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May 2006

High-Energy Food: Eat For The Long Haul

Enjoy all-day power by combining these 5 superfoods

You could sit around wishing you were one of those kinetic people with endless stamina on the trail–or you could eat your way to better endurance. Start by choosing energy-boosting foods and consuming them in power-maximizing combinations. “A combination of high carbohydrates, moderate protein, and low fats at each meal produces a higher energy level by stabilizing your blood sugar,” says Bob Seebohar, a sports nutritionist with the University of Florida who counsels endurance athletes. Seebohar recommends the following backpacker-friendly superfoods, and the recipes at right.

Dried fruit

The natural sugars in dried fruits work as fast-acting carbs–perfect for a boost at the bottom of a big hill. All varieties are jammed with nutrients, but plums are a standout with lots of fiber and antioxidants–compounds that boost the immune system, which can be compromised by endurance activities like 12-mile hikes.

Combine carb-rich fruits with protein and fat for balance. Try sunflower seeds and chocolate-covered soy nuts.


Dense calories, protein, and a dose of healthy fat make nuts of all varieties nutritional powerhouses, with walnuts and almonds leading the pack. Walnuts are packed with antioxidants and heart-helping omega-3s, while almonds contain a significant amount of calcium and nearly as much potassium per 2-ounce serving as a medium banana.

Combine with carbs like raisins, pretzels, or pasta.

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