Posted on December
Written by WildernessAthlete on October 6, 2012
Don’t let your bar become an anchor in your pack all season long
In elk country, the amount of weight in your pack depends a lot on your size and physical condition. When considering the extremely limited availability of fresh foods on extended backcountry trips, the inclusion of high quality, lightweight, low-volume foods that you enjoy while providing your body with necessary nutrients can be difficult.
We already have to make tough choices on what makes the “go” list, and the last thing I want to do is carry performance bars that wind up smashed in the bottom of my pack, uneaten all season like an anchor weighing me down. The inclusion of a high quality and palatable performance bar offers significant benefits to the hunter.
Optimal nutrient ratios are critical for performance and recovery on a per meal basis.For example, candy bars – while scrumptious – fail to provide the necessary nutrients to fuel your body with the energy it needs to pursue that bull bugling two ridges away.
The key elements of a performance bar include: 1)protein– to rebuild and repair muscle tissue; 2)complex carbohydrates– to provide you with the energy you need and replenish glycogen stores into working muscle; and 3)fat– which provides essential fatty acids and a great calorie/weight food source necessary for the maintenance of overall body weight. The problem is that there are hundreds, if not thousands of bars out there to choose from. Here are a few tips to make your search easier:
Whey protein or calcium caseinate should be listed within the first one to three ingredients. Soy-based protein should not be in the first five ingredients.
The first five ingredients should not have sugar, corn syrup, or any ingredient ending in “ose”, as that identifies some form of sugar.
Look how many grams of carbohydrates and sugar are listed. If a bar has 30 grams of carbs and 20 grams of sugar, then 2/3 of the carbohydrates are derived from sugar. Aim for no more than 25% sugar.
The maximum amount of fat in a bar should be 10 grams; 6 grams is ideal. Also, look at the fat source and identify where the fat grams are coming from; nuts are your best source.
Here are a few bars that deliver high quality ingredients and not too much sugar:
Bars with fewer than 250 calories per serving: Think Thin & AdvantEdge;
Bars with fewer than 300 calories per serving: MetRX Protein, Promax, & Carb Solutions;
Bars with 300+ calories per serving: Detour Low Sugar & Myoplex Sport
If you’ve received professional nutritional guidance and know what specific nutrient ratios are ideal for you, visit www.youbars.com and design your own nutrition bar based on those parameters.
Kristy Titus makes her home in central Oregon, is a proud member of RMEF and Team Elk, an elite Under Armour athlete, an NPC figure competitor and C.N.F.T. INTRAFITT Allied Health Care Professional. www.facebook.com/kristytitus
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