By Jenna Gorham, RDN
Now that Memorial Day and 4th of July have passed, it’s pretty safe to say that it’s officially summer! With longer and warmer days, you’ll likely be heading outside for long runs, hikes, and other fun activities. Whether you’re hitting the pavement for a long weekend run, training for an event, or planning a hiking or backpacking trip, properly fueling and staying hydrated is key for optimal energy and performance. These tips and snack suggestions are perfect fuel to keep you going.
Summer Fueling 101
If you’re going out for less than an hour, water is all you need. If it’s an especially hot day or you’re an extra sweaty person, consider adding a pinch of salt to your water to replenish this essential electrolyte lost in your sweat.
For exercise lasting over an hour, your body needs extra fuel to keep your energy levels high. After your first hour of running or hiking, eat about 30-60 grams of carbohydrates each hour. If you are training for an event, incorporate your snacks and meals into your training schedule to test how your body responds before race day. Read on for a few snack ideas to fuel your long summer workout.12 healthy and portable #snack ideas to power you through your longest #run or hike! Click To Tweet
A mix of dried fruit and nuts is a great, energizing snack. Nuts are high in calories, protein, and fat to fill you up and give you lasting energy. Dried fruit, like bananas or raisins, are a good source of quick energy and easily digestible carbs. They’re also a good source of potassium to help replenish your electrolytes.
Slice up an orange to throw in a Ziploc snack bag. The juice helps with hydration and the fruit sugar is a good source of quick energy.
You probably know bananas for their high potassium content. Potassium is an electrolyte and is important to replace during strenuous exercise.
Peanut Butter & Jelly or Honey Sandwich
The fat and protein from the nut butter will help to fill you up and give you the calories and energy you need. The jelly or honey and bread serves as a quick acting source of fuel.
Pancakes (with fruit or syrup and a drizzle of nut butter)
Pancakes are another good carb sources and an easy food to prep and eat on the run. Add some fruit or syrup for extra quick energy and a drizzle of nut butter for some protein.
While pasta may be challenging to eat during a run, it makes a great lunch and acts as an easy to digest source of energy for your summer hikes and backpacking trips.
Chocolate Covered Almonds
The chocolate provides quick energy and the almonds provide protein to repair your muscles.
Dates are high in calories and potassium and are another good source of quick energy. Try stuffing them with almonds or nut butter for added energy and protein.
Applesauce squeeze packets
These are easy to eat on the run and a perfect way to give you the energy boost you may need.
Clif Bars, KIND bars
Granola bars are a great source of energy, carbs, fat, and protein and are lightweight and easy to carry.
Frozen grapes are cool and refreshing on a hot summer day. They provide water for hydration and fruit sugar for quick energy.
Beets are another good source of potassium, helping to replace your lost electrolytes. Studies have shown beets to help improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, increase oxygen flow to muscles, and enhance exercise tolerance during long-term endurance exercise.
Jenna Gorham, RD, LN is a registered dietitian and nutrition communications expert based in Bozeman, MT. She specializes in women’s health and nutrition for millennials. Jenna provides virtual nutrition coaching and consulting services for clients across the country. Learn more about Jenna and what she offers on her website or follow her on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.