The Best Fuel of 2021
Real food for serious adventures
Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.
Perfect Snacks Peanut Butter Cups ($24 for 8)
More than an indulgence, these refrigerated peanut butter cups boast seven to eight grams of protein per package. The ingredients include organic whole foods like kale, flax seeds, and kelp, but you’d never know it by taste. They’re a sweet—but not too sweet—treat that will help you bounce back from your hardest workouts, both body and mind. Definitely don’t skip the dark chocolate mint flavor.
Skratch Labs Sport Superfuel Drink Mix ($40 for 8)
For high-intensity endurance days, this powdered drink adds 400 calories to 16 to 20 ounces of water, so you can refuel without slowing down. It’s made with complex carbohydrates for a steady release of energy without GI distress plus electrolytes for effective hydration.
A Dozen Cousins Classic Refried Pinto Beans ($30 for 8)
Beans, beans, the magical fuel. Simply reheat these mashed frijoles via microwave or stovetop, then add to a burrito or eat as dip for a healthy hit of fiber and plant protein (five grams per serving). They’re simmered with onions, garlic, mild green chilis, and other spices for a rich homemade taste, no matter how you serve them.
Taos Bakes Bites ($7)
For those moments when you don’t need a full meal, Taos Bakes now offers bite-size chunks of its satisfying bars in a resealable bag. These scrumptious snacks, made in northern New Mexico with mostly organic ingredients, are the perfect pick-me-up whether you’re on the trail or stuck at your desk. You’ll dig the sweet and nutty taste of the Toasted Coconut + Vanilla Bean.
Chef’s Cut Zero Sugar Jerky ($24 for 4)
Zero sugar? Who cares— we can’t tell. Our mouths are fixated on the savory and tender U.S.-sourced beef. For the meat eaters out there, this high-protein snack will power you through tough adventures, and then you’ll crave even more. The zesty Black Pepper flavor is our favorite.
RX A.M. Maple Oats ($40 for 30)
These not-so-average instant oat packets contain almonds, dates, egg whites, and maple sugar for a surprisingly filling breakfast that’s high in protein (ten grams). The single-serving sachets are convenient for camping or a quick and easy morning meal.
Moonvalley Oats and Dates Organic Energy Bar ($3)
Energy bars are our favorite fuel for long days in the mountains, but not all are created equal. Swedish company Moonvalley, founded by three professional athletes, uses organic plant-based ingredients and an ideal balance of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Did we mention these bars are soft and delicious? We love the earthy-tangy combination of the Red Beets and Orange flavor.
Spring Energy Gel ($35 for 10)
If you’re not a gel fan, you’ve never tried Spring Energy. The Canaberry flavor is made with real foods like basmati rice, bananas, strawberries, maple syrup, and coconut water, so it goes down easy, tastes like a smoothie, and provides sustained energy without the spike and crash of additives like maltodextrin.