How do you fuel an adventure?? It’s not as easy as going to the grocery store, picking up a rotisserie chicken and calling it good. You have to be strategic, planning for your specific caloric needs and choosing lightweight, products that you can eat quickly on the go. We know that dialing in nutrition is a challenge, so we asked a few Truckee athlete’s to chime in on what works for them.
Whether you’re trail running, backcountry skiing, mountain biking, or running a tough mudder, here’s some advice from the pros on how you can fuel your next adventure.
And if you’re in the Tahoe area, make sure to stop by our shop, Tahoe Mountain Sports, to try something new or stock up on your favorite endurance fuels.
Kyle – How to fuel a Tough Mudder race
On Instagram, I’ve had a hand full of guys message me and say that I’m a bear… which is very flattering since I fancy myself pretty strong and bears like honey, and I like honey… sooo I guess it fits.
I honestly order cases of Honey Stinger at a time and stash em under my bed (bears would totally do that) I like almost everything they make but the waffles are my favorite, and a variety of honey packs are great to pull you out of an energy slump.
Honey Stingers are pure carbs, and sometimes have a little caffeine, so you burn it fast. During a Worlds Toughest Mudder (a 24hr sufferfest) a friend of mine Jason Antin told me to pretend like we are locomotives, and you just have to keep shoveling coal, don’t let that engine burn out.
For longer duration activities I think about adding fats and protein. I love the EPIC Provisions meat bars, my favorite has to be the Bison… just because I think it gives me superpowers. I scream TATANKA one or two times and run around like Kevin Costner. Might just be placebo.
So I just googled – do bears like nut butter? And the whole internet agrees that they do, luckily Trail Butter makes supper awesome pouches in a few different volumes. One even has espresso!!!!!!!
Shoot…. I was gonna leave it there.
But then I thought about espresso, which led me to think about coffee, and I guess since I’m here I should tell you about a super fun, lightweight way to enjoy my favorite beverage from anywhere. Alpen Sierra makes a small easy to pack single serving pour-over coffee pouch. It has to be the easiest way to get a good cup of coffee at any time!!
Dave – What to eat on backcountry ski tours
My general nutrition strategy is focused on keeping my energy levels as even as possible throughout the day.
My favorite products are Tailwind Nutrition in mandarin orange mixed with my water, Honey Stinger organic chews in grapefruit, and Epic Provision bars in beef/apple/bacon. This hits all of my food groups and all my needs for playing hard in the mountains.
I take in electrolytes and calories with water and eat honey stinger chews for that nice gummy yumminess that keeps the pallet active and provides something to chew on.
Then, of course, there are Epic meat bars, my favorite. I tend to eat these during breaks from moving and love the salt, flavor and general ease with which I can consume these.
My strategy completely changed when I discovered Tailwind a few years ago. I realized that Tailwind is all I really need to put in long days on the trail and in the mountains as it provides enough electrolytes, sodium, calories and therefore energy to succeed.
Coral – How to fuel a mountain bike ride
For foods, I like to keep Clif Bar bloks or Honey Stinger energy chews in the hip pouches of my Osprey hydration pack for quick access as well as quick energy hits to keep me from lagging on the trails.
As time goes on, I’m becoming slightly more scientific to my nutrition and hydration approach. Living in an arid climate, I feel that my body usually does better with some electrolytes, especially as the temps heat up and my exertion level increases. I used to drink Gatorade for hydration and have switched to NUUN or Tailwind, in an effort to have less sugar and more benefit – and have noticed that I perform better and feel better.
A few of my favorite products are Clif Bar shot bloks in Gingerale and Margarita with 3x sodium for super hot days and Honey Stinger energy chews, any flavor without caffeine – they are like gummy bears that you feel good eating!
When I stop at the top of a climb or am sitting on the chair lift at Northstar enjoying my view and want some more food, I’ll eat a Clif bar. I do enjoy having savory foods, especially for longer rides and hikes, so would like to incorporate more EPIC products.
Peter – Nutrition tips for ultra running
My nutrition strategy is different based on weather (temperatures), length of race and time of year but as far as usage, I always carry Tailwind and Honey Stinger. I also add some sort of solid food as well, like a Patagonia Provisions bar. For longer days I’ll use rice balls.
My favorite product is Tailwind in neutral & orange. It’s easy on the stomach and I can drink it for hours without getting palate fatigue and without developing any stomach distress.
My nutrition strategy changes every year. As I get older I find certain products I used to like are no longer effective for me. And I’m trying more often to lean towards real food when it fits.
The Fuel Roundup!
Shop these athlete favorites in-store at Tahoe Mountain Sports or online using these affiliate links which help fund this blog.
Tailwind Nutrition – a complete, all-day fuel that will power you through high-intensity activities. Caffeinated, noncaffeinated, lightly flavored, and unflavored options available. Combines calories, hydration, and electrolytes.
EPIC Provisions – delicious meat bars, bites, and snack strips that are high in protein and low in sugar. Inspired by the hunter-gatherer diet. High-quality meats like bison, wild boar, and turkey complimented with nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and spices. Gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, dairy-free.
Hammer Nutrition – a wide variety of performance-oriented products like endurance fuels, recovery drinks, etc. to deliver sustained, long-lasting energy.
Honey Stinger – honey based foods like organic waffles, energy gels, and organic chews. The natural energy source is rich in carbs, easy on the stomach, and is released into your system at a slow, steady rate to provide you with sustained energy.
Clif Bar – a variety of nutrition products from bloks to food packs to bars. They are packed with wholesome ingredients and provide sustained energy for any activity.
Nuun – the answer to all of your hydration needs. Nuun revolutionized the world of sports drinks when they came out with the first low sugar, electrolyte tab. Today, nuun has three main categorizes of hydration products: nuun electrolytes, nuun vitamins, and nuun performance, all of which are made of plant based ingredients and are gluten, dairy, and soy free.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Tahoe Mountain Sports will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Affiliate commissions help fund the content for this blog.
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Former park ranger turned writer/marketer. Always down for a sufferfest, as long as it ends with ice cream. Favorite activities include backcountry skiing, trail running, and backpacking.