What Are The Best Energy Bars For Hiking?

hiking energy bars

Energy bars are a convenient way to get energy from food. They are nicely packed with the proper ingredients to fuel your next hike. But not all energy bars are equal. Continue reading to learn more about different types of hiking bars and how to pick the one to fit your demands.

Types Of Energy Bars

Protein Bars

The primary purpose of the protein bars is to provide an easy source of protein to recover and grow muscles after a workout. Since hiking is not considered as an activity to gain weight or muscles, the protein bars shouldn't be used for it. However, our bodies have a process called gluconeogenesis which converts excessive protein into carbohydrates.

The bars with protein weight of ~20 grams more often than not have an unnatural and unpleasant taste. Therefore, it's recommended to choose the ones that are close to ~10 grams. They not only taste better but less likely to cause GI distress.

Meal Replacement

From their name, they are intended to be a substitution for a regular meal. FDA has no definition for a "meal replacement", but usually it refers to a product with 200-300 calories, diversified set of vitamins and a balanced nutrition profile.

Endurance Bars

The main idea is to provide a good source of carbohydrates and electrolytes over a long period. It's usually done by using complex carbs that are digested over many hours. 

Organic Bars

There is a significant trend in a food consumption to eat organic food, and ​this is where organic bars try to excel. Added protein and artificial sweeteners such as isomaltol, sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup are rejected to be included in the ingredients list.

How to pick an energy bar

In my mind, no matter what promises a manufacturer gives, you should always start with taste. I had boxes of different bars that were eaten for a very long time because they tasted horrible. The last thing you want on a hike is to shovel down your throat the next piece of an awful bar. 

​Next is to define your the price range. The better quality including organic ingredients always lies closer to the high spectrum of 2-3$ per bar. 

The last thin​g is to pick macro ratios: carbs / fat /protein. When you go on a short hike, take a carb-loaded bar. It will provide you with an instant easily digestible energy. For longer hikes, I recommend looking for a higher content of fat. It packs much more energy in 1 gram. After the glycogen reserves are depleted in a liver, it switches to the ketosis and starts producing energy from fat. 

Top Energy Hiking Bars

Clif Bar Variety Pack, Chocolate Chip, Crunchy Peanut Butter

Size (grams)

68

Calories

240

Calories from fat

45

Total Carbohydrates

44

Fiber

4

Protein

10


PROBAR, Original Trail Mix

Size (grams)

85

Calories

360

Calories from fat

160

Total Carbohydrates

49

Fiber

5

Protein

9


Larabar Gluten Free Bar, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip

Size (grams)

45

Calories

220

Calories from fat

110

Total Carbohydrates

26

Fiber

3

Protein

6


Zing Nutrition Bar, Dark Chocolate Mint

Size (grams)

50

Calories

210

Calories from fat

80

Total Carbohydrates

26

Fiber

5

Protein

11


Taos Mountain Energy Bar

Size (grams)

62

Calories

304

Calories from fat

171

Total Carbohydrates

29

Fiber

5

Protein

7


Power Crunch Protein Energy, Peanut Butter Fudge Butter Fudge

Size (grams)

40

Calories

200

Calories from fat

105

Carbohydrates (grams)

10

Fiber (grams)

1

Protein (grams)

13


Bearded Brothers Bodacious Blueberry Vanilla Energy Bar

Size (grams)

43

Calories

190

Calories from fat

80

Carbohydrates (grams)

22

Fiber (grams)

4

Protein (grams)

5


Better Than Coffee Health Energy Bars

Size (grams)

25

Calories

110

Carbohydrates (grams)

12

Fiber (grams)

4

Protein (grams)

5


KIND Fruit & Nut, Almond & Coconut

Size (grams)

40

Calories

180

Calories from fat

90

Carbohydrates (grams)

23

Fiber (grams)

3

Protein (grams)

3


Redd Gluten Free Vegan Superfood Energy Bar, Chocolate

Size (grams)

62

Calories

220

Calories from fat

80

Carbohydrates (grams)

34

Fiber (grams)

8

Protein (grams)

10

Alex Miller

Hey there, my name is Alex and I am the editor of this site. I have been a passionate camper and hiker for the past 10 years and my mission is to share my love and knowledge about those activities and how to prepare for them.

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