There's more to this all-American picnic staple nowadays than ridges and ranch seasoning. Thanks to better-for-you ingredients (think beans, veggies, even chocolate), plus more protein, fiber, whole grains, and healthy fats, off-the-bike snacking has gotten a lot less greasy. But with so many chip options, it's tough to know what's good and what's not. So we happily munched our way through a host of new snacks to find out.
Related: Munch and Ride
"Yum. Tastes like a cookie." "Crispy, with a hint of cocoa."
What's good: Packed with cholesterol-friendly monounsaturated fat and, of course, chocolate
Benefit: Healthy fats ease inflammation and combat muscle soreness.
10 chips = 140 calories, 7g fat, 3g fiber, 2g protein, 80mg sodium
The Bittersweet Truth About Artificial Sweeteners
"Tangy lemon flavor." "A rice-cracker texture."
What's good: Gluten- and GMO-free; created from garbanzo beans and olive oil
Benefit: Protein-packed beans help speed up postride muscle recovery.
20 chips = 130 calories, 5g fat, 2g fiber, 4g protein, 400mg sodium
Foods That Heal
"Chewy, cheesy, savory." "Crumble easily."
What's good: Cashew-coated chips made with the whole antioxidant-rich kale leaf; highest in protein
Benefit: Antioxidants protect muscle cells from exercise-induced damage.
1 ounce = 137 calories, 10g fat, 3g fiber, 6g protein, 310mg sodium
Are You Overvitamined?
"Earthy, whole-grain flavor." "An acquired taste."
What's good: Beets and carrots deliver immune-boosting vitamin A; five times the fiber of traditional chips
Benefit: Omega-3s in flaxseeds enhance bone density, a plus for cyclists prone to bone loss.
14 chips = 120 calories, 5g fat, 5g fiber, 4g protein, 100mg sodium
"Light and crunchy, with a distinct veggie flavor."
What's good: Chock-full of spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, and vitamins
Benefit: No fiber to cause stomach issues, plus 18 grams of carbs per serving, make these a great preride option.
1 ounce = 130 calories, 5g fat, 0g fiber, 1g protein, 260mg sodium
Is Pasta Before the Big Ride a Good Idea?
"Firm and subtly salty." "A great potato chip."
What's good: Three ingredients--blue potatoes, oil, and salt; triple the fiber and almost half the fat of traditional chips
Benefit: Blue taters contain anthocyanins, which protect eyes from damaging rays.
1 ounce = 130 calories, 6g fat, 3g fiber, 2g protein, 115mg sodium
Healthy Foods That Aren't So Healthy When Consumed in Excess
"Delicate with a great spicy flavor." "Heavily seasoned."
What's good: The first ingredient is whole black beans; contains five times the fiber and twice the protein of most corn and potato chips
Benefit: Heart-healthy fiber helps lower cholesterol.
1 ounce = 140 calories, 7g fat, 5g fiber, 4g protein, 150mg sodium
Best Energy Bars for Every Ride
"Sturdy chip that begs for a flavorful dip."
What's good: Triple the fiber, double the protein, and 70 percent less fat than regular chips
Benefit: Protein plus potassium helps repair muscles and prevent cramping.
22 chips = 110 calories, 3g fat, 3g fiber, 4g protein, 170mg sodium
Ride Stronger with Meals from the Mediterranean
"A puffy, crispy Doritos-like chip with a smoky taste."
What's good: Contains chili powder and paprika, not artificial dyes and chemicals
Benefit: Cayenne and paprika combat post-exercise inflammation.
18 chips = 130 calories, 4g fat, 1g fiber, 2g protein, 220mg sodium
The Go-Faster Eating Plan
"Light and crispy." "Has a prominent sweet-potato flavor."
What's good: Air-popped for 70 percent less fat than the deep-fried kind; only 100 calories per serving
Benefit: The chip-to-calorie ratio will keep you light on your bike.
19 chips = 100 calories, 3g fat, 0g fiber, 1g protein, 95mg sodium
Power Up with Potatoes