Laura Kennington is a British adventure athlete, author, speaker and regular guest presenter at DofE Gold Award Presentations.
Here, Laura shares what she uses to keep her going on adventures.
I often affectionately refer to endurance challenges as moving picnics - the human body is an amazing machine but, just like any other machine, it needs fuel! Snacking little and often is the best way to keep energy levels topped up and I find it also helps to keep morale boosted along the way!
Sports nutrition can seem overly complicated, but it needn’t be. Here are my go-to nibbles:
1. DIY Trail mix. Top of the list because I never leave home without this! Really simple - a resealable sandwich bag filled with mixed nuts (macadamia, almonds, hazelnuts and cashew nuts usually) and dried mango pieces. Nuts have a high fat content so they also contain a lot of energy. They’re also high in both protein and fibre, which makes them satisfying and they keep you going for a while. Full of nutrients like Vitamin E, potassium and magnesium, too — small but mighty.
2. If I was heading out for longer then I’d usually also make some peanut butter sandwiches. Again, very simple but these always come with me on long distance adventures - I’m pretty sure that with enough peanut butter, anything is possible! I often combine one with jam for a sweet option and one with cucumber/tomato slices for a savoury option.
3. Cucumber / celery. Especially good for hotter weather because of the high water content and they are packed full of vitamins / minerals. Carrot sticks are good too!
4. Baked oat cookies. With many cafes being closed during COVID-19, here’s a super simple recipe for your sweet tooth. These are incredibly easy to make & they’re packed full of slow release carbohydrates… they taste yummy, too! Something chocolatey obviously had to feature somewhere on this list...
Ingredients: 1/2 cup oats, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1–2 tbsp peanut butter, 1 banana, 1–2 tbsp cacao powder, 1/3 cup of plant milk (I use oat)
Method: Pre-heat the oven to 190º. Mash the banana and mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Spoon the mixture on to a baking tray covered in baking paper. Ready in about 15 minutes!
5. Lastly, remember to stay hydrated! Water reservoirs that fit in the back of your backpack and have a tube with a bite valve on the end make it easy to sip on the move. Clever water filters (like Water-To-Go bottles) mean you can top up on the go, too. If it’s going to be extra warm, I’d make sure to put some ice and electrolytes in my water before setting out. Powdered electrolyte and carbohydrate mixes are great for sneaking in some extra calories for longer days out if you need to. If it’s going to be cold, then I’d bring a flask with a warm drink in - simple things!
Laura Kennington is a British adventure athlete, author and speaker with a passion for the endurance capability of the human body. Previous adventures include cycling all 1600 miles of the world's longest coastal route in Ireland, cycling Scotland’s North Coast 500 route, running the length of Fuerteventura (100 miles) in 4 days and circumnavigating three of the Channel Islands using three different sporting disciplines. Her most recent adventure was cycling 3700 miles along the North Sea-facing coasts of 8 countries, from Scotland to Norway.
A strong believer in the positive impact that adventure and sport can have on children and adults alike, Laura uses her human powered journeys as a platform to inspire and encourage others. www.laurakairos.com