Buying the Best Bar
It can be tough to find the perfect organic bar-for-hiking, especially with so many stacked up on the shelves of your favorite market. To find out which can help you feel the most fueled (and won’t melt) while you’re on the trail, we asked Molly Morgan, RD, a board-certified sports specialist dietitian, owner of Creative Nutrition Solutions (www.CreativeNutritionSolutions.com) and author of The Skinny Rules (Harlequin, 2011) to help guide us to three ways bars can be just-right for your pack:
#1. Read the nutrition facts. Be on the lookout for bars that contain about 200 calories and include a mix of carbohydrates, some fat and some protein.
#2. Avoid ‘mega protein’ bars. This is one place where protein isn’t a must. “Fat is your primary fuel source for your hike if your hiking intensity is low,” she says. “If you’re hiking at a high intensity or if you’re including bouts of difficult terrain, like steep climbs, you’ll need carbohydrates, since carbs are the preferred source of fuel for high intensity.”
#3. Look for an organic certification. This USDA seal means that products are produced, processed and certified to meet national organic standards.
Four bars to toss in your basket:
Annie’s (www.annies.com): These certified organic bars contain zero artificial ingredients, preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup.
Clif Bar (www.clifbar.com): You’ll love the variety of bars that come in a delish combo of organic ingredients.
Pure Bars (www.thepurebar.com): These gluten-free bars are made from only organic ingredients.
Raw Revolution Food Bars (rawrev.com): These bars are packed with raw all-natural ingredients like hemp protein and sprouted flax seeds.
TIP: If you prefer to DIY, pack some nuts instead. Simply mix one ounce of your favorite nuts mixed with one-quarter to a half cup of dried fruit. You’ll get the same energy boost as you’ll get with a prepackaged bar.By Lambeth Hochwald