic Trail Mix. It’s a tasty blend of fruits and nuts that’ll leave you craving more!

Allgood’s unique mix features organic raisins, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, goji berries, cranberries, and mulberries. It isn’t filled with the traditional peanuts and bits of chocolate that can be found in many trail mixes.

This particular combination of berries and nuts provides the perfect balance between sweet and salty. We especially liked how the saltiness of the pumpkin seeds so perfectly offset the sweetness of the cranberries and mulberries, making this mix truly pop with flavor!

Just be sure to save some of that goodness for later. We ate ours far too quickly.

It’s Allgood

Every one of Allgood’s products are certified organic and free from harmful pesticides, growth hormones, and synthetic fertilizers. They each go through a rigorous certification process in accordance to the standards put forth by the USDA and the National Organic Program.  

They also contain rich vitamins and minerals that are important to a healthy diet. This particular trail mix contains 15% Vitamin A, 6% Vitamin C, 4% Calcium, and 8% Iron. And it only has 140 calories and 6g of total fat!

What’s more, Allgood is committed to protecting the earth. They are continually looking for ways to reduce their ecological footprint and operate in an earth-friendly manner, and we think that’s pretty awesome.

Allgood’s Organic Trail Mix was selected to be a part of the August 2017 Trailfoody.

Here’s what our tasters had to say:

“The berries really put the pep in your step while the pumpkin seeds, almonds, and walnuts give a crunch worth climbing for.”

Grif Steele
World Class Snacker

“With a flavor that’s both salty and sweet, this trail mix teases your taste buds in the best way possible. If only I had some more…”

Britt Foodlove
Berry and Nut Connoisseur

“Yeah, I didn’t get any. It was gone before I could even see it.”

Gracie
Man’s Hungry Friend

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Trailfood Review: Sweetwood’s Hot Beef Jerky

A spice that’s just right.

If you’re looking for some jerky with an added kick, give Sweetwood’s hot flavored beef jerky a try! Take it from us, this delectable cut of beef provides just the right amount of spicy and savory.

Upon biting into this jerky, you immediately notice the chili peppers blended with brown sugar. They work together perfectly to create a unique, heated flavor that grows in intensity with every bite. Even spice lovers will be surprised by the after-kick!

Sweetwood’s jerky is chewy, yet tender. The whole muscle cut, premium beef retains moistness over time and is always grass-fed. What’s more, it’s homemade and entirely natural.

The jerky is also nitrate free, gluten free, has no added MSG, and contains only natural herbs and spices. Now that’s impressive!

Why We Love Sweetwood’s Mission

Based out of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Sweetwood promises to “give you only what [they] would feed [their] own families.” That way, you can be confident that their meat is naturally raised and delicious every time.

We love that Sweetwood stands by this motto and is dedicated to bringing you only the best jerky. We also love that they actively promote American agriculture and the Western way of life. How cool is that?

Sweetwood’s hot flavored beef jerky is featured in the August 2017 Trailfoody.

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Energy Bar Review: Fourpoints Downslope Dark Chocolate Coconut

Four Points Bar Downslope

If you’re a lover of dark chocolate and coconut, you must give this bar a try. Fourpoints’s Downslope Dark Chocolate Coconut bar is quite literally packed with the stuff!

Chewy with a slight crunch, the dark chocolate and dried plums mix well with the raw cashews and almonds to create the perfect texture and taste. And with just a hint of toasted coconut, the dark chocolate truly makes this bar’s rich and chewy goodness pop.

Added bonus: it’s made to stay soft even in cold temperatures, so it’s equally perfect for winter or summer!

Based out of Colorado, Fourpoints stands by its mission to bring you energy bars that are nutritious and delicious. Each of their bars contain raw ingredients that ensure sustained energy and are non-GMO, gluten free, and completely natural.

This particular bar provides 11 grams of protein, 6 grams of dietary fiber, and 31 grams of total carbs, making it a good choice for when you’ve been working hard.

It’s a great bar to snack on when hiking, backpacking, and bike riding!

Fourpoints’s Downslope Dark Chocolate Coconut bar is featured in the July 2017 Trailfoody.

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Drink Mix Review: Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Powder

Ultima hydration mix

Looking to mix adventure with some serious flavor? Try Ultima’s new Cherry Pomegranate Electrolyte Powder during your next water break!

With bold hints of cherry, citrus, and pomegranate, this unique mix blends tangy and sweet to create a refreshing flavor that’s worth taking a break for. We simply couldn’t resist stopping for a few sips while out on the trail.

“Most importantly, though, this incredibly clean drink mix contains no high fructose corn syrup!”

Each of Ultima’s mixes contain the perfect blend of all six electrolytes and have zero calories, carbs, or sugars. They’re also non-GMO, gluten free, and contain no artificial flavors or sweeteners.

Most importantly, though, this incredibly clean drink mix contains no high fructose corn syrup! It’s sweetened naturally with Stevia leaf instead of sugar.

On the Go Hydration

Simply add one packet to 16 fluid ounces of water depending on your taste preference, shake well, and enjoy! We were impressed with how quickly Ultima’s mix dissolved, providing a flavorful drink that was easy and ready to go!

We recommend trying your first sip today!

Ultima’s Cherry Pomegranate Electrolyte Powder is featured in the July 2017 Trailfoody.

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Trailfood Review: Vega Chocolate Caramel Protein+ Snack Bar

Rich, chewy, and undeniably sweet. That’s what came to mind upon biting into Vega’s Chocolate Caramel Protein+ Snack Bar. The dark chocolate and caramel flavors blend together perfectly to create a bar that’s worth saving for dessert.

But don’t let the sweetness fool you, this bar is packed with nutrition. Containing 11 grams of protein, a mix of veggies and greens, vitamins, 4 grams of fiber, and only 200 calories, we couldn’t believe we were eating something so deliciously rich!

And what’s more, this bar is made entirely with real plant-based food ingredients. It’s also vegan, non-GMO, and completely gluten free.

However, when it comes down to it, the chewy goodness is what’s really important, right?

Well, this bar seems to melt into your mouth with every bite. The dark chocolate gives a softer, more refined texture while the almonds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds create a subtle chew that’s entirely satisfying.

Trust us, you’re gonna have to try it!

Vega’s Chocolate Caramel Protein+ Snack Bar is featured in the July 2017 Trailfoody.

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This is How to Recharge for Your Next Adventure

how to recharge after hike

You’ve just finished your five and a half mile run around town, and you’re feeling great. Tomorrow, you’ll be heading out with some friends to hike a lengthy portion of the Appalachian Trail up to McAfee Knob, but how can you make sure you’ll have enough pep in your step to get you to the top? 

Loading Up on Carbs

Carbohydrates are the key.

According to the second edition of Conditioning for Outdoor Fitness: Functional Exercise and Nutrition for Every Body, the replacement of body glycogen stores is important if you have been involved in intense exercise lasting for more than an hour or if you have been engaging in endurance activities that often last for more than a few hours.

Glycogen replacement can be quickly achieved if extra carbohydrates are consumed as soon as possible after exercising. This will ensure a quick recovery, especially if you avoid significant activity for at least eight hours following said exercise.

The sooner you refuel, the faster you’ll recover. Thus, eating within 30 minutes of exercising is ideal. And, as is noted in one of our previous blogs, you’ll want to refuel with at least 15 grams of carbs.

However, you can also continue to replenish glycogen during endurance and outdoor activities such as hiking and backpacking by eating snacks and meals with a moderate to high glycemic index after a  workout.

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Will you like Trailfoody? Find out by getting a Trailfoody Taste, which includes 3 sample trailfoods, plus the Trailfoody stuff sack. It’s valued at over $13.

How Trailfoody Can Help

Trailfoody can help when it comes to recharging for your next adventure. We provide new, healthy trailfoods each month that are packed with the carbs necessary for both long- and short-term energy.

The kind of energy that you may need for hiking to McAfee Knob the very next day! 

Learn more here about how you can sign up for Trailfoody today and have yours shipped right to your doorstep.

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Trailfood Review: Mediterra Black Olives & Walnuts Bar

Mediterra Black Olive Walnut bar

Hailing from Greece, Mediterra’s Telemaque Lavidas was inspired by his memories of unique, delicious, and healthy Mediterranean meals shared with family and friends to blend the traditional Mediterranean diet with modern-day, nutritional energy bars.

The result? Savory snacks that give you the gourmet taste of the Mediterranean and the nutrition necessary for the nonstop pace of modern life.

Chewy, delectable, and undeniably savory, the Mediterra bar featuring black olives and walnuts that we tried was different from other energy bars.

The combination of extra virgin olive oil, green pepper, pea crisps, sea salt, and chives provided a chewy yet crispy texture while the black olives and walnuts combined to create a refined, nutty flavor that was uniquely Mediterranean. Blended together, these ingredients equated to a balanced meal, making it perfect for a day’s adventure.

While each of Mediterra’s bars are all-natural, non-GMO, and gluten free, this particular bar came packed with 5 grams of protein and another 5 grams of fiber, providing an excellent source of sustained energy.

This bar is a no-brainer, especially if you’re looking for something different that’s savory instead of sweet. Because of this, it’s the perfect bar for a midday lunch break.

Mediterra’s Black Olives & Walnuts bar is featured in the July 2017 Trailfoody.

“Since it’s a savory bar, it was perfect for my halfway-there lunch break. It was such a refreshing change from the usually sweet energy bars.”

Grif Steele
World Champion Car Rack Loader

“Befitting this month’s Mediterrnean themed Trailfoody, I love how the walnuts and olives impart a satisfying, salty earthiness. It pairs well with the Turkish figs.”

Britt Foodlove
Goat Cheese Goader

“I saw the people tear open the wrapper, but it was gone before I knew it.”

Gracie
Stand Up Doggie Paddler

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Top 5 Essential Foods for Any Outdoor Adventure

Everyone knows that a day’s journey out in the wild requires the proper sustenance to keep you on the move, but many often wonder which food items, exactly, are essential to have on hand.

While choosing the right food is key, it’s also important to have a variety of snack items that can be eaten separately in small amounts to provide you with a constant flow of energy.

So, we’ve put together a list of the top five must-have food items that will work best to fuel your next adventure!

KIND energy bar

1. Energy Bars – Energy bars contain the complex carbs necessary for quick bursts of energy. They work to keep you going and are perfect for recharging your body. When eaten within 30 minutes of finishing a day’s physical activity, these complex carbs even work to restore the energy necessary for the following day’s adventure.

Conundrum Trail Mix

2. Nut Mixes/Trail Mixes – Nut and trail mixes are full of dense energy that usually provide both a little fat and protein, which combine to provide long term, endurance energy.

3. Jerky – Jerky primarily provides protein, which works to repair and build muscle tissue. Since protein is largely for muscle repair, only a small percentage of calories from this source is necessary.

Mestrength electrolyte drink

4. Electrolyte Hydration Mixes – Electrolyte hydration mixes work to replenish the electrical energy necessary for many bodily functions, including muscle contractions. They largely prevent cramping and are meant to optimize performance.

5. Dried Fruit – Dried fruits are high in fiber and contain a significant amount of calories per serving. The fiber works to help your digestive system run smoothly while the calories provide a natural source of quick energy for those who need it.

Having the right variety of trailfoods can mean the difference between feeling energized and drained.

Trailfoody makes it easy to fuel up with the right food for adventures. It’s the 93-octane gas your uncle Jim insisted on putting into his Outback, only, this fuel has some serious foody flare.

Learn more about how you can sign up for Trailfoody and get new trailfoods shipped to your door each month, in a stuff sack, ready to go–making it a cinch to get out there and explore.