Snow changes the way the world looks, sounds, and feels. There’s not much that can compete with the biting chill and quiet of the mountains when you’re snowshoeing. However, cold weather puts unique caloric stresses on your body. If you’re going to fully enjoy your day on the snow, your body needs the right fuel. Snacks packed with nutrition-rich calories will keep you moving when the temperatures drop.
Cold Weather Means More Calories and Quick Energy
When you’re snowshoeing, not only are you trekking over mountains but you’re doing it in temperatures that make your body work harder to maintain its core temperature. The combination of physical exertion and low temperatures burns through more calories than normal. If snowshoe running or racing, extra precautions are needed.
Nutrient-dense snacks pack a lot of calories in a small package. You want lightweight, easy to access, and, of course, delicious snacks. These foods will not only help you stay warm, but they’ll also keep your major muscle groups and brain powered on your snowshoe hike. You need clear thinking to be able to make the best decisions possible when you’re outdoors in potentially dangerous winter conditions.
Also, think about the kind of calories you’re eating. You need protein for its long-lasting energy supply. But, be sure you’ve also got a good selection of carbs. Carbs provide the quick energy that you burn immediately. A combination of both gives your body the fuel to move all day.
What to Avoid
Before we jump into what makes a great snack, let’s cover what should probably be left out. There are foods that simply don’t work for snowshoeing or other winter activities. One of the biggest issues has to do with water content. Even in a backpack in mild winter weather, food can freeze, becoming inedible on the trail.
Here are a few to watch out for:
Fruit: We’re talking the juiciest kinds like grapes, oranges, and apples. You’ll end up with fruitcicles that you may not be able to bite.
Watery Veggies: Tomatoes and celery are the common culprits here. Like the fruit we just talked about, they freeze and become inedible. Watch out for what you put on your sandwich too. Lettuce, tomatoes, and sprouts are notorious for freezing and turning your sandwich into a sloppy mess.
Fresh Berries: Yes, they have a high water content, but the problem goes deeper than that. While they’re high in antioxidants, they won’t keep you going for long because they’re low in calories. You’re better off with something more nutrient-rich.
Pack It, Eat It, Love It
Finally, here are the foods that make great healthy snacks. Some snacks are prepackaged, which makes them easy to throw in your backpack. Others, like jerky, may stay fresh longer if they’re in an airtight, vacuum-sealed bag. Cold fingers can have a hard time with dexterity so try to keep the packaging easy to open.
Here are the foods to keep on your snack list:
Sandwiches with nut butters, jams, and jellies
Prepackaged energy bars
Cheese—string and those packed in wax
Water (not really a snack, but essential)
Snacks you can eat with your mittens or gloves on get extra points. Remember to stay hydrated. It’s easy to forget how hard you’re working when it’s cold outside. And finally, sit back, relax, and enjoy the view.
This article was written courtesy of FamilyLivingToday.com.