I've actually been checking out the various powdered nutrition options around here. I figured that there must be cheaper alternatives to the Packit Gourmet Jump Start smoothies. Here's what I've found, with calorie percentages of fat, carbs, and protein, as well as the total calories per ounce of powder:
Packit Gourmet Jump Starts:
27% from fat, 40% from carbs, 33% from protein; 113 cal/oz.
32% fat, 53% carbs, 15% protein; 127 cal/oz.
NutriBiotic ProZone, from Vitamin Cottage:
29% fat, 41% carbs, 30% protein; 124 cal/oz.
Walgreen's Shake Mix (about to be discontinued, highly discounted right now):
22% fat, 64% carbs, 14% protein; 118 cal/oz.
Carnation Essentials AND Kellogg's TO GO (identical percentages):
ZERO fat, 84% carbs, 16% protein; 101 cal/oz.
So I'm thinking that I'll go with Ensure and ProZone, due to the caloric balance, cal/oz., and cost, and forget the Jump Starts (high cost) and the no-fat Kellogg's and Carnation powder (cheap, but low cal/oz.). The Walgreen's powder is a real buy right now, but my local stores have sold all the vanilla, and all that's left left is chocolate (a little of that goes a long way for me).
The other thing about the Jump Start smoothies is that I would need to repackage them, to make 3-ounce/ ~375 cal. portions. I can add my own fruit to the vanilla flavor, but peaches and chocolate doesn't sound quite right.
I'd like to know what the best caloric ratio from fats/carbs/protein is while hiking. The standard Government DAILY recommendation is 27% fat, 52% carbs, and 21% protein. So if one will load up on protein at dinner, he/she could focus on fats and carbs during the day. That makes Ensure seem like a pretty good breakfast choice. Jump Starts and ProZone provide more protein, at the expense of fats.
It's interesting to me that Hammer Perpetuem has a ratio of 8% fats, 81% carbs (with a scant 13% of those in the form of simple sugars), and 11% protein. This is intended to be a solid hiking fuel mixture, at 109 cal/oz.
One last offering: ProBar Meal bars contain 48% fat, 42% carbs, and 10% protein. You get 410 calories per 3-oz. bar, yielding a whopping 137 cal/oz!
I don't pretend to know much about nutrition, or the best ways to spread our calories out through the day. I will be watching this thread to see what pearls y'all will offer.