The beach is an incredible place. The warm comfort of basking in the bright sun as your toes dig into the sand and the sound of crashing waves flow into your ears like music for the soul. The laugh of children building sandcastles beside you, the radio playing exciting music on your towel, and the passing caw of seagulls above all create an ambience that makes the day a just about perfect.

If it wasn’t for the fact that you can never seem to find the right foods to bring with you on the beach you’d have it all covered. There would be no questions or concerns as you rolled your cooler across the sand and jabbed your umbrella into the ground – staking your claim to sun, fun, and a great afternoon.

You’re conscious about your fitness and your training goals, which makes this dilemma much harder to handle. It’s easy to just throw some chips and candy in a bag, fill the cooler with beer and soda, and just not care about what you’re consuming that day. Yet, it’s a bit of a hassle to drag out half a refrigerator full of cooked lean proteins, vegetables and fruits, and healthy beverages. There has to be some foods that are snack-able, packable, and positively impactful on your body that you can roll down to the shore.

Thankfully, there are. Here’s 10 foods to pack for the beach.

  1. Turkey or Beef Jerky

A high-quality protein snack that can be found in any grocery or convenience store – jerky provides dense proteins that are filling to both your stomach and your muscles. Take an extra second to look at labels and find brands that don’t overuse salts and preservatives – you’ll be thankful you paid the extra few dollars. Try Perky Jerky

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  1. Mixed Nuts

Like the jerky, mixed nuts provide outstanding protein in addition to healthy fats that support proper function of all parts of the body. Studies have even shown high levels of omega 3 fatty acids, found in walnuts, can lower inflammation and help decrease body fat.

  1. Kale Chips

You don’t have to deny yourself the satisfying crunch of a chip just because you’re mindful of your dietary selections. Many companies have begun to use sweet potatoes, quinoa, black beans, kale, spinach, and other superfoods to make delicious chips that still retain a relatively high nutritional value.

  1. Sliced Veggies and Hummus

You can’t have a list of healthy foods without mentioning vegetables (as though your grandmother is talking to you). Taking the time slice carrots, celery, peppers, beets, and broccoli can lend itself to a highly nutritious, and refreshingly cool snack on a hot beach. Throw in some hummus for additional flavor.

  1. Citrus Fruits

Look at the cocktails served at beach resorts and you’ll notice many have citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, mangos, and pineapples in the concoction. That’s for good reason – these highly sweet fruits are loaded in vitamins and flavor. Slicing up fruit for snacking, or even for dropping in your water can add incredible flavor to your day.

  1. Berries

Just like citrus fruits, berries provide a ton of vitamins and antioxidants that help combat free-radicals that can be released in the body during sun exposure. Packing a few handfuls of blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries can give you a delectable treat to throw down after a few hours of perfecting your tan.

  1. Pre-made Wraps

Everything else on the list is about easy snacking, which isn’t bad, but doesn’t always leave you feeling full. Making wraps in advance of your beach trip and keeping them in plastic wrap in your cooler can provide you a filling and enjoyable lunch on the beach. Wraps, instead of sandwiches provide you the mess-free comfort of consuming your favorite meats and veggies.

  1. Smoothies

Not everyone loves eating a bunch of food while in the heat. It isn’t uncommon for people to lose their appetite when their body gets very warm. Yet, it’s important that you still get vital nutrients into your body for energy, repair, and sustenance. Blending a juice full of fruits, veggies, and protein powder at home can give you a powerful beverage right there from your beach chair.

  1. Chef Robert Irvine’s FITCRUNCH Protein Bars

Sometimes you just can’t fight the cravings for your favorite chocolate snacks. The flavor and satisfaction of a bar doesn’t need to be lost – it just needs to be done wisely. Consuming a Chef Robert Irvine protein bar or brownie is a great way to meet your protein needs while still adhering to your diet, as they are low in sugar and bad fats.

  1. Water, Water, Water

While not a food, and not full of calories or nutrients – water is correctly known as the fluid of life. It is imperative that you are drinking enough water while sweating in the sun, even if you aren’t moving much. Your internal organs, muscles, and skin will thank you. It’s perfectly OK if you want to have a few beverages of the adult variety too – just drink a water for every “other” drink you consume.

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