Top 10 High Protein Foods For Kayaking

Today we’re going to be taking a look at what we believe are the top ten best high protein foods for kayaking. A combination of factors are taken into account, mainly cost, convenience and how easily intuit can be integrated into the activity of Kayaking.

Is Protein Really That Important?

When it comes to your daily nutrition, there are macronutrients such as protein and carbohydrates, and then micronutrients that contain essential vitamins and minerals. The distinguishing factor here is that macro nutrients provide energy in the form of calories, and as such it’s important to be mindful of where we’re getting our calories from, and protein is one of the best sources in terms of general wellbeing.


This is because protein is the best and most reliable source of essential amino acids. Amino acids are responsible for many important functions of the body, such as creating new muscle tissue and neurotransmitters. Although our RDA is for protein, what our bodies really need are these amino acids [1].


What we each need varies on an individual level depending on lifestyle, and what we’re looking to get out of each activity such as kayaking. If you’re looking to build muscle then more protein will help you to achieve tha, but if you’re simply looking to avoid a bit of soreness from DOMS, then sticking to around 2g per kilogram should keep you on top of everything [2]. 

Why is High Protein Relevant to Kayaking?

Kayaking is a difficult and at times very exhausting water sport, so in order to enjoy ourselves as much as possible, we need a couple of things. The first that comes to mind is energy, and protein can really help with that. Though it’s true that carbohydrates provide energy faster, and fat provides more energy in total, high protein foods are the most ideal for before most journeys onto the water, and especially for those longer trips. 


This is because protein has been clinically proven to be far more satiating than carbohydrates and fats, and provides energy to your muscles and brain for optimal performance thanks to the amino acids present [3]. Essentially speaking, no matter what it is that you’re doing, more exercise means you’re going to need more protein in order to properly sustain yourself and keep you full and satisfied. 

Considerations When Packing Food For Your Trip

As much as we’d love to suggest bringing along a freshly cooked 10” pizza, it’s hardly ideal. There are certain aspects that just don’t allow it, so let’s take a look at what we need to consider when bringing food on a kayaking trip.


This is more of an issue for longer kayaking trips that will have you needing an energy top up whilst on the water. Even so, it’s not like you can bring everything to prepare a full meal as though you’re at home when you’re needing food during your trip, so you need to make sure you’re bringing something you can easily put together without needing too much equipment that would otherwise be unnecessary. 

Shelf Life

Though it may seem a little much to consider shelf life for a weekend trip, the last thing you want to do is forgetfully bring along some food that requires refrigeration, only to have it spoil during your travels. Pack smart, and consider the storage requirements of your foods before bringing them along. The last thing you want to be dealing with is hunger pangs during some difficult rapids.


This is again something that needs a lot more consideration if you’re bringing something out onto the water with you, but isn’t something you should ignore under any circumstances. Fruit is something a lot of people can make this mistake with, especially banana’s. Consider that your food is reasonably likely to take something of a beating during your travels, so either find ways to pack fragile foods appropriately (which can take up a lot more space than you’d really want) or bring along more durable foods.


A lot of the time when we’re figuring out logistics for trips we can forget that we need to enjoy our foods. In fact, appetite has been linked to taste, so the best case scenario is to bring along your favorite tasting, high protein foods in order to minimize hunger and maximize energy [4]. 

Top 10 High Protein Foods for Kayaking

Without any further adieu let’s get right into the list. With the nature of Kayaking the majority of this list is more snack oriented to help keep you going, but where it’s appropriate there are some meal ideas. Bare in mind the individual needs of yourself and the unique aspects of your trip as no two are the same. 

High Protein Food #1 Rootana

Look at your high protein foods, now look at Rootana, now back at your high protein foods, now back at Rootana. Sadly it isn’t Rootana, but with nothing but a fresh water supply and 30 seconds to shake, and you’ll be enjoying 400 calories of high protein bliss.


Jokes aside, Rootana is genuinely the best choice here, so let’s break it down properly. First of all, in terms of size/weight, there’s somewhat of a balancing act you need to do. You need enough food to last your trip but without taking up much space, so you need to be efficient with a space to calories ratio. Considering just 4 scoops of Rootana provides 400 calories, and that the entire bag (14 meals) is just 1.33kg/2.93lbs, you’re onto a winner with Rootana.


Here at Rootana we pride ourselves on many things, but an achievement we’re especially proud of is how we managed to create our meal replacement shake whilst avoiding all artificial sweeteners and preservatives. This has caused our drink to have an organic, subtly sweet flavor that avoids the synthetic aftertaste that is unfortunately associated with meal replacement shakes. In terms of shelf life, you’ve nothing to fear either, as we’ve opted to use ingredients that naturally have a long shelf life, without requiring any special storage solutions.

High Protein Food #2 Energy Balls

In terms of what can be the best high protein foods for kayaking, energy balls are definitely up there for most people. The catch? You have to make them yourself ahead of time, and in our experience they can sometimes break up whilst traveling. That said if you’ve got the time to make them up, they’re an incredible option, especially considering you can easily add a scoop of Rootana to really boost the calories and macros of these things. 


The most simple way we’ve found to make them is 150g oatmeal, 110g peanut butter, 75g low sugar chocolate chips, 1 scoop of Rootana, 50g cup of chia seeds and 1tsp of salt. Just throw it all in a blender to mix things thoroughly, without grinding it all too fine. Simple shape into the balls and place in the fridge, and they’ll be ready in about two hours.

High Protein Food #3 Beef Jerky/Biltong

The classics are classics for a reason, and jerky really speaks for itself. It’s delicious, easy to bring along, will last until you want to eat it, and is high protein so will keep you fed. The only thing to consider here is that biltong/ jerky is typically high in sodium, so if you’re trying to watch your salt intake or have kidney issues, it’s best to rely on it too hard. That said, for the vast majority of us, it’s a great snack to bring along and comes recommended by many.

High Protein Food #4 Protein Chips

Though they falter slightly in the durability end of the spectrum, they excel in all other aspects. Protein chips are a fantastic source of energy that is convenient and easy to pack, packed full of protein to keep you satiated and they taste delicious, often with a bunch of different flavors to choose from. We’re not going to recommend any one brand here, we recommend instead that you just try some out until you find your personal favorite, it won’t take you long.

High Protein Food #5 Tinned Tuna

You can’t mention high protein foods without mentioning tuna, as it’s just such a fantastic source of the stuff. Rich in healthy fats and protein, Tuna is an incredible source of calories, giving you an important boost in energy when you need it most. The only issue with this one is how you eat it, as it’s not for everything to simply drain the tin and stick a fork into it. Mayo is a staple but it doesn’t travel well, so instead we’d recommend you either make up tuna mayo to travel with, or bring along a small amount of salt and vinegar to spruce it up a bit. 

High Protein Food #6 Protein Bars

Protein bars are a no-brainer, the only reason they’re so low on this list is because of the amount of artificial sweeteners/ sugar that is normally present. That being said, the convenience and results of snacking on a protein bar can’t be understated, being very deserving of a spot on this list. We don’t recommend you eat too many of them, but they’re almost always worth bringing along for that quick boost of energy when you need it the most.

High Protein Food #7 Nuts and Seeds/ Trail Mix

Though not quite as applicable as they are on hikes, they’re similar to protein chips in a lot of ways, but typically less protein, positioning it lower on the list as a result. That being said, all of the merits are here: Incredibly convenient, simple energy that tastes great. It’s difficult to ask for more than that, just make sure you either decant them into a more hardy container, or place them on top of everything once you’ve packed to decrease the chances of having trail powder instead.

High Protein Food #8 Cured Meat

Meats such as pepperoni, chorizo and salami are fantastic ways to get your protein in on your trip. Ofcourse this would include Jerky as well, with the main difference being that you traditionally purchase Jerky in a convenient bag, already prepared for consumption, whereas most cured meats are purchased whole, meaning you’ll need to take the time to cut and package them prior to your trip. Not the biggest issue in the world, but when we’re looking at the very best options here that slight inconvenience makes the difference between top of the list and bottom of the list.

High Protein Food #9 Protein Shakes

Though not ideal, you can’t deny the convenience of a protein shake in this setting is great. The only catch is it’s lack of important macro nutrients such as carbohydrates, fibre and healthy fats. With this in mind, they make a great hit of protein when you need it the most but you’ll have to prepare some way to get the rest of your nutritional needs accounted for, leaving it much further down the list as a result.

High Protein Food #10 Peanut Butter

It might not have the highest protein content on this list, and requires a bit more forethought, still – peanut butter is a fantastic plant based protein solution when you’re kayaking. It’s very versatile and can be enjoyed solo, spread on bread or combined with a wide variety of delicious condiments, making peanut butter a fantastic choice for vegans and vegetarians.

Final Thoughts on High Protein Meals for Kayaking

When it comes to any sort of sporty trip, whether that’s hiking in the hills or in this case, kayaking on the water, Rootana’s unique combination of nutrition and simplicity make it an incredibly convenient and worthwhile boost to energy. Just grab the bag and bring it along, or if you’re saving space simply portion out what you need into a more convenient storage container and you’re on your way. Once you’re ready to enjoy your meal, four scoops and a quick shake and there you have it. It literally couldn’t be any simpler, so consider Rootana the next time you’re planning a trip away, it could be exactly what you need to see it through.



1 –

2 –

3 –

4 –

Rootana Pouch
Order now

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *