High Protein Trail Foods
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Pete Acker
(pka45) - F
High Protein Trail Foods on 02/22/2012 09:11:02 MST Print View

Do you all make any attempt to pack some real protein in the backcountry? I eat a very high protein diet normally, and have been trying to find ways to get more than nuts and noodles, without the weight of meat/jerky. I've even been experimenting with adding protein powder to my breakfast recipes, with good success (just did a little write-up with recipes on http://elkprep.blogspot.com). What are your thoughts?

Thanks,

Pete

Jeff Gerke
(mtnrunner) - M

Locale: Utah
Quinoa on 02/22/2012 09:22:19 MST Print View

Quinoa is a complete protein source and I believe it's protein content is around 18%.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
High protein on 02/22/2012 09:32:20 MST Print View

Hi Pete,
My day to day diet right now is about 50% fat, 30% protein, 20% carb. On backpacking trips I tend to eat more carbs, so protein is decreased a little bit. Some things I like for a little extra protein include:

Artisanal salami (eg Olli Salumeria)- no nitrates. Taste great.
Hard cheeses
The packit gourmet freeze dried meats- I add the chicken and sausage to most of my home dehydrated meals. These rehydrate amazingly well, tasting the closest to "real" meat of the products I've tried.
Substituting quinoa pasta for regular.
Nut and seed snacks

Let me know if you come up with anything else.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Milk Bone Dog Biscuits on 02/22/2012 10:01:22 MST Print View

I heard from a VERY experienced hiker that Milk Bone Dog Biscuits are the perfect source of protein on the trail. Stay away from the gravy flavored, they are reported to be nasty tasting.

Leslie Thurston
(lesler) - F

Locale: right here, right now
"High Protein Trail Foods" on 02/22/2012 10:05:35 MST Print View

pete~

CHIA seeds are lofty in protein content.
better still, SALBA seeds trump chia.

hemp protein sound too.
(add it to oatmeal or pasta)

hard boiled eggs also an option, provided you plan to devour within reasonable time frame/properly stored (i've cooked them in town and toted in pack...eggs de-shelled and propped on small ziploc with ice) did this frequently as instructor too...
makes for a filling snack en route back to trail.

hummus travels well too.

lt

Jonathan Rozes
(jrozes)

Locale: Pacific Wonderland
Protein powder on 02/22/2012 12:30:13 MST Print View

My rations for hunting trips are composed mostly of high fat/protein foods (pemmican, salami, nut butters, etc.) with a few scoops of protein powder to get my macros to the desired ratio.

Protein generally has the lowest caloric density of the three macros, but given the choices for adding protein without additional carbs or fat, protein powder would appear to be the best option (100 kcal/oz vs. 73 kcal/oz for lean jerky).

I'm getting 3933 kcal out of my current ration at ~31 oz, so about 126 kcal/oz. With that, I get 206 g protein, 222 g carbs and 247 g fat, so about 21/23/56.

As far as how to consume it, I prefer to drink it. My appetite tends to decrease at altitude, so calories easily consumed and digested are calories actually eaten and not left in the bag. Those qualities are also useful during the long stretches when you have to eat, but don't want to stop.

Edited by jrozes on 02/22/2012 15:38:36 MST.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Milk Bone Dog Biscuits on 02/22/2012 15:36:05 MST Print View

Very funny about the milk bones but my father actually used to like them when I was a kid.

I brought US Wellness Meats pemmican on my last trip. To me it tastes like meat butter. I attempted cooking with it (adding it to a coconut curry) but it just disolves into little tiny bits of meat so it's not very satisfying and quite unappealing in appearance.

I've heard that if you dehydrate your own meat, pressure-cooked or canned chicken dehydrates better than other methods of cooking. Something about the pressurized heating makes it dehydrate and rehydrate better. Might be similar for beef.

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: High protein on 02/22/2012 15:54:53 MST Print View

Pressed, aged hard cheeses. Parmesiano reggiano, manchego, etc. They'll keep for a decent while at room temperature.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: High Protein Trail Foods on 02/22/2012 16:57:30 MST Print View

If you eat meat, buy freeze dried meat. Problem solved!
As for protein drinks? Here is one of mine:
http://www.trailcooking.com/recipes/creamsicle-protein-smoothie

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Protein on 02/22/2012 17:40:46 MST Print View

I think it is well known that the more active you are, the more you need carbs and fat.
Although you do need more protein when active, not that much more. You need fuel more than anything. Protein can be a source of fuel, but it can't compare to carbs and fat.

Some jerky, nuts and peanut butter will keep me happy as protein sources on the trail, but I rarely eat these at home.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: High Protein Trail Foods on 02/22/2012 17:44:54 MST Print View

Peanut butter generally has a lot of protein. Many types also have a lot of fat added, which you may or may not want. There are some fairly natural brands of peanut butter that stay on the healthy side, but often the nut oils and added oils will separate while the stuff is still in the jar. Almond butter is good as well.

I use something close to the Trader Joe recipe for peanut butter cookies, but I make them with half natural peanut butter and half almond butter. If I make them at just the right size, they stack into a round plastic margarine tub so that they can be carried on the trail without crumbling.

--B.G.--

Pete Acker
(pka45) - F
Impressive on 02/23/2012 07:15:10 MST Print View

Thanks all, I'm impressed. I'm liking these ideas. Might have to try some freeze-dried meats for my homemade dinners. I'm also thinking about Jarrow unflavored protein powder to add to Lipton Sides as a ziploc dinner. Anyone tried anything similar?

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
TVP and Cheese on 02/23/2012 07:43:40 MST Print View

TVP is popular with friends. It can be added to Lipton Sides, Ramen noodles and others. Can be found at health/nutrition stores and most supermarkets. I believe it is soy based.

Whey protein powder, maybe?. I know nothing about it. There is a lot of bogus/fake hype about it, so I would avoid it unless you have tested it.

Dry aged cheese can last a very long time on the trail. Parm, Romano, and the other variations. They are salty, so best if used with plain pasta, rice, grits, etc... Not with Lipton or Ramen style flavor packs as they are already heavy on the salt.

Jonathan Rozes
(jrozes)

Locale: Pacific Wonderland
Re: TVP and Cheese on 02/23/2012 11:49:26 MST Print View

"Whey protein powder, maybe?. I know nothing about it. There is a lot of bogus/fake hype about it, so I would avoid it unless you have tested it."

I recommend Lyle McDonald's "The Protein Book" if you want to learn a *lot* about protein.

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/the-protein-book

He also has a series of free articles on protein sources. Links to each here:

http://forums.lylemcdonald.com/showthread.php?t=1736

I'm personally not too keen on soy protein. There are way better protein sources that don't interfere with thyroid and other hormones at high levels of consumption. Hemp for example, appears to be a better alternative for vegans and vegetarians.

I've used Jarrow unflavored whey before. It's good quality stuff, if a little expensive. I now use truenutrition.com - high quality, low prices, low hype, and you can create custom mixes using just about anything.

I'd also recommend you consider a whey/casein blend instead of straight whey. The anabolic and anti-catabolic effects of the combination exceeds either in isolation. For reference, cow milk is 80% casein while human breast milk is 20-40%.

Pete Acker
(pka45) - F
Soy/TVP on 02/23/2012 11:54:10 MST Print View

I agree Jonathan, I avoid soy at all costs. I'll check out that protein source and the casein mix, thanks.

I'm from the camp that doesn't consider protein to "count" nutritionally unless it's from something that had a face on it. I use whey powder a little bit, but generally rely on meat (I always have plenty of venison, eggs, and canned salmon on hand). So it's nice to hear some other opinions on alternatives on the trail.

Pete Acker
(pka45) - F
truenutrition.com on 02/23/2012 11:58:26 MST Print View

Jonathan - what proteins would you recommend on True Nutrition? I have no idea the differences between isolate and concentrate, or the quality of things like beef or egg when they've been processed in that manner...

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Religion on 02/23/2012 12:11:40 MST Print View

Be aware that nutrition advice should be taken with a grain of salt.
Most so called "New Age" nutrition is false from a scientific standpoint. Some can be harmful.

The truenutrition.com is considered nutritional quackery by many real scientists.

I'm one of these people who make no decisions based on quasi-science.

But that is only my opinion.

I do know for a fact that eating more protein than you need can lead to organ problems and gout, doesn't matter if it is soy or animal based.

Jonathan Rozes
(jrozes)

Locale: Pacific Wonderland
Re: Religion on 02/23/2012 12:30:56 MST Print View

"The truenutrition.com is considered nutritional quackery by many real scientists."

If you're talking about the myriad supplements they sell, you'll get no disagreement from me. I buy plain ol' protein, and I don't expect it to do anything that protein from real food would do. It's just another tool in the box.

"I do know for a fact that eating more protein than you need can lead to organ problems and gout, doesn't matter if it is soy or animal based."

Sure. It's the definition of "more than you need" that scientists disagree on, and this likely stems from the fact that "sufficient" does not equal "optimal" and people have wildly varying metabolisms and rates of energy expenditure. Again, I recommend The Protein Book. Lyle's a smart guy with no skin in the game other than getting at the truth using the best science available.

Bradley Danyluk
(dasbin) - MLife
Re: Religion on 02/23/2012 12:41:54 MST Print View

"But that is only my opinion."

Don't sell real science short! It's not only your opinion. It's truth and fact.

Jonathan Rozes
(jrozes)

Locale: Pacific Wonderland
Re: truenutrition.com on 02/23/2012 12:48:34 MST Print View

"Jonathan - what proteins would you recommend on True Nutrition? I have no idea the differences between isolate and concentrate, or the quality of things like beef or egg when they've been processed in that manner..."

Isolate contains more protein (and less milkfat, lactose, etc.) per gram than concentrate, but I can't tell you if it's worth the difference in price. I avoid the hydrolyzed products because they generally have a very bitter taste, but other than that, I tend to stick to the cheap stuff.

I can't comment on any of the other products. I get my beef protein from a butcher and my egg protein from the chickens in my backyard.