Commuting via bike can be a great way to burn calories, feel great and even save the planet. When living out the healthy and productive lifestyle of a bike commuter, you’re likely to feel inclined to eat healthier, too.
If you’ve cycled even once in your life, you’ll be aware that this type of intense exercise can make you feel hungry, and even lead you to crave unhealthy foods.
So what are the best bike commuter snacks? Try bringing along some energising, protein-rich snacks along for the ride on your next commute. This post will clue you up on the 10 best snacks for an eager bike commuter like you.
Snack 1: Trail Mix
Usually containing dried fruits, nuts, seeds and pretty much any other dried food you can think of, trail mix is a great natural source of fibre and protein. Since it’s lightweight and easy to take along with you while you cycle, this is a perfect snack for any bike commuter that wishes to have an energising bite-to-eat on their journey, without having to cart around any big heavy tupperwares.
If you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth, feel free to add a little chocolate to your trail mix (no one’s stopping you!). Some dark chocolates have even proven to have various health benefits, so there’s no need to feel guilty. If you’re not a big fan of chocolate, try adding some sweeter dried fruits, such as cranberries or peaches.
Snack 2: Hummus and Vegetables
While this isn’t exactly a snack that you can carry around in your pocket, it requires pretty minimal preparation time, and is a great way to get your five-a-day. Grab some sliced raw vegetables, such as carrot, cucumber or celery, chuck a hummus dip in there, and you’re good to go.
While I’m sure we’re all aware of the various health benefits that vegetables have, you may be surprised to know that hummus is equally as great. Rich in plant-based protein and fibre, hummus can actually reduce the risk of heart disease and help you to maintain a healthy body weight.
Snack 3: Protein Bars
Since they’re tailor-made to be packed with protein and fill you with energy, protein bars are a logical first choice for most bike commuters. While the ingredients and nutritional value of protein bars tends to vary between different brands, they’re usually primarily composed of fibre-rich ingredients such as oats and dried fruits, and are not only healthy but also highly practical and portable.
If you’re a gym-goer, you may notice that your gym’s vending machines are stocked full of protein bars. This makes for a great opportunity to stock up on snacks after a workout. Protein bars can also be bought in most supermarkets and health-food stores, arguably for a much lower price than the ones you might find in the gym.
Snack 4: Smoothies
Is a smoothie a drink or a snack? No one’s completely sure. One thing we do know, however, is that smoothies can be just as filling and nutritious as any solid food, and are extremely easy for you to carry around on your commute.
Some super nutritious ingredients that taste great in a smoothie are: spinach, mangoes, bananas, red pepper and spirulina. While the preparation time may seem like a bit too much for you if you’re the kind of person to rush to work in the morning, you can always make a big batch of smoothie and keep it in the fridge for a later date.
Snack 5: Popcorn
You may be surprised to find out that popcorn contains around about the same amount of antioxidants as most fruits and vegetables. This means eating popcorn can actually lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of cancer, and even promote healthy skin. Who would have thought?
Preparing popcorn is also relatively simple, and it can be kept for up to 2-3 weeks after being popped.
For the healthiest option, try going for ‘air-popped’ popcorn; you can make these in a microwave and it does not need any oil or butter to cook it. Making popcorn this way gives you filling snack without any of the added oil.
Snack 6: Edamame Beans
Edamame beans are known to be one of the highest sources of vegan protein, which makes them a fantastic energy-boosting snack for a cycle ride. While they can be slightly bland tasting if eaten on their own, edamame beans taste great with soy sauce, chili, and lime juice.
Try making an edamame salad with a few other vegetables and sticking it in a tupperware to take along for your commute.
Snack 7: Breakfast or Oatmeal Bars
Due to their high sugar content, oatmeal bars make for an excellent snack if you feel burnt out or low on energy while cycling to work. While they’re not all that quick and easy to make, they can stay for a while in the cupboard without getting spoiled, and can be bought pretty cheap in most supermarkets if the preparation isn’t for you.
Add a small amount of chocolate or dried fruit to your flapjacks to add a little sweetness and flavour if that’s what you like.
Snack 8: Quinoa
Quinoa is a great bike commuting snack if you’re looking for something high in carbohydrates and quick and easy to sling together. It’s highly nutritious and low in fat, so if you’re looking for a snack that’s on the healthier side, quinoa surely won’t disappoint.
This can also be eaten either hot or cold, so it can be made in larger batches and kept in the fridge for a later time.
Snack 9: Bananas
If you don’t have the time to stop for a snack during your bike commute to work, a banana can be great if you’re looking for something to eat while you ride. Bananas are also high in potassium and natural sugars, making them a fantastic healthy energy boost.
You might find a cheap ‘banana guard’ carry case from Amazon is the easiest way to carry these without them getting smashed in your bag if you like your bananas ripe!
Snack 10: Hard Boiled Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs are not only extremely easy to prepare, but also high in protein and amino acids which are known to be easily digestible for humans. While many people claim that eggs have a high cholesterol content, many studies have now completely debunked this.
The advantage of hard-boiled over soft boiled eggs is that they won’t make a mess if you accidentally break them and they can keep for longer without spoiling, so you can make a batch of them at the start of the week and take them over a few days.
How many calories does bike commuting burn?
The amount of calories that you burn from bike commuting will largely depend on the length and intensity of the exercise. A study from harvard university shows that biking at a speed of around 12 to 13.9 miles per hour will cause someone who weighs 155 pounds to burn 298 calories in 30 minutes.
How can I beat fatigue from bike commuting?
Fatigue is a pretty common problem for frequent bike commuters. My best suggestions for combating this are: regularly doing yoga, drinking plenty of water, getting plenty of sleep, and eating more often.