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Defend Against Dehydration on Your Winter Adventures

Drip Drop, the maker of an oral rehydration system that’s been shown to be as effective as an IV, writes this guest blog post about winter dehydration and what you can do about it. Drip Drop’s Berry hydration mix was featured in the November 2017 Trailfoody.

As you trade tank tops for fleeces, one outdoor accessory you need to keep handy is your water bottle. This is very much a year-round essential. It may seem that with the sweaty, humid days of summer behind us, we can relax on the hydration front. Not true.

In fact, winter weather creates its own conditions for dehydration.

Problem #1 – You don’t feel as thirsty in winter. Some studies put it at 40% less thirsty. Why? Cold weather affects your body chemistry. The body pulls its fluids from extremities (hence chilly fingers and toes) to your core. This is a good thing when it comes to keeping your vital organs warm. But leads to increased urine output. And that, friends, leads to dehydration.

Problem #2 – We tend not to notice our sweat in cold weather. Sounds like a plus, but in fact, it can cause us to underestimate how much fluid we’re losing. Dry air means sweat evaporates quickly. More clothing means we often sweat more.

Problem #3 –  We’re exhaling precious hydrating fluids with every breath. When you can see your breath in cold weather, you’re actually seeing water vapor evaporating before your eyes.

The upshot? This winter…

  • Don’t rely on your body to tell you it’s thirsty. Be proactive.
  • Dress in layers, so you can peel them off as you warm up. This will avoid excess sweating.
  • The golden rule of dehydration applies year-round: avoid alcohol and caffeine. As diuretics, they increase urine flow and sap our bodies of essential fluids.
  • The most obvious and important thing to do is HYDRATE.

How DripDrop can help.

DripDrop is an oral rehydration solution in powder form that’s mixed with water. Compared to sports drinks, DripDrop hydrates longer, absorbs faster and contains half the sugar. In fact, DripDrop is as effective as an IV*.  As you head outdoors this winter, pack right by including DripDrop’s electrolyte powder sticks. They taste great, they’re easily packable and most importantly, they work.

DripDrop’s berry flavored powder stick is part of the November 2017 Trailfoody.

*2003 clinical study shows no difference in efficacy between ORS and IV

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Energy Bar Review: BGood’s Peanut Ginger

BGood bar

They say that good things come in small packages, and that’s certainly true of BGood’s Peanut Ginger energy bar.

BGood calls it an “artisan chocolate energy bar,” foreshadowing the creative medley of flavors that is more fitting of a chocolatier’s fine truffle rather than an energy bar.

First, there’s a wave of bitter-sweetness from the dark chocolate, which coats the bottom of the bar, thus hitting your palate first. It seems to be a higher quality chocolate than we normally see–it’s Guittard fair trade Dark Chocolate–and, it has a nice firm texture to it.

10% Discount on These Bars from BGood

Order from BGoodBars.com, and use coupon code GOOUTSIDE for 10% off at checkout.

There’s a wholesome and satisfying feel to the nut butter filling, starring the organic peanuts, but also includes cashews, gluten-free rolled oats, honey, and organic flax seed meal. While small in size, you can really feel this bar sticking to your ribs.

Without being overpowering, the organic ginger elevates the complexity of the flavor with a fresh little zing. The sesame seeds on top are also a nice touch. It adds to the presentation, reinforcing the artisan nature of this bar, plus it imparts a nice texture.

This tiny bar surprisingly packs 240 calories, perfect if you’re focused on calorie-dense foods.

This bar has been a favorite of Trailfoody customers, which is why we’ve included it again, this time in the November Trailfoody.

Here’s What Our Tasters Had to Say

“I like to save this treat for when I reach the summit. The amount of energy packed into this compact bar amazed me.”

Grif Steele
Glissade Racer

“It’s like a piece of art. First, the dark chocolate liquor. Then, the peanut butter and a dash of honey combine, ending with a subtle zing of ginger.”

Britt Foodlove
Cheesecake Whisperer

“Britt dropped some on the ground, but Grif beat me to it.”

Gracie
Iditarod Fan

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The Adventurous Vegetarian – How to Get all Your Macros in the Outdoors

Nicholas Napier from Bhu Foods writes this guest blog post filled with great advice for trail-hungry vegetarians. Bhu’s vegan Apple Chunk Cinnamon Nutmeg protein bar is featured in the November Trailfoody. 

Hiking is a phenomenal way to safely enjoy the outdoors. But if you’re hiking for more than a couple of hours, then how you’re going to sustain yourself becomes a major concern. Obviously bringing your best water bottle is vital, but what about the carbs, protein, and fats that provide the energy you need to make it home? Explore how vegetarians handle this dilemma and how a plant-based diet can keep you well-fed, even during an adventure in the outdoors.

Macronutrients – A Brief Overview

Put simply, macronutrients are the three main groups of nutrients that the body needs to function. Often referred to as macros, these three categories are fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Luckily, the foods of a plant-based diet supply all of these crucial macros and there are even a lot of options you can take into the outdoors.

Examples of Vegetarian Foods with Each Macronutrient

To help you understand how each macro benefits you as a vegetarian, some excellent examples of plant-based foods that provide plenty of protein, carbs, and fat are detailed below.

Vegetarian Protein Sources
Soy products such as tempeh and tofu provide high levels of protein. Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of protein as well, as are certain veggies. For example, peas have 8g of protein per cup, and pea protein is often used in vegan energy bars and protein powders.

Vegetarian Fat Sources
Since vegetarians don’t ingest meat, there is virtually no saturated fat on a plant-based diet – which is good. But it’s still necessary to get the essential fats, and for that purpose, avocado, beans, lentils, coconut, flax seeds, and walnuts are all excellent choices.

Vegetarian Carb Sources
Many of the most popular fruits and veggies on the vegetarian diet are packed with carbohydrates, especially starchy ones like potatoes. While bread is packed with carbs, fruits like bananas and pears and veggies like sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts offer more nutritious advantages.  

Concerns for Packing for the Outdoors

While there are a wide range of food choices for accomplishing whatever you want on a vegetarian diet, venturing into the outdoors comes with it’s own set of concerns.

Starting with the most obvious, you’ll have to carry whatever food you bring with you, so maybe that bag of giant coconuts isn’t a great plan for your hiking trip.

Portability and freshness are also factors in choosing the foods you bring on your hiking trip. While some foods like apples and oranges, are easy to throw in your bag and eat whenever you’re ready, foods that are more high-maintenance should be left in your pantry.

Finally, you’re going to want foods that don’t just claim to have a high nutrient content, but actually have the nutrients to sustain you for a grueling hike. This means being mindful that the packaged bars and snacks you bring aren’t just loaded with sugar. Sugar will make you crash hard, and that’s the last thing you need when you’re hiking in the outdoors.

List of Smart Vegetarian Choices to Bring on a Hike

With your hike planned and backpack sitting on the kitchen counter, empty and open, what exactly will you put in there? Remembering the importance of portable, nutritious foods that are low in sugar will make your packing experience easier. Here’s a list of some excellent choices:

  • Any type of nuts due to excellent protein and portability
  • Apples due to their carbs and fiber.
  • Bananas are great to bring because they’re loaded with carbs and potassium.
  • Seeds like pumpkin or sunflower are excellent options with high protein content
  • Small tupperware containers with your favorite berries can be a great snack
  • Baby carrots are excellent – they’re durable and scrub your teeth with each bite
  • Sweet potatoes are a superfood with tons of benefits – consider preparing one
  • Low sugar protein bars, protein cookies, and packaged snacks can work well.

Conquering the Outdoors as a Fully-Prepared Vegetarian

Now that your bag is packed with foods that will provide the energy you need for your hike, there’s no stopping you. Getting macros on a plant-based diet is easy and it can even be done during a day-long hiking trip – it’s just a matter of knowing which foods pack the most nutrients. Whether you leave with your favorite packaged bars or with several of your favorite fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds, embark on your journey with confidence that your vegetarian diet will keep you energized.

Helping Vegetarians Thrive in ANY Environment

Whether on a hike or while cooking for a date night, there is a perfect food for every occasion. By constantly improving your palette and experimenting with different plant-based cuisine, you can be prepared for whatever opportunity comes your way. Value based companies like Bhu Foods and Trailfoody do more than provide a valuable product or service for vegetarians – They promote kind treatment for all life forms and encourage clean, healthy eating. 

Trailfoody offers vegetarian and gluten-free options.

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Foods with Benefits

energy bars by BOSS

Photo Credit:  Dominique Lemaitre

Seeing food as an ally may be a new concept, but B.O.S.S. Food Company is pioneering the idea of functional-meets-flavor in the energy bar category. B.O.S.S. founder Andrea Spirov writes this guest blog post about how this smart concept came about.

What can this do for me? Aside from filling you up or feeding an emotional need, food isn’t often thought of as a doer. In my world, however, pretty much everything I eat has purpose. I’ve learned that what you put in your body makes a huge difference to your overall health, and in my case, changing my diet and lifestyle had incredible transformative benefits.

I had never thought of myself as a person with health problems. After a year of non-stop traveling, however, my feelings of wellness deteriorated quickly.

Part of my mission was to get pregnant. I cleaned up everything about my diet and lifestyle. While doctors were telling me that I would need IVF or donor eggs, I was convinced that my problem was all the bad (for me) food I was eating.

You know what? I was right.

A change to the type of vitamins I was taking alone gave me immediate improvements. I became obsessed, reading everything I could about genetics and nutrigenomics.

ingredients

Ingredients with a Mission

As I researched ingredients and began thinking more and more about my own food experiences, I developed my own idea that could be a business all on its own. I played around in the kitchen for an entire summer and, true to my ethos of clean eating, came up with a few different food bars.

But instead of creating the recipes by what tasted good, I pulled the ingredients together based on their beneficial properties. And guess what? The things nature made to do certain things usually taste really good together!

What do I mean by beneficial?

Superfoods Pack a Big Punch

Everyone’s talking about superfoods these days. And for good reason. A superfood is one that is extra nutrient dense. You are getting not only a filling and tasty morsel, but also a food with a large concentration of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in a small package.

energy bar with ingredientsIn our bars, every ingredient is a superfood. I also sought out the superfoods that provide the maximum amount of these nutrients, even if that meant that our bars were going to cost a little more. Today, we use ingredients you won’t find in any other bar.

Free of Refined Sugar

And our ingredients are completely refined sugar free…meaning that they have natural fruit sugar, but no sugared fruit. We don’t buy any fruit that is “apple juice infused” or “organic cane sugar sweetened.” We also don’t use sub-par sweeteners like brown rice syrup or agave nectar. Everything is designed to be low glycemic, tasty and to give you a benefit. Otherwise, there is no reason for it to be in there.

A Bar Designed to Help You MOVE

aronia berries on bushTake the ingredients in our MOVE bar, for example. MOVE contains organic Aronia berries, which have the highest antioxidant levels of any berries out there. They have been studied for helping with post-workout inflammation. The Macadamia nuts in MOVE have a good ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids, and the hemp seeds are an awesome plant-based source of protein that contain all nine of the essential amino acids.

Each of our bars pulls together ingredients with known and studied beneficial properties such as these, so each one has its own little nutritional focus. That’s how the names came about – bars designed for your day, to help you MOVE, THINK, SMILE, RESTORE and DAZZLE.

B.O.S.S.’s MOVE bar was featured in the November 2017 Trailfoody.

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Five Things You Didn’t Know About Hydration

electrolytes hydration

We asked the good folks at nuun to write this guest blog post so we can all get up to speed on hydration. 

by vishal patel, chief nutritionist at nuun

at nuun, the benefits of hydration come second nature to us, because every one of us lives an active lifestyle where hydration plays a key role. we try and communicate the importance of hydration regularly, and create great tasting products to suit your various needs. below are some of the fundamentals principles of hydration that are often overlooked.

1. hydration is energy (for your muscles)!

most people look at hydration and think the main purpose to help prevent dehydration, and to replenish electrolyte stores that may be lost via sweat. although both of those are true (recent studies have shown that electrolytes may play greater roles in fluids absorption than sweat replenishment), the fundamental goal of hydration is to delivery oxygen to working muscles. so, try to think about hydration or the fluid you are consuming as helping your muscles breathe, which in turn gives them the energy they need to perform.

nuun electrolytes hydration2. water does not hydrate you.

yes, you read that correctly! while water does fundamentally provide your body with fluid, it does not truly hydrate you. what we’ve learned is that water needs to be in a specific concentration (composing of carbohydrates and electrolytes) to exit the stomach and move into circulation where it can be used by the body. we have also learned that water needs to contain sodium to ensure proper fluid absorption. to make matters even more complicated, your “water” should contain different amounts of carbohydrates and electrolytes before/during/after your hike. that’s why at nuun, we make products for when you’re at rest, during light exercise, and for more endurance-focused days on the trail.

3. proper hydration will help mitigate gastric distress during exercise.

to put it simply, when you are exercising, your body (stomach) is under stress. and there are ways you can eat and drink to mitigate that stress, or to encourage it. when it comes to hydration, if the ratio of carbohydrates to fluid is too high or the electrolyte profile is too low, the delivery of fluid slows down, and sits in the stomach. that’s what causes sloshing, and gi issues. we’ve designed nuun performance to aid your body when it is under the most amount of stress – during endurance exercise.

nuun lemon lime electrolytes hydration4. hydration will help you fuel better.

this builds on the previous point. with proper hydration, you can help eliminate the gi issues that can come with it, and allow faster and more efficient fueling. this is achieved by not overloading your system, and using multiple pathways to absorb fluids and carbohydrates.

5. hydration aids in recovery.

one area that is very crucial to the recovery process is rehydrating. rehydrating not only replenishes fluids lost during hiking, but it also helps replenish the electrolytes that were lost (to a certain extent). however, it’s not as easy as downing a bunch of nuun after a long trek. in fact, drinking too much too fast can degrade the potential gains of the workout. here’s why – over time your body has developed a strong immune system that helps repair itself when it is under the stresses of exercise. therefore, naturally you want your body to begin repairing itself, and slowly rehydrate, continuing to hydrate throughout the day.

We were stoked to work with nuun to include one of their Lemon + Lime 10-pack electrolyte tubes in the October Trailfoody. Just pop the cap, drop in one of the tablets, and your drink fizzes to life. Cool!

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This BBQ Spare Rib Jerky Isn’t What You’d Think

Lawless hand crafted beef jerky BBQ spare rib

When you first hear about Lawless Jerky’s BBQ Spare Rib pork jerky, your mind probably jumps to an American-style backyard BBQ sauce. But, in keeping with Lawless’ bolder and more creative style, this flavor is based on the classic Szechuan barbeque spare rib.

Before we get to the flavor (and there’s plenty of flavor), the first thing we noticed when we tore open the bag was how easy the tab came off, leaving a clean line at the edge of the re-sealable pouch. This makes it easy to get into the bag if you’re wearing thin gloves on a cool-weather hike, for example. Now, this is just a small thing, but details matter. In this case, it’s a subtle hint at the attention to detail and quality that Lawless gives.

Now, let’s talk about the jerky.

bbq spare rib jerkyUpon taking a bite, the first thing we noticed was the tanginess. There’s a hint of tomato flavor, and a bit of acid provided by the apple cider vinegar. Then, you notice a little sweetness. Finally, you experience the robustness of the savory pork and tamari (gluten-free soy sauce). Pulling it all together, there’s a chorus of traditional Chinese spices, including garlic, ginger, cinnamon, chili pepper, and star anise.

You’re left with a satisfying aftertaste of tanginess with just a hint of heat.

In terms of texture, this jerky hits it right in the middle, with a just-right mouthfeel that’s not too tough, not too soft. With pork that’s cut super thin and against the grain, it’s a cinch to take a bite.

The quality of the pork is top-notch, too. Raised without antibiotics or hormones, the pork is all-natural.

The best part? There’s no sticky barbeque sauce left on your fingers!

Lawless Jerky’s BBQ Spare Rib was featured in the September 2017 Trailfoody.

Here’s a Great Discount on Lawless Jerky

Get a 20% discount at Lawless Jerky when you use code TRAILFOODY.

beef jerky
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This Trail Mix Will Make You Feel Good Inside

Play Hard Give Back trail mix

We really appreciated the vision of Play Hard Give Back, and asked them to write this guest blog post about how they do just that. However, it’s not just their creativity and commitment to helping others that we liked. We also loved their ginger-flavored Fuel and Flow mix and selected it to be part of the September Trailfoody.

Reinventing the Tried and True

Peanuts, raisins, almonds, something sweet, and maybe some cashews if you’re lucky. That’s the classic, tried-and-true trail mix that’s stood the test of time and become a favorite among adventure-seeking millennials. At Play Hard Give Back (PHGB), we took this tried-and-true favorite and reinvented it to create three mixes that have a hint of the past, yet are full of exciting new flavors, such as ginger in our Fuel and Flow mix, coffee beans in our Rise and Shine mix, and peanut butter cups in our KarmaKandy mix. Each one of our mixes has its own unique flavor profile thanks to the innovative minds of our founders who thought outside the box and took a chance on reinventing the classic snack that is trail mix.

Staying True to Our Name

While playing hockey in college, co-founder Spencer Brendel loved to play hard in every way, but was also fascinated with the idea of harnessing the social impact of athletes to do good and give back to those in need. After starting the company and working with athletes such as alpine skier Travis Ganong, Marco Sullivan, Lexi DuPont and Julian Carr, PHGB has stayed true to its roots using our current give back model.

Give Back

Recently we have partnered with No Kid Hungry to create a one for one model where for every bag of trail mix we sell we are able to donate one meal to a hungry child in the USA. Through this partnership, we have set the goal of donating 250,000 meals by the end of 2018.

Athlete Engagement

Partnering with Hope Sports, we take our athletes on two trips per year to Mexico, where we build two homes for those in need. While these trips are incredibly impactful to those who receive a new home, they are also a way for our athletes to step out of their athletic world and feel a sense of purpose through their work. To continue this feeling of purpose for our athletes back home, we will be creating a curriculum that will help them connect to their own community and continue the give back movement.

Keep Adventuring

Next time you head out on the trail, make sure to bring along your Trailfoody bag or head over to our website to grab some PHGB snacks to fuel your adventure and fund social change. You can use the promo code TRAILFOODY to receive 10% off your next order at playhardgiveback.com.

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Crafted to Taste Like a Cookie – JoJé Bar – The First Bar of Its Kind

Joje Chocolate Chip energy bar

Jess Cerra, from Jojé Bar, tells us this intriguing story about how she combined her culinary talent with science smarts to develop the perfect energy bar that tastes like a cookie. The Jojé Bar Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip is featured in the September Trailfoody.

Ever met an athlete or recreational enthusiast who doesn’t like a cookie? Me either!  So why not create a bar that checks all the boxes from a nutritional standpoint, but also tastes like a cookie?  Seems simple enough, but there is quite a story behind the evolution of JoJé bar.

Cycling Creates the Need for the Perfect Bar

Jess Cera CyclingIn grad school, while studying bone health of elite cyclists, I discovered that I myself, the “lab rat,” actually had an overwhelming capacity for cycling.  After finishing my M.S. in Exercise Physiology, there was finally time to start exploring my athletic potential.

So, in 2008 with the help of some awesome mentors, I started racing mountain bikes and XTERRA off-road triathlon.  In 2010, I won the XTERRA Amateur National Championship and started racing professionally.  Eventually, I switched my focus to racing mountain bikes professionally and then to road racing.  From 2015-2016, I raced on the UCI Domestic Continental team Twenty16, and in 2017 for Hagens Berman|Supermint, where I have competed internationally in some of the biggest races in the world, along with all the major US races.

Sports Nutrition Meets Culinary Skill

During this time, I combined my love of racing professionally, with my knowledge of sports nutrition and science and started a small, private chef company.  The primary focus was–and remains–on private, nutrition-conscious, in-home chef services and healthy cooking classes, plus a special niche in triathlon and cycling sports nutritioncamp catering.  I love working one-on-one and riding with my clients.  Additionally, I’m a regular contributor to the “Fuel” section in Triathlete Magazine.

Before I knew it, in my circle, I had become the go-to girl for advice on nutrition and training.  My training buddies and I used to joke about how we wished we could just fuel ourselves with cookies, so I bet them I could come up with something.

The key was putting actual scientific thought into this process because it seemed the market lacked any energy bars that tasted delicious and met our needs from a nutritional standpoint.  Most bars would cause a rush of energy, and then a quick depletion of energy, which couldn’t even be justified by taste because they really weren’t crave worthy.

Real Food is Better for Your Body

My first thoughts were to focus on using real food ingredients.  I knew from personal experience that my body always functioned better on real food.  Packing nuts and dried fruit, almond butter and apple slices, PB&J sandwiches, and baked good were always my favorite snacks.

And this wasn’t just my experience on the bike. I grew up in the mountains of Montana and am no stranger to hiking, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ball sports, you name it. I love being outdoors, and I love good food.

The Science is Key

I was confident in my cookie baking skills, so all I had to do was combine some science into the recipe.  At the time, cutting edge research showed that endurance athletes need more fat in their fuel sources, which makes sense because fat is used for energy when exercising at 70% or less of your max capacity, which is most of the time.  Carbohydrates are still important and needed when we rip up into those intense efforts, and research emphasizes the importance of trying to keep glycogen stores full at the end of a training effort to maximize recovery.  In other words, it’s not a good idea to finish activity feeling bonked.

Research was also making it clear that high protein bars were not great for endurance activity because protein is the one macronutrient digested in the stomach.  Not fun to have all your blood rushing to your stomach while you’re out on an intense hike, trail run, or riding your bike up a mountain.

Finally, I knew a lot of athletes that were choosing to go gluten free to limit gut irritation, and I could sense this would be an important nutrition trend.

The First Bar is Born!

So I took to the kitchen, with a notebook and a pen, and started the process.  To begin, I chose a basic flavor, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip.  I carefully selected real food ingredients such as oats, peanuts, and honey. I needed to teach myself the ins and outs of baking gluten free because there is a learning curve.

I began experimenting by baking pans and pans of bars.  I would write down the total macronutrient contents in each pan, and then change ingredients until I got the ratios I was looking for based off the research.  I also worked hard on the ratio of simple and complex carbohydrates to eliminate the blood sugar highs and lows.

Then the fun part, field-testing began, and I had plenty of eager subjects who pretty much devoured every sample I offered up, even the crumbly ones.   Right off the bat, friends and training buddies were offering to pay me to bake them pans of bars.  And they were telling their friends, who were emailing me orders.  Within a couple of months I was shipping foil wrapped bars all over the country to cookie-starved athletes.

This is the Best Compliment You Can Get

Once I had the base of the recipe nailed down, I wanted to create more flavors, which needed to be superb and unique.  A training buddy suggested white chocolate and coconut, and that is how the White Chocolate Coconut Blondie was born.  There is not another bar out there that even comes close to touching this flavor.  The biggest compliments I’ve ever been given are how people have to hide this flavor from their husbands or wives, or hide it from themselves in their cars, or how they heat it and serve it with ice cream.  When you are getting compliments like this, ON AN ENERGY BAR, you know you’ve nailed it.

The best part, the science in the bars was actually working.  People were raving about how they could eat 6 bars on a 100-mile ride and have no stomach problems, and loved the consistent energy.  Personally, I had an epiphany during a hard road race, when I ate a bar at the base of a 20-mile climb and had my best hilltop finish ever.

joje bar teamFrom Hobby to Business

Then came the major challenge. Everyone wanted to get their mitts on the bars, so I became overwhelmed quite quickly.  To fulfill orders I was working half way through the night.  This is when my dear friend and training buddy, John, suggested that I take it to the next step.  He helped me create a plan to scale up, which started with finding a larger commercial kitchen space.

John and I began working side by side with in the new kitchen space.  He even helped me test and experiment with the next four flavors: Espresso Chocolate Almond, Lemon Blueberry Quinoa, Apple Walnut Cake, and YES Pancakes & Bacon (in fact, all the credit on that flavor dream goes to John).

What had started as a hobby and a passion for cookies became something we could share with everyone, so we founded JoJé bar.  The journey has not been easy but it has been overwhelmingly rewarding.  Racing professionally and running a company is a huge balance, that couldn’t be accomplished without John, who also races on an elite amateur level.

The fact that we both use the bars in our own training and racing speaks volumes about our product.  But, nothing compares to when someone takes a bite of a JoJé bar for the first time, and their face lights up as they smile and exclaim, “This tastes like a cookie!”

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Why You Might Become Dehydrated While on the Trail and the Importance of Proper Hydration

hydrate with electrolytes

You’ve probably heard that hydration can be more important than the food you eat during a challenging day in the outdoors. That’s why we asked Liquid I.V. to write this guest blog post about how to prevent dehydration. We were impressed with their Hydration Multiplier, which is why we included it in the August Trailfoody.

By Liquid I.V.

“Drink more water!” You hear and read about this all the time. And you know you are guilty of not hydrating properly from time to time (most of the time for some of us). Sounds so simple, but it’s honestly tough to be consistent about. It can be hard to remember to hydrate. And let’s face it… drinking plain water gets pretty boring after a while. We are human beings, and we demand excitement and instant gratification!

We force ourselves to drink whatever because we know we need it. Our bodies tell us we need it when we feel thirsty, but as we get older that sensation for thirst fades away. Plus, when given the choice, many of us gravitate to drinking something significantly less healthy and slightly sweeter (think soda, juice or artificial sports drinks).

hydration during trail runningMaintaining proper hydration levels is critical when exploring the great outdoors. A beautiful day can quickly turn into a bad day and hospital visit for an iv drip if you aren’t careful. Maintaining adequate fluid levels and replacing electrolytes serves a wide range of purposes in our bodies such as removing waste through urine; controlling body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure; and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Your body will begin to shut down without water. Symptoms of dehydration include headache, confusion, fatigue, and even loss of consciousness.

Here are a few reasons you might become dehydrated while out on the trail:

Caffeinated soda or coffee. Consuming relatively small amounts of soda or coffee can lead to dehydration. These drinks are considered diuretics that can cause an increase in the excretion of water from the body. Try to keep these to a minimum before going on a long hike or trail run.

Sweat. Sweat is the moisture that comes through your pores as a result of physical exertion, heat or even fever. Getting a good sweat on from your workout is one of the key ingredients to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. An hour long run, bike ride, or hike up your favorite peak can cause your body to lose a great deal of its precious water and vital electrolytes like sodium and potassium. When you sweat, you can put yourself at risk of dehydration if you don’t replace what you’ve lost. A simple rule of thumb is to drink 16 ounces of water for every pound of sweat you lose.

hydration during climbing and trail runningHigh altitude. There are decreased oxygen levels in the atmosphere at high altitude and therefore athletes gravitate to working out there for the benefits of improving their fitness. Your body acclimates instinctively when you go up to high altitude by speeding up breathing and increasing urine output. These are both necessary changes for your body to make in order to adjust to the elevation gain. Going to the bathroom and breathing harder – which forces you to exhale more water vapor – both cause dehydration.

Sleep. Sleep is an important element of human survival. Our brains are designed in a way that requires them to receive rest so they can process and store thoughts from the previous day. When you sleep, your body doesn’t receive any water. Going 6+ hours without any form of hydration causes dehydration. This is why you may wake up feeling parched in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning. Your body loses carbon and water with every breath you take while you are asleep.

Stress. Stress is something that we all deal with, and some manage it better than others. Surprisingly enough, keeping stress in check is important in order to maintain a healthy balance of hydration in our system. When you stress your body releases a stress hormone from your adrenal gland, which can exhaust the gland and result in adrenal insufficiency. The problem is that your adrenal gland is also responsible for regulating the level of your body’s fluids and electrolytes with the production of the aldosterone hormone. When the adrenal gland becomes fatigued, it fails to produce aldosterone, which leads to dehydration.

Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier

So what can you do to stay hydrated out on the trail besides just downing more water?

Drink something with an optimal ratio of electrolytes, glucose, and water that your body can absorb quickly and efficiently. The key to hydration is uptake, not intake.

Stay away from traditional sports drinks, which contain too much sugar and not enough electrolytes. Liquid I.V.’s Hydration Multiplier contains 3x the electrolytes of traditional sports drinks with less than ½ the sugar and calories. The great-tasting electrolyte drink mix utilizes the breakthrough science of Cellular Transport Technology (CTT), a precise ratio of sodium, potassium, and glucose, to deliver hydration to your bloodstream faster and more efficiently than water alone. Drinking 1 Liquid I.V. can result in the same hydration as drinking 2-3 bottles of water. Plus it contains B vitamins, which help your body quickly break down carbohydrates and turn them into fuel.

Look for Liquid I.V. in your August Trailfoody bag!

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The Surprising Reason This Energy Bar Contains Sweet Potatoes

energy bar with sweet potato

Ally Stacher, former professional cyclist and founder of Ally’s Bar, writes this guest blog post about how she got the clever idea to make energy bars out of sweet potatoes and why that’s the ultimate fuel for your body. Ally’s Bar Original was selected to be included in the August 2017 Trailfoody.

Knowing Where Your Food Comes From

I grew up in the wild and rugged mountains of far northern California. My family always hunted, fished and grew a garden. When I was 11, I worked on a watermelon farm with my twin sister. We picked watermelons in the summer mornings then worked in an ice cream shop in the afternoons. At 12 I killed my first buck, making my Dad so proud; it was a rite of passage in my family.

My Grandparents were also big influencers in my early years. They owned a large pond filled with bass, catfish, blue gale, ducks and other critters. That’s where we spent a lot of time fishing. I remember Grandpa fueling us up for a day of adventure with left-over potatoes and beer in our pancakes for breakfast. It was delicious.

Falling in Love with Cycling

I fell in love with the sport of cycling when I was a senior in high school. I did a research project on endurance sports with an emphasis on bike racing. I found people that rode bikes and learned everything I could. While I wrestled during my first year of college, I still rode my bike for fun. Eventually I jumped into a couple local bike races and was hooked.

Ally Stacher (Specialized – lululemon)

My timing with getting into the sport was perfect. At that time a small North Carolina college was growing their cycling program and was offering cycling scholarships. They had sent out a letter to almost every racer under 23 years old. I got the letter, made the trip to check out the campus and happily accepted a small scholarship and moved to the mountains of North Carolina.

I went from never racing on the track or cyclocross to being a part of a national championship team. Cycling became my obsession. In 2009 I was invited to race with the US National Team and signed for my first professional cycling team in 2010. In 2011, I got an offer to race for one of the top international racing teams in the world.

Cycling–The Proving Ground for Fueling the Body

I was eager and willing to work hard to be my very best. I made sure that all aspects of my life were dialed. My boyfriend (now my husband) was racing as well so we both knew the value of nutrition. I honed in on our diets and made everything from scratch. I made sure all of my ingredients had a purpose. I was making home made bars in my kitchen because I wanted to know exactly what was in the food we were eating. I wanted our fuel for our bodies for maximum performance.

The Inspiration for Using Sweet Potatoes

The idea of adding sweet potatoes to the bar came from two inspirations. One from my Grandpa who put potatoes in our pancakes. But the other inspiration came from our soigneur when she gave me a cup of food to eat on my way to a race. It was a longer day with challenging hills and wind. Beth was like “Ally eat this for your race”. I literally had one of my best days ever. I think my performance was owed to the sweet potato goodness before the race.

In December of 2012 I took a bag full of my sweet potato bars to a 2-week team training camp in Portugal. The bars were a huge success. This is where the idea to launch Ally’s Bar was born.

I went from making bars in my kitchen, then moved into a commercial kitchen. Demand continued to grow, but I was racing full time as well. For us to hit our goals we needed to move to a manufacturer. We launched our Original Sweet Potato Bar in October of 2014. We added 2 new flavors in the summer of 2016 increase our shelf presence by 200%. Our growths have been exciting and we’re just getting started. My husband John is still a pro cyclist and I’m a new Mom. We’re eager and excited to spread the love our delicious sweet potato bars. Coming soon to a store near you AND available today online at allysbar.com.