Last Updated on August 27, 2022 by James
Finding the best snacks for skiing is crucial. It will give you the energy to maximize your time on the mountain and produce your best turns throughout the day.
Ski snacks have traditionally been breakfast leftovers, sugar-packed candy or the classic PB+J sandwich. Although these options might be quick and easy taste bud pleasers; they don’t always garner optimal performance.
In this guide; we have listed and analyzed the best ski snacks. Each one is proven to promote energy, support health and enhance mental clarity.
Top 10 Best Ski Snacks Ranking
- Once Again Almond Butter
- Terrasoul Superfoods Medjool Dates
- Sunfood Macadamia Nuts
- Nutraw Coconut Bar
- Wild & Raw Sun-Dried Apricots
- Dang Coconut Chips
- Made In Nature Smyrna Figs
- Thunderbird Real Food Bar
- Larabar Peanut Butter Cookie
- Viva Naturals Cacao Nibs
Best Ski Snacks Comparison
Organic and non-GMO almond butter that promotes sustained energy, fast recovery and satiety
Natural and nutritious fruit that provides fast digesting glucose for an immediate energy boost
Minimally processed energy source that releases slowly and benefits the mind and body
Great all-round unprocessed energy bar with a blend of fast and slow releasing energy
Raw chocolate 'treat' that is packed with nutrients and is satiating enough to keep away sugar cravings
Whole food and organic burst of fast acting energy that can satisfy a sweet tooth without sacrificing your health
Healthy 3-ingredient bar that has fast acting glucose and slowly digesting fats to support your performance
Raw and organic whole food with incredible health benefits and a satifying amount of healthy fat
Whole food energy bar with fast digesting sugars, high quality fats and a caffeine hit for intense energy
Tasty whole food that is packed with fast digesting glucose for an instant energy and nutrient boost
Just Before Exertion
Just Before Exertion
Just Before Exertion
Heart healthy, slow release energy, satiating, portable, organic and natural, nutrient dense
Fast acting, big energy boost, nutritious, natural and unprocessed, portable, delicious
Fastest absorbing fat, mental focus, great alternative to potato chips, versatile, fresh taste, satiating
Quick glucose energy burst, sustained energy from healthy fat, enhanced brain focus, muscle repair
Nutrient dense, delicious, satiating, healthy fat, raw and organic, versitile
Fast acting enegy, large energy spike, real unprocessed whole food, packed with nutrients, tasty
Quick glucose energy, healthy fats, only 3 ingredients, muscle repair protein, slow digesting fat
High in nutrients, omega-3 health benefits, satiating, versitile, slow release energy
Caffiene energy boost, fast digesting glucose, healthy fats, variety of nutrients, all-rounder
Easy to digest energy, satisfy a sweet tooth, raw and whole, quick and easy, nutricious
Not for instant energy
Can cause a sugar crash
Health benefits are still debated
Expensive, not targeted nutrition
Limited energy potential
Not for sustained energy
Not for apres ski, taste not for everyone
Caffiene not for everyone, expensive
Short term energy fix
Coconut, Sea Salt
Dates, Coconut, Almonds
Dates, Peanuts, Sea Salt
Hazelnut, Coffee, Maca Root (+9)
Macros (per serving)
Carb 6g, Fat 17g, Protein 7g
Carb 11g, Fat 0g, Protein 0g
Carb 11g, Fat 17g, Protein 2g
Carb 15g, Fat 10g, Protein 6g
Carb 6g, Fat 4g, Protein 3g
Carbs 26g, Fat 0g, Protein 1g
Carbs 23g, Fat 12g, Protein 6g
Carbs 4g, Fat 21g, Protein 2g
Carbs 14g, Fat 8g, Protein 5g
Carb 28g, Fat 0g, Protein 1g
Calcium, potassium, iron
Potassium, copper, magnesium
Manganese, copper, selenium
Calcium, copper, iron
Manganese, copper, magnesium
Vitamin B6, thiamine, vitamin K
Potassium, niacin, biotin
Vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin
Iron, magnesium, potassium
Potassium, calcium, magnesium
Antioxidants, bood sugar control, lower cholesterol
Antioxidants, brain health, reduced inflammation
Brain function, blood sugar control, fat burning
Cognitive function, reduced inflammation
Anti-inflammatory, immune boosting
Improved digestion, anticancer, healthy skin
Heart health, antioxidants, gallstone prevention
Heart health, joint health, blood sugar regulation
Sports endurance, focus, heart health
Improved digestion, eye health, skin health
Why Do I Need The Best Ski Snacks?
Getting hungry while you’re on the slopes is almost inevitable. It’s an energy intensive sport that requires tremendous physical exertion in order to produce peak performance.
A recent Harvard Medical School study looked at the amount of calories burned when performing a variety of different sports and activities.
The study found that a 155-pound person will burn around 216 calories in just 30 minutes of downhill skiing. When looking at cross-country skiing; that figure jumped to 246 calories per 30 minutes.
When you’re burning this amount of calories; you need to make sure you’ve got plenty of fuel in the tank. If you’re body’s running on empty, your energy levels are going to lag and your performance will inevitably suffer.
However, it’s not just about quantity, it’s also about quality. The best ski snacks are designed to provide sustained energy for long periods of time, rather than just the temporary sugar rush of chocolate or candy.
The snacks we have listed provide a meaningful energy release without harming your health. In fact, many of the foods in this guide are great at decreasing inflammation, improving joint health and boosting muscle strength; all of which are key health markers for skiers.
How To Choose The Best Ski Snacks
The term ‘macronutrients’ refers to protein, fat and carbohydrate. Every type of food will be formed from at least one of these macronutrients, which will dictate the benefits it has for your body.
Protein is often regarded as the ‘muscle’ macro. It’s made up of amino acids, which the body uses to build and repair muscle and bone.
Protein plays an important role in ski nutrition. Its ability to quickly recover your muscles after a taxing day on the slopes is vital, while it can also help you build additional strength over time.
The most important time to eat protein is at the end of your day on the slopes. By consuming protein rich foods during après ski; you will give your body the tools it needs to prepare for the next day’s skiing.
Fat is an essential macronutrient for the body that performs many functions. It’s a major source of energy, helps us absorb vital nutrients and makes up our cell membranes. In addition, it’s vital for lower inflammation in the body.
Fat was unjustly vilified by the nutrition ‘experts’ over recent decades, but has made a resurgence in recent years. It’s now recognized that, just like any other macronutrients, there are ‘good fats’ and ‘bad fats’.
Mono and polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in nuts and olives, are now viewed as heart healthy additions to your plate. In addition, the previously dreaded saturated fat has cautiously made a comeback; with coconut oil now being viewed as a ‘superfood’ by many.
Healthy fats can be a great ‘slow burning’ fuel source that can power your day on the mountain and is one of the best ski snacks. Just be sure to steer clear of the dangerous ‘trans fats’ found in processed foods (such as cakes, deli meats, margarine) and you will reap the rewards on and off the slopes.
Carbohydrates (or ‘carbs’) are often viewed as the ‘primary’ fuel source of the body. They are comprised of sugars, starches and fibers; all of which are broken down into glucose and used for energy.
The rate at which carbohydrates digest is often the biggest factor when assessing which food to choose for a specific situation. ‘Complex’ carbohydrates will produce a longer ‘slow burning’ level of energy, while ‘simple’ carbohydrates will give you a quick boost.
Carbohydrates come in a variety of ‘healthy’ and unhealthy forms. Fast digesting carbs could include fruit, candy or white bread, while slow digesting carbs include brown bread, beans and yams.
The key to using carbohydrates successfully is timing. Obtaining sustained energy through the use of complex carbs can be beneficial during a long day on the mountain. In contrast, using simple carbs to provide a targeted energy surge before a big exertion can be a great way to boost immediate performance.
Caution: Whether you’re a fan of carbohydrate use or not; it’s important to stick with healthy ‘whole food’ options. Carbohydrate rich candy, crackers and chocolate have been widely touted as ‘great ski snacks’, but can be extremely damaging to your health.
Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals your body requires to function optimally. There are around 30 micronutrients that we need to consume on a regular basis, many of which work synergistically to keep you healthy.
Every micronutrient plays a key role in optimizing multiple aspects of your health. Some regulate your metabolism and energy production, while others strengthen your immune system and fight inflammation.
Getting the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals is key to the health of skiers. It will allow you to maintain energy, expedite recovery, boost performance and stave off injury.
It’s possible to get all the micronutrients you need from diet and lifestyle choices. The foods you ingest should be whole, unprocessed foods in their natural form; and that includes ski snacks. Every bite of food you take should be viewed as a missing piece of the micronutrient puzzle you’re trying to complete.
If you’re struggling to fit enough whole foods into your diet, then we recommend taking a supplement to replace any missing links. Fortunately; we also have an ultimate guide that details the best supplements for skiing to point you in the right direction.
In our opinion; you should never sacrifice your health in pursuit of performance. Many of the ‘sports nutrition’ snacks on the market can do a great job of boosting energy; but they can be catastrophic for your wellbeing.
The focus here should be to look for snacks that are whole foods or produced using entirely natural ingredients. It’s important to steer clear of the energy gels and nut butters that promise performance but come laced with unhealthy chemicals and preservatives.
You should aim for ski snacks that provide a full spectrum of nutritional value. Micronutrients are rarely available in commercially processed foods, while the macronutrient content is also frequently diminished.
The ski snacks we have recommended are not only good for your performance; they’re also good for your health. We have strived to list only foods with natural ingredients from trusted brands; allowing you to rest in the knowledge that your health is not being damaged.
The best ski snacks are easy to stash in your pocket and easily accessible on a chairlift. By providing a dense amount of nutrients in a small package; they offer plenty of ‘bang for your buck’.
It’s worth noting that portability also means that your snacks should be tough enough to withstand life on the mountain. High impacts can lead to unwanted food explosions or broken packaging. If you’ve ever taken a banana onto the slopes; there’s a good chance you know what I’m talking about.
However, also be aware that many portable foods are also packed using unhealthy methods of preservation. When making your purchase, be sure to choose an unprocessed version that can still withstand travel.
A Cautionary ‘Side Note’ About Ski Snack Selection
Simply googling the term ‘best ski snacks’ can lead you in the direction of poor health. The results are awash with articles prescribing candy, chocolate, crackers and cookies as the remedy for your ski slope energy needs.
Granted; these ultra-processed foods are capable of providing a short burst of energy that can improve immediate performance. However, that burst is often followed by a severe blood sugar crash that is detrimental to overall performance.
The point here is that ultra-processed and highly refined foods are devastating for your health. They are highly inflammatory to the body, provide little micronutrient content and can lead to a host of metabolic diseases.
Let’s get one thing clear; we are not saying that you cannot have a bite of cake or a scoop of ice cream on a special occasion. However, in our opinion, these foods should not be a staple of any ski snack nutrition plan.
A Word From The Author
Ski snacks are one of the ‘puzzle pieces’ that make up optimal performance. Although it’s possible to produce good skiing without snacking; maintaining sufficient energy levels can be a challenge for some.
My advice is to take ski slope nutrition seriously. Gone are the days of snacking on junk food and thinking it’s ok because you will ‘burn it off when you’re skiing’.
Whether you’re on the mountain or at home; the food you eat directly affects every aspect of your being. It changes your body composition, dictates your hormones and impacts your cognitive function.
The best ski snacks should be viewed as bringing you in a positive direction with your overall performance and health. Look for real foods that provide energy, improve recovery, maintain health and reduce inflammation.
Do yourself a favor this winter and trade the processed sugary treats for a whole food alternative. You won’t regret it.
Best Ski Snacks Reviewed
Portable nut butters are a superb way for skiers to hit their daily calorie, nutrient and energy goals without lugging around a vast amount of food. When assessing the wide variety products on the market; we favoured Once Again’s Almond Butter and were delighted to make it our best ski snack.
Almonds are packed with micronutrients that can boost a range of health markers. They provide a substantial amount of antioxidants that can reduce inflammation, while the benefits of almonds on heart health are also well documented.
Almond butter provides a great balance of macronutrients; with plant-based protein to aid recovery, gut friendly fiber and slow digesting fats to produce a sustained energy release. In addition, the caloric density and nutritional profile of almond butter makes it incredibly satiating.
Anyone heading to the slopes will benefit from taking some almond butter. We feel that the organic, non-GMO and portable product offered by Once Again is the best on the market for skiers of all abilities and ages.
- Lightweight and portable
- Long lasting energy release
- Heart healthy
- Incredibly nutrient dense
- Organic and non-GMO
- Tastes great
- Protein for faster recovery
- No instant energy hit
- Texture can be a bit ‘gritty’
Medjool dates are a glucose rich, nutrient dense powerhouse that can help you excel during an intense day on the slopes. By sourcing them from non-GMO crops and packaging them in a portable way; Terrasoul Superfoods have made them a standout ski snack that is our top pick for instant energy.
The medjool dates have the highest glucose content of any fruit, which is a quick-releasing type sugar that can be directed straight to your muscles. This glucose hit also comes with a variety of nutrients that can boost brain health and reduce inflammation for enhanced wellness and recovery.
The dates sourced by Terrasoul Superfoods are certified organic, non-GMO and come in ‘ski-slope-friendly’ packaging. If you need another reason to add this snack to your pack; they also taste fantastic and can more than satisfy any ‘sugar cravings’ you might have without damaging your health.
Anyone looking for a burst of energy before a ski run will benefit from Terrasoul Superfoods Medjool Dates. High in glucose, nutrient dense and extremely delicious; they are a superb ski snack.
- Quick digesting energy burst
- Highest ‘muscle bound’ glucose of any fruit
- Loads of nutrients
- Raw and natural whole food
- Perfect healthy ‘candy replacement’
- Anti-inflammatory properties can aid recovery
- Portable and naturally ‘bit sized’
- Short energy spike
- Dates can get squashed together in your pocket/pack
The word ‘superfood’ is used far too regularly in the modern age. However, if there is any product we could undoubtably put into this category, it’s probably macadamia nuts.
Sunfoods Superfoods macadamia nuts are raw, organic and certified non-GMO; meaning they are guaranteed to retain their excellent nutritional profile during harvest. The health boosting omega-3’s these nuts provide has made them a world-renowned food that can positively impact heart health, inflammation, cognitive function and longevity.
By providing high amounts of healthy fats; these calorie dense nuts have the slow burning energy you need for long days on the mountain. Adding to this; they include quality proteins that can speed up your recovery and support your body composition.
The list of health benefits and energising properties of Sunfood Superfoods’ Macadamia Nuts make them a fantastic ski snack choice. Despite coming with a high price-tag; they are guaranteed to keep you in great shape on the slopes.
- Omega-3 content for heart, brain and overall wellbeing
- Very satiating
- Calorie and nutrient dense
- Science backed health benefits
- Slow release energy
- Raw, organic and unprocessed
- Can be added to any meal or used as a pocket snack
- Very steep price-tag
- Not a quick energy fix
The Nutraw Coconut Bar is a well-rounded ski snack that provides a combination of energy and nutrition that can benefit you in a range of situations. It’s an organically sourced bar that comprises of just 3 health promoting ingredients; dates, coconut and almonds.
The dates used in the bar provide an immediate glucose energy kick, while the coconut and almonds provide slow-releasing fats that can fuel your entire day. In addition, the inclusion of coconut provides ‘MCT’ fats that are easily converted into fuel for the body and brain.
The nutrition profile of the Nutriraw Coconut Bar is also impressive; with benefits such as reduced inflammation and improved cognitive function being beneficial to skiers. It’s also worth mentioning the protein kick provided by the inclusion of almonds that will work to speed up your recovery.
Combining 3 superb ingredients that have individual benefits for skiers has made the Nutriraw Coconut Bar one of our top picks. It’s great for almost any situation and comes in a handy portable size.
- Fast and slow energy release
- Only 3 superb ingredients
- Organically sourced – no preservatives or chemicals
- Great taste
- Coconut MCT energy benefits
- Almond protein for muscle repair
- Ani-inflammatory and heart healthy
- Not for targeted nutrition
Apricots are a fruit that have an extremely high glucose content; making them a hard hitting energy boost for skiers. These organic sun-dried apricots from Wild & Raw take this energy intensive fruit and turn it into a perfect portable ski snack.
The sun-dried apricots are incredibly easy to digest and can improve muscle energy within just 15 minutes. They also pack a nutritional punch; with potassium, calcium and magnesium providing support for your mind and body.
Apricots are also heralded for aiding digestion, improving eye health and can benefit your skin. Not only are they super nutrient dense; they are also delicious for those looking for a sweet sugar fix.
Providing intense energy, a variety of nutrients and a tasty ‘treat’; it’s easy to see why we rate Wild & Raw’s Sun-Dried Apricots so highly. If you’re looking to improve your ski performance without compromising your health, they’re a great addition to your shopping list.
- High amount of muscle-bound glucose
- Fast hit of energy
- Organic and raw
- Will cure a sugar ‘craving’
- Naturally bite-sized
- Great for your gut health
- Healthy candy substitute
- Packed with nutrients
- Short energy burst
- Glucose ‘energy’ is inferior to medjool dates
Coconut products have become a health food commodity in recent years following a string of promising research. It’s now being promoted as a satiating and energy producing snack that contains a range of benefits.
The Dang Coconut chips are a superb way to get some organic coconut goodness when you’re on the slopes. They’re packed with fast acting ‘MCT’ fats that are shown to convert into energy at a rapid rate that will benefit skiers.
Aside from energy potential; these coconut chips are also filled with essential nutrients. Focus, blood sugar control and fat burning are all positive benefits that can be found in coconut products.
The satiating and calorie dense nature of the Dang Coconut Chips makes them a worthy snack for any skier. It’s a great healthy substitute for traditional chips that can boost your performance this winter.
- Fast acting and energy intensive MCT fats
- Calorie and nutrient dense
- Great potato chip replacement
- Organic, non-GMO, vegan, gluten free and keto friendly
- Brain function benefits
- Long lasting energy release
- Satiating and delicious
- Saturated fat health ‘debate’ still inconclusive around coconut products
- Can get crushed into crumbs on impact
Figs are a high-glucose energy source that provides instant fuel for those all-important muscles. These smyrna figs by Made In Nature have packaged this amazing fruit in a portable way that makes it a superb snack for skiing.
Including a vast amount of fast acting sugar with little other macro value; these figs provide an intense energy burst that can maximize any ski run. Along with the boost in performance; you can also expect a range of health positives thanks to their high vitamin and mineral content.
Improved digestion, healthy skin and reduced risk of cancer are all benefits you can reap by enjoying this ski snack. If that’s not enough; they are also certified organic, non-GMO and incredibly tasty.
Figs are a superb food that can reload muscle glycogen stores before an intense slide. These smyrna figs from Made In Nature are a great way to get your calorie, energy and nutrient needs.
- Plenty of fast acting glucose energy
- Rapid energy spike
- Delicious taste
- Healthy substitute for candy
- Raw, organic, whole and GMO-free
- Easily pocketable size
- Multitude of health benefits
- Energy rush won’t last long
- Less glucose (energy) per 100g than dates and apricots
- Can get pocket squished
Thunderbird are a company on a mission to produce healthy energy bars that are delicious, nutritious and made from whole food ingredients. The range of products and flavour combinations they have is vast; but the hazelnut+coffee+maca is our favourite.
The full list of ingredients includes; Dates, hazelnuts, almonds, cacao powder, vanilla extract, chia seeds, coffee beans, maca powder and Himalayan sea salt. Each of these ingredients has a variety of health benefits for skiers, including; boosted endurance, improved focus, fast and slow releasing energy (& many more!).
The added coffee beans make for a great morning kick that can improve your energy on the snow. The blend of fast digesting glucose and slow burning fats also makes it a well-rounded meal replacement to power your performance.
The athletic benefits and nutrient profile of the Thunderbird Real Food Bar are impressive. It’s got a mix of ingredients that provide energy for any for any situation and comes in a handy portable size.
- Coffee to kick start your morning
- Instant energy from date glucose
- Healthy fats for slow burning energy
- Protein for muscle repair
- All whole food ingredients
- Portable and easy to pocket
- Massive range of health benefits
- Coffee doesn’t react well with everyone
- Jack of all trades, master of none
- Best Timing: Pre/Mid Skiing
- Ingredients: Dates, Peanuts, Sea Salt
- Macros: Carbs 23g, Fat 12g, Protein 6g
- Main Micros: Potassium, Niacin, Biotin
- Health Benefits: Heart health, antioxidants, gallstone prevention
- Retailers: Amazon, Walmart
- Alternate Flavours: Blueberry Muffin, Chocolate Chip Brownie, (+ Many More)
Larabar are a reputable brand that have spent over 20 years developing the most healthy and ‘whole food focussed’ energy snacks possible. It’s a bar that comes in a multitude of flavours, with our recommended choice for skiers being the Peanut Butter Cookie.
The Larabar is another nutritional all-rounder that can aid energy, health and recovery. It comes loaded with fast acting glucose and slowly digesting fats for an all-day approach to nutrition.
The bars also provide a variety of nutrients that can benefit your health in many ways. From heart health to gall stone protection; the naturally sourced ingredients are sure to keep your diet on track.
The Larabar is a superb overall meal-replacement solution that can fit nicely into your pocket. It’s made from whole and healthy ingredients that can all benefit your health and skiing this winter.
- Minimally processed whole food ingredients
- Fast acting energy from date glucose
- Slow release healthy fat
- Calorie and nutrient dense
- Great overall meal replacement
- Great health benefits
- Promotes muscle repair and rebuild
- ‘All-rounder’ rather than targeted nutrition
- Taste doesn’t suit everyone
If you’re looking for a way to get your chocolate fix without harming your health; Viva Naturals Cacao Nibs might be the answer. It’s chocolate in its most natural and organic form that is packed in a ski snack size.
Cacao in its raw form provides a string of health benefits; including reduced inflammation and improved immune function. The micronutrient profile these nibs offer also packs a punch that can boost your muscle and joint health.
In terms of macronutrients; cacao nibs provide a well-rounded blend of carbs, fats and proteins that can support your on-slope ambitions. The energy release is slow and steady, making them a perfect snack for any time of the day.
Anyone looking for a healthy snack that can be enjoyed on the mountain will be happy with Viva Naturals Cacao Nibs. It’s a superb substitute for chocolate that’s packed full of nutrients and provides enough energy to boost your ski performance.
- Perfect chocolate substitute
- Packed with vital nutrients
- Can aid joint inflammation
- Well-rounded macronutrient profile
- Slow digesting energy
- Satisfying taste
- Raw and organic whole food
- Versatile usage
- Limited energy potential
- Too bitter tasting for some
Making sure you optimize your nutrition is paramount to a successful day skiing. Sustaining your energy levels can be challenging if you’re pushing for peak performance or learning a new skill.
The best ski snacks are capable of fueling a powerful and energetic performance. By offering good quality micro and macro nutrients; they can enhance your athletic ability and preserve your health.
Every snack we have listed is ideally suited to a different situation or type of skier. They all provide varying amounts of vitamins and minerals that can contribute to your wellness in the short and long term.
James is the founder of SnowSunSee. He started skiing when he was five years old and has been a qualified ski instructor for 8 years. He has taught skiing in many countries, including UK, Europe, Japan, China and Malaysia. When he’s not on the slopes, James spends his time travelling the world one trail at a time.