So it’s that time of year again, and Dance Marathon is just around the corner. All year you’ve been fundraising, posting annoying Facebook statues and canning. Although the Food Committee does a great job of providing sustenance, sometimes during the dreary hours of Block 4 you just need a burst of energy to make it through. The key to packing food for DM is to make small, ready-to-go bags (think soccer mom) that you can grab in the break between blocks and throw in your fanny pack. Here are some snack ideas that are sure to boost your energy – and make you the most popular person in the tent.

The Salty

1. Beef Jerky

Beef jerky (or any kind of jerky, for that matter) is a protein-packed, energizing snack that won’t weigh you down.

2. Pretzel Crisps

Lighter than regular pretzels in your fanny pack and in your stomach, these snacks will hold you over in between meals.

3. Cheez-Its

Cheez-Its provide the sodium your body craves by 5 pm Saturday afternoon.

4. Seaweed

Seriously, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it – seaweed is a crispy snack that gives you something to chew on and also lets you get your salt fix.

5. Kettle Corn

You can’t go wrong with any kind of popcorn. It might take up a lot of room, but kettle corn’s mild sweetness will taste even better after 25 hours of dancing.

The Sweet

1. Clif Bars

If you’re someone who easily gets hungry like I do, the stretch between dinner and breakfast is a long one. Rather than complain about how hungry you are and make yourself miserable, enjoy a Clif Bar, which will assuage your hunger and give you energy.

2. Bananas

Bananas provide potassium, which can prevent painful cramps from occurring during DM.

3. Clementines

Clementines are a perfect on-the-go snack, they’re compact and come in their own wrapping. Hand your friends a segment and enjoy a bright, fresh burst of orange flavor.

4. Grapes

Although they’re bulky, grapes quench your thirst and provide a break between salty snacks.

5. Fruit Leather

Sweet fruit leather is a convenient snack and thin enough to slip into any fanny pack.

6. Chocolate

Sure, caffeine isn’t allowed in the tent, but eating a small piece of chocolate will help energize you and, more importantly, spur the release of dopamine in your brain, making you happy.

The Random

1. Gum

If you can’t fit a toothbrush and toothpaste in your fanny pack, make sure to stick some gum in there. You don’t want to be tasting that pre-DM Zoba dinner for the entire 30 hours (and let’s be honest, no one wants to smell that either).

2. Gatorade

During DM, even though you might think you’ve been drinking a ton of water, there’s always the risk of getting dehydrated. Freeze some little Gatorade bottles the night before DM and take them out at the last minute. You’ll have a nice frozen slush during Blocks 1-2 and refreshingly cold Gatorade after.

3. Jamba Juice

No, you can’t bring this with you, but if you have friends who aren’t participating in DM and are looking for a way to help you out, tell them your favorite Jamba flavor and have them bring it during visiting hours Saturday morning. The cold fruit smoothie will be just the pick-me-up you need to energize you for the rest of the day.