Reasons Why You May Want to Make Your Own Trail Mix
Trail mix is arguably the go-to snack for maintaining energy and easing hunger during hikes. However, most people don't realize that a lot of products are far from healthy, and their high sugar and salt content can actually contribute to energy crashes. If you want to enjoy the full benefits of trail mix, the best, and cheapest way is to make your own. Let's take a look at a general recipe that is very easy to prepare, and you can improvise it according to your tastes and preferences as well.
2 cups of salted peanuts
1 cup of pecans (whole)
1 cup of light raisins
1 cup of dark raisins
1 cup of sunflower seeds
Preparation and Variation
All you need to do is mix the ingredients together, separate into equal portions and store them in freezer bags or a small airtight container. You can also add all kinds of different dehydrated fruits, additional nuts, a small amount of pretzel bits, rice cereal, bread chips and even a little bit of bee honey if you want the mix to be a little bit more moist.
However, it's important to keep added flour or rice products to a minimum as they also contribute to sugar spikes and energy crashes. The added salt will also entice you to eat more than you need, and it can also upset the electrolyte balance that you are trying to maintain. A general rule of thumb to follow is to add just enough to give your trail mix a little bit of crunch.
Why These Ingredients
The trick to making a good trail mix is to include ingredients that will provide a slow and steady source of energy and protein. The salt from the peanuts will help to replenish sodium that is lost through perspiration, and it also helps cells to absorb water more-efficiently. The raisins contain nutrients that are also lost through perspiration, and their natural sugars work with the salt to support proper re-hydration after drinking water.
Most commercial products contain a lot of refined sugar or corn syrup which magnifies the energy boost but also makes crashes more severe. Extra salt is also added in order to make products more appetizing. This is a marketing trick that causes people to crave and eat more products, and this translates into more sales.
If you decide to purchase trail mix instead of making it your own, make sure that it is organic and doesn't contain a lot of additives. You will definitely notice a longer-lasting energy burst along with fewer withdrawal symptoms if you go the all-natural route.
Learn more about the benefits of making your own trail mix, and don't be afraid to try different recipes or variations. Chances are that you will end up with a more-satisfying and effective finished product that will give you the energy you need without the crash that you don't want.