Best Nutritional Snacks For Mountain Bike Travel

traveling with your mountain bike, mountain bike snacks, mountain bike nutrition, what to eat when mountain biking, mountain bike travel
November 11th, 2016

Today's guest post is from: Maria Banfield, a health and nutrition writer for Fit and Heal.


One of the most important aspects of traveling with your mountain bike is to make sure you're eating properly. Whether you're flying to an international mountain bike destination or road tripping across borders you want to make sure you arrive with adequate energy to start riding and prepared with the right foods at the trailhead to sustain that energy. When traveling, it can be difficult to eat healthy - the draw of greasy airport food and quick fix meals is huge. Of course, it's fine to indulge every so often, but getting off a plane feeling dehydrated, tired and full of salty carbs won't make you feel the best.


There are many healthy alternatives that are light and give you a good dose of energy while you're traveling. Whether you're traveling to a new destination or searching for snacks to keep in your hydration pack for your next ride, here are a few recommendations on healthy snacks to pack. Keep in mind, if you're traveling internationally, you will not be allowed to take fruits and vegetables across the border - pick up these items when you arrive.


1. fluids

Ok, so it's not a 'snack' but it is extremely important to stay hydrated while traveling and mountain biking. Always carry a small re-useable water bottle when you travel. Most public areas, airports, gas stations etc. will have a water fountain to fill up your bottle. If you're going through airport security, make sure your bottle is empty and fill it up when you're waiting at your gate. Plus, you won't have to pay an exorbitant amount of money for a plastic water bottle, and  you'll be doing your part to reduce waste. To avoid dehydration while traveling (which causes headaches and tiredness), avoid coffee, tea and alcohol. Find an isotonic sports drink you enjoy, this will replenish your electrolytes and provide you with your daily dose of vitamins.


2. bananas

Bananas are great! They come in their own packaging which is easy to open and easy to dispose, the only downside is they bruise easily - so be sure to pack them well. Bananas contain enough carbs to keep energy levels up, with just a small amount of protein. Also, if eaten early they can also help protect from lactic acid buildup. They are also a good source of vitamin C, B6, potassium, and magnesium. so they will aid with building muscle and muscle repair. If you're traveling, and want an easier to pack item - try making some Oatmeal Banana Muffins before your trip.

3. apples

Apples are a great fruit to eat at the end of a ride, or while traveling long distances.  They contain many vitamins and natural sugars for a  little pick me up and energy boost, and they will also help with hydration

4. peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are an old favorite. They are easy to prepare and easy to pack, just make sure the bread is whole-wheat and use all-natural , organic peanut butter to reduce to sugar content.  It will  give you a much-needed boost of carbs and healthy fats, so this should satisfy you for a while without making you feel full and bloated. This is a great snack for long travel trips, or for quick pit stops while biking. For an extra special snack for on-the-go, try making Peanut Butter and Jam Oatmeal Bars.

4. canned tuna

Not exactly a snack, but a very good source of protein to help balance the carbs in your bananas. If you are a big fish fan, try eating it right out of the can and buy a brand of tuna that promotes sustainable fishing. Be prepared for the extra weight in your hydration pack.  So, whilst you get the energy from your carbs, it is the protein in the tuna (or any other canned fish) that will help maintain and rebuild those overworked leg muscles. Just remember to get the tuna in brine, not oil, and have some thought of where you will throw the can. Pack a trash bag and buy a self-opening tin for ease.

5. trail mix

A mixture of dried fruits and nuts, trail mix is a tasty way of boosting your carbs. With a little preparation, you can mix your own, and use raisins, prunes and dried apricots for a good source of potassium - and add any nuts and seeds to your liking. Trail mix is easy to carry and tastes yummy,  if you are likely to sweat a lot, try using salted nuts and seeds, as this will help retain fluids in the body. This is a travel snack for road trips and air travel, as well as a great trail-side snack - hence the name!

6. whole-wheat crackers

Crackers are very light and easy to carry, and they come in a variety of option. These can be used as a replacement for bread, just pack them right and keep them dry in a sealed, air-tight container. They are also a quick source of carbs compared to other foods of their size. If you're a cheese-lover, cut up some cheese slices and wrap them in seran wrap for an extra-flavourable snack.

7. beef jerky

A good choice for protein, that doesn’t spoil in the heat. Beef jerky is easy to shove in your backpack or carry-on bag and it will also keep you chewing for a while. Just limit the serving size (especially if you're flying ) as it can have a high salt content and can dehydrate you. So, check labels for additives and flavorings.



8. kiwis

Kiwis are a rich  source of water, vitamin C, K and E. They have way more Vitamin C content than the equivalent amount of an orange and they can be easily cut in half and eaten with a spoon for an on-the-go snack.


9. fresh berries

Berries are one of the best ways of introducing antioxidants into the body and contain many simple sugars for a quick energy boost. They can also help with hydration as they have quite a high-water content for their size. If you're traveling, keep a small container of fresh berries by your side or throw some fresh berries into a smoothie before you leave the house.

to wrap it up:

Traveling can be exhausting, especially if you're preparing to visit an international destination to mountain bike. To prevent that exhaustion, be sure to eat right, stay hydrated and be prepared with snacks out on the trail once you arrive. Once you arrive, visit local markets and grocery stores - ask the locals for help finding the best places to buy local fruits, veggies, nuts and other grocery items. Try to avoid extra salty snacks (unless your're sweating a lot), extra sugary snacks/drinks and focus on foods that will increase your energy, mood and overall well-being.