Kayaking Fuel: The best snacks to tame your tummy during paddling trips

May 04, 2023

Some of the author's favorite on-the-go snacks to eat on paddling trips.
Kayaking Fuel: The best snacks to tame your tummy during paddling trips
Although the ideal meal while kayaking is a decadent charcuterie picnic lunch or fireside cookout dinner under the stars, packing snacks is a good alternative. But what to munch on? I prefer high fat and high carbohydrate bites because when I am active, I am burning lots of calories. Here’s a run down of my favorite, easy to find at the grocery store, on water paddle snacks… 
Nut Butter
The best part about nut butter is it’s easy to access and quick to eat. It’s a no fuss, no frills and hands free when necessary snack. My favorite brand is Justin’s which has tons of flavors and makes multiple almond butter options for those allergic to peanuts. Their nut butter chocolate cups are to die for and also make a great high fat, high carb snack.
From straight up candy sour worms to Haribo bears to sugary peach rounds or seemingly healthier Motts and Annie’s fruit snacks, gummies are widely available from common brands. Outfitter kayak shops typically sell more specialty brands of energy gummies like Cliff blocks and Honey Stinger Energy Chews that you can grab on the go while picking up a local paddle map or last minute gear.
Lara and Kind are my go-to’s and they are essentially made out of the other raw ingredients listed in this round up of snacks. Bars are the jam for quick and dense calories. The trick is to keep track of the micro trash you might be creating and inadvertently leaving on the river. Something about bar packaging and pulling a little piece off to open the sealed plastic makes leaving behind a sliver of wrapper so easy. Heads up! 
Medjool Dates
Known as the fruit of kings and to fend off fatigue, this specific type of date is caramelized and perhaps tastier than most. Just two dates or 48 grams of date contains 133 calories, 36 grams of carbs, 32 grams of sugar, no fat and fiber, protein, calcium, iron, potassium, copper, vitamin B6 and magnesium. Buying in bulk is usually a less expensive way to source this superfood.
Cacao or chocolate
The darker and purer the better. Cacao itself is a dry and bitter substance which comes in condensed powder blocks or in raw beans. The beans are the best for on water because they are easy to grab and pop in your mouth. Be sure to chase cacao with a swig of water. Otherwise, look for dark chocolate in any grocery store.
Recovery drinks
Did you know that the least expensive, most readily available recovery drink is chocolate milk? According to numerous articles and studies, the sugars, carbs and other nutrients in chocolate milk is where it’s at. Another option is electrolytes. My favorite is Gnarly (pineapple orange). I have also heard good things about Skratch