Those who exercise long and hard may balk at the thought of eating during a workout, but there is at least one sport where it’s expected to snack as you go. Cycling! Because riders can sustain activity for an hour or more at a steady burn, it is important for them to refuel either as they ride or during a break in their workout. However, not just any snack should be considered “fuel.” Science tells us that carbohydrates are the best snacks for keeping energy up, while protein is the best for recovery. Since a burger and milkshake likely won’t travel well in a jersey pocket, you might want to try some of these snacks instead:

Energy Bars

Aptly named, these convenient snacks can keep you riding at your best for your entire ride. They are a simple grab-and-go option and fit perfectly in a pocket without contributing much mess. Manufacturers also usually do a good job of adding just what you need to consume easily enough even as you are riding.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Though you may think of this childhood staple as lunch, it works as a perfect addition to your snack pouch. The nutty spread (almond butter also works well!) adds protein to stabilize the spike in sugar you might ordinarily get with the jelly, while the bread contributes more carbs to keep you going.

Sports Drinks

Keep hydrated, while also appropriating that hydration where your body needs it. The electrolytes found in many sports drinks can help give you an extra boost while keeping you at your best.


Bananas are often an athlete’s choice of snack because the high level of potassium can keep cramps at bay. But they should also be considered for their portability and carbohydrate composition.

Trail Mix

Trail mix has many advantages. First of all, you can add whatever suits your preference. Nuts, dried fruit, seeds, chocolate candies all make great contributions to your energy. It is completely possible to make it relatively mess-free, depending on your additions.


In Hilton Head, we want you to have a memorable bike ride, but we would rather you remember the beautiful landscape than cramps or a stomachache. Keep your energy up and enjoy the view!