Calories Per Gram of Sports Supplements & Outdoor Foods
Looking for food items with high calories or low calories? Look no further! Here we list a growing database of outdoor foods and sports supplements and sort them by those with the most calories, you can also sort to show those with the least amount of calories per gram too.
We have worked out their calories per gram of each food item so that you can compare them objectively. If you want more control, head on over to the food discovery tool where you can see the same list but with features to filter and sort by many other options.
Ultralight Hikers Looking For High Calories And Low Weight
This list has been created for the ultralighters out there, those interested in outdoor adventures but prefer to carry as little weight as possible whilst still being as comfortable as they can.
We've been there, carried everything including the kitchen sink, not thought out food and meal plans correctly and when we have covered the calories we've hiked with wet packaged meals and less calorie dense foods than we could have for multi-day hikes.
As you read through, we would like to point out that all copy of this article may be subject to change as the food database grows. The dynamic food list featured above will grow as food items are added and we may see new foods get to the top of this list which means what we have written now may differ slightly to the future. Rest assured, this should be used as a guide and the food discovery tool is where you can get most of the answers you are looking for as this is updated daily.
When food is involved with an outdoor expedition and your main requirement is ultralight weight savings, you are going to researching foods which you can keep you going that are calorie dense and also you enjoy eating.
To cut food weight over the span of a multi-day hike or outdoor adventure means that you could literally be saving kilo's in food weight and still find you can consume the calories you need to keep you going.
As a rule of thumb, fats have nearly twice as much as carbs in terms of calorie density. When looking for foods, following this rule of thumb will help with finding foods that cover your calorie requirements and helping to keep weight down.
What Food Types Are Typically High Calories With Low Weights
Categorising the top hundred food items using the table above there are some clear choices when it comes to choosing foods with high calories and low weight. Using the calories per gram sorting option it lists foods with those highest in calories for each gram of food. Using this instead of sorting by the serving weight means that all the foods can be compared objectively as they are all compared at 1g in weight.
Olive & Plant Based Oils
8 calories per gram and up, for every 100g of oil you should expect at least 800 calories.
Dominating the top of the list are olive oils and plant oils, offered in different forms, these plant oils are high in calories and low in weight, starting at 8 calories per gram and sometimes offering more depending on the oil.
If you don't fancy drinking these whole, why not add them to something which you prefer to eat and you'll find that you will easily cover your daily calorie needs.
Nut Butters & Nuts
6 calories per gram and up, for every 100g of nut butters you should expect 600 calories.
As well as eating on their own, adding nuts and nut butters to sandwiches and meals helps them from becoming boring and they have a fantastic calories per gram amount and come in second best to oils.
5.5 calories per gram and up, for every 100g of coconut fats you should expect at least 550 calories.
Not surprising that coconut fat and oils have high calories for their weight. You can find coconut in quite a lot of energy bars and it's great to add shredded coconut to your meals to help diversify their taste and keep calories up.
5.5 calories per gram and up, for every 100g of seeds you should expect at least 550 calories.
You'll have to eat a lot of seeds, but as well as calories, you can also get complete proteins and plenty of vitamins and good stuff from different seed types.
Fruit, Nut, Seed Energy Bars and Trail Mix
5 calories per gram and up, for every 100g of fruit, nut and seed energy bars and trail mix you should expect at least 500 calories.
With the most options, some energy bars and mostly those filled with fruit, nuts and seeds, or even a trail mix/gorp bag. You can keep weight down, won't need to cook anything and keep the calories coming.
4.5 calories per gram and up, for every 100g of energy waffles you should expect at least 450 calories.
Energy waffles are quite a big thing, full of energy, taste sweet and have a decent amount of calories per gram in them.
Packaged Camping Meals
4.5 calories per gram and up, for every 100g of packaged meals you should expect at least 450 calories.
Just sat outside the top 100 food items you will start to find packaged camping meals, freeze-dried and dehydrated meals which you simply add water to. These meals offer the most compared to other camping meals and you will see a large fluctation between them with their calorie density.
Expect to see a lot more options the further down the list you go, with an average of 3.75 to 4 calories per gram.
4.2 calories per gram and up, for every 100g of packaged instant noodles you should expect at least 420 calories.
Although there are plenty of calories in these options, they aren't nutritionally dense so you will have to look elsewhere to find your daily intake of vitamins and minerals.
Example Comparisons Of Foods With Similar Calories But Different Weights
If we aim to have around 3000 calories for a days activity, we can easily accomplish this and weight would be negligible if you are only out for the day.
If though you are doing a multi-day adventure, hiking, cycling or kayaking in the great outdoors, 3000 calories will soon turn in to 15,000 calories and more for a 5 day trip.
With nut butters, oils, trail mix and fruit and nut energy bars you can cover your 3000 calories with as little as 600grams of food.
600 grams of food doesn't sound like a lot, but if you required this for 5 days, that's 3600g, or 3.6kg of food for yourself to cover your calorie needs for the 5 day expedition.
For an ultralighter, that's not so light, but is helped somewhat if you are on a vehicle like a bicycle or kayak as that will help spread and carry the weight.
We prefer to have at least one warm meal a day when on multi-day outings so if we replace some of the food options above with a packaged meal that we can cook, heat or add hot water to, we can look forward to a meal that we enjoy, diversify the foods we are eating and help keep morale up.
How Much More Weight Will Be Added With A Less Calorie Dense Hot Meal Over 5 Days
The average calories per gram for a packaged meal is between 3.75 and 4 calories per gram, but there are a handful of options up to 4.5 calories per gram of food. This means that we are getting about 375 calories to 400 calories per 100g of food carried for a packaged meal, this also does not include the water to rehydrate with.
This is much less than the 600 calories per 100g which the above foods could provide.
If we aim for one warm meal per day and still had a 3000 calorie aim, depending on the packaged meal we would be looking at between 300 and 800 calories for our meal options.
We would be adding anywhere from 165g to 500g in extra weight to cater for a warm meal each day, remember, this doesn't include the extra water required to create the meal, nor the stove and cooking equipment to heat it up.
With these extras, even with something as lightweight as the BRS 3000T ultralight stove and a gas cylinder and a titanium pot you're adding 200-300g more.
All in all, one warm meal a day that is cooked can add up to 1kg in food and equipment, compared to the no-cook method and sticking with calorie dense foods like oils, nut butters, coconut and trail mix.