One of the more stressful parts of packing for a long ride is bringing the right snacks. Though candy, gels and bars are all functional ways to fuel yourself, there’s only so much of them that you can eat and sometimes you crave something a little more natural. Here are some fruits (and one root vegetable) that will help power you through your rides.
Bananas come with a natural wrapper and look like they are engineered to fit perfectly in a jersey pocket. Packed full of potassium, high in carbs, easy to digest—bananas have it all. Their 400 mg of potassium will help with sweat loss and 30-40g of complex carbs will give you energy to keep pushing throughout your ride.
High in carbohydrates and low in fat, dates are actually considered fresh fruit. The fruits are packed with fructose, dextrose, sucrose and maltose. Dates are 80 per cent sugar, which is absorbed by the body more gradually than refined sugars due to their high fibre content. Pitted medjool dates are generally pocket-safe and relatively non-sticky.
Raisins are also high in potassium, carbs and sugar. Their small size makes raisins good for portioned snacking throughout a ride. Raisins are lower in fibre than some other dried fruits—if you find you have issues with bloating when you eat too much fruit raisins are a possible snack option.
MTB editor Terry McKall loves a good mid-ride potato snack. He says the key is to boil baby potatoes with a lot of salt, then sprinkle turmeric and cayenne powder on them after. For transportation a paper bag (ideally waxed) inside a plastic bag is the best method. One study found that eating potatoes is just as effective as gels.
Figs are an easy to digest underrated ride snack. With carbs, potassium, vitamin C, calcium, and iron this fruit is great for keeping you moving. Dried figs work best as a throw-in-your-pocket snack, but, if they’re in season, fresh figs can also be a nice bar bag treat.