Best Natural Energy Supplements
I used to joke saying that my favorite thing about hiking was eating. I also used to say I was joking.
With all humor aside, when you are out on your bike, the trails, the slopes– you have to consume food to keep your energy up. Nothing feels better than fueling your adventures with wholesome ingredients! This is why I have comprised a list of things we (Erik & I) make or buy that give us that GO when we need it most!
In With The Muir, Out With The GU
When I first started participating in running races, I was amazed at how much free stuff you can get and/or win. How fun–right? For most people, the answer to that would be yes, and don’t get me wrong I love free stuff, but I am very particular on what I will put into my body! The first race I won a pack of stinger chews, and after I blurted out “Shit, I won”, I was pleased to see that they were more wholesome than other brands. However, Erik and I used them sparingly and ended up giving a lot of them away on trail or to friends.
Stinger waffles, GU’s, Clif Bar Gels are all among the free things you will quite often see at races. One day while Erik was scrolling through his Instagram an ad popped through for something called “Muir Energy”.
At first I rolled my eyes at Erik (I do this often) as he is always ranting and raving about some new thing. However, when our first package of Muir arrived I couldn’t wait to try them! The ingredients were all things I used in my own kitchen and were minimal (6 or so ingredients per package).
Flavors consist of:
- Cacao Almond/Mate
- Cacao Almond Peppermint
- Cashew Vanilla/Mate
- Hazelnut Banana
- Passion Fruit Pineapple Banana
- Pineapple Kale
- Red Raspberry/Mate
- Sweet Potato Oregano
While these flavors do change infrequently (Due to demand/season), they are all excellent and taste exactly like what it says on the pouch. I HIGHLY recommend this brand for energy supply. Your stomach will welcome the wholesome ingredients while you are out on adventure. Get them here.
The Best Electrolyte Replacement Concoctions
I have three ingredients for you:
They make a lot of different electrolyte replacers of which I have tried some. The taste is often unsettling, and I do not like a lot of carbonation while I am exercising (or ever really, except for my kombucha!).
After just a bit of research on healthy electrolyte replacers I came upon a few and tweaked them for my liking. I am the worst at recipes, as I eye ball everything! But I will try to give you the most accurate amounts of what I use!
Coconut water is a natural electrolyte replacer all on its own, with its extremely high potassium content. Many have claimed it as Nature’s Gatorade (except way healthier).
Maple Syrup (ONLY THE REAL STUFF) is an easily digestible sugar and will keep your energy up throughout your endeavor!
Himalayan Pink Salt contains numerous trace minerals which are excellent at keeping muscle contractions at bay and providing a balance within your body.
- 16 oz Coconut Water
- 1-2 TBSP of Maple Syrup (I love maple syrup, so I always go on the heavier side!)
- 1/4 tsp (taste test as you go, and add to your liking!)
- **Optional: add fresh citrus juice to your concoction for a bit of spin (lemons and oranges are the fan picks!)
Food is Energy; What Are My Favorites?
Favorite Running/Hiking Foods:
Celery Juice is a great pre-workout choice (and great overall juice for all health) as it boosts your endurance, has anti-inflammatory properties and very hydrating.
Oranges, bananas, and grapes are juicy and refreshing. I especially enjoy throwing a few grapes in my mouth while running long distances. They are all easily digestible and are full of vitamins and minerals that will keep your energy going!
Dates are perhaps my favorite food (beside watermelon). They are incredibly gooey and sweet, yet super healthy for you! They are a high calorie food which is excellent if you are burning through those calories. They are the base to all of my protein balls (see below) and overall a great snack filled with potassium to aid in muscle cramping. Get my favorites here!
Homemade Bread with nut/seed butter and jam (without sugar). I will be linking my recipe for my super easy and quick homemade bread. This is more of an indulgence if Erik and I are hiking 20+ miles. Otherwise, we try to stick with the more easily digested foods.
Protein Peanut Butter Cups have been the most delightful of treats. They are super simple and highly requested! So here it is (I usually make a big batch of these, so adjust accordingly):
Servings: 15 small cups
For the outer shell:
- 1 bag of chocolate chips (use whatever sort of chocolate you enjoy– for me the darker the better)
- 2 tsp coconut oil (for melting the choc. chips)
For the inside deliciousness:
- 1 C Nut butter (we love cashew butter!)
- 1 scoop Protein Powder (We like Sun Warrior or Garden of Life)
- 1/4 C Maple Syrup
- Mix together all the “Inside” ingredients until smooth
- On Low heat on your stove top, mix together the chocolate and coconut oil until melted, stirring continuously.
- In a muffin pan of your choice, with a spoon put some chocolate into the bottom of the tin spots.
- Then spoon the filling on top of the chooclate
- Lastly, fill in the rest of the tin with chocolate and swirl around.
- Put into freezer until consuming. Voila! Deliciousness at your door!
Best Tasting Balls, Ever.
Catchy title? Even better are these gooey goodnesses that also give you energy!
Let’s just jump right into the recipes!
The Famous Balls– in a blender/food processor mix the following:
- 8-10 dates (pitted)
- 2 TBSP carob/cacao powder (Optional)
- 2 TBSP chia seeds
- 2 TBSP nut/seed butter
- 1/4 C. Sunwarrior Protein Powder (You choose your flavor!)
- Handful of nuts (cashews, almonds, peanuts, etc)
- Handful of the following: coconut, mulberries, raisins, cranberries, cacao nibs, goji berries.
- Maple Syrup to mix
This recipe is very versatile, so feel free to play around with all the ingredients.
Depending on how dry your dates are, you may want to soak them for 1-2 hours before making the balls.
What Makes You Feel Good?
These sources of energy that I just discussed– they’re what work for me. I find I feel my best and perform my best when consuming them.
I hope you are able to find inspiration through this article, and to research a bit on your own– get creative! It is actually super fun to know that what you are putting into your body can taste so good as be good for you. The days of ‘this tastes bad so it must be healthy’ is LONG GONE!
Happy Trails, even Happier Stomachs,