Fueling Up: Energy Bars in the Common Era


The first version of energy bars dates back to 1869 with Kendal Mint Cakes. These “cakes” provided compact nutrition and traveled well. So well, in fact, that they were provided for the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914–1917 led by Sir Ernest Shackleton and for Sir Edmund Hillary and his team on the first successful ascent of Mount Everest in 1953. Apparently digging in your pack for a tasty fix after an accomplished objective is fairly universal. Isn’t it nice to know you have something in common with pioneering legends?

Today the energy bar industry is so massive that you can choose from a wide variety of options at most pre-recreation pit stops. Not all energy bars are created equal, so how do you know which snack to pack? We’ll tell you!

Pre High-intensity Exercise:Marathon day, bike race, long hike, whatevs—if you need sustained energy, you need protein. Each of these bars have 12–20 grams of protein. Also a great choice for recovery. Pre Low- to Medium-intensity Exercise and Post-exercise Recovery:Ideal for eating before or after climbing, yoga, hiking or jogging around the park, each of these bars have 4–10 grams of protein and 180–320 calories. Restrictive Diets: Fear not, if you are vegan/vegetarian, or can’t stomach gluten, there are even bars made just for you.  XX Chromosomes:Made especially for active ladies, these bars have an extra dose of the vitamins and minerals that are commonly deficient in women, like Calcium, Folic Acid, Iron, Vitamin D and Vitamin E. Snack:You could eat any of these bars for a snack, but you probably only need 20 grams of protein if you’re actually surfing, not interweb surfing. These bars are ideal for in between meals and handy to stash in your pack for a walk in the woods.

No longer will you orbit foolishly amid deep vexation in the energy bar section and study each bar as if you were in a museum contemplating the significance of each piece. Instead, you can confidently stride through the aisle, grab exactly what you need and move on to your next adventure.


About Author

Jenny Willden is the Managing Editor of Outdoor Sports Guide and a self-proclaimed gear and grammar nut. She's a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association and the Adventure Travel Trade Association. A lover of adventure and travel, she's happiest when riding horses or snowboarding in Utah’s mountains. Follow Jenny’s exploits on Twitter @jennywillden or Instagram @jlwillden.

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