How to fuel your body for a hike
Want a great hike? Then you gotta feed that hot body of yours. By choosing a good mix of ingredients you’ll feel energetic and avoid the mid-hike munchies. Plus, do you really want to be desperately foraging for berries half an hour into the trail? Here’s what you should eat to feel energized and ready to give it your all on your next hike. Let’s go!
Feed yo’ self
This might sound basic, but you wouldn’t believe how many times we’ve gone on hike with people that just "don’t like to eat breakfast"… only to be desperate for any granola crumbs or, even worse, dealing with low blood sugar and the nausea that comes with it. Don’t be that person. Hiking day is not the time to fast! Grab a light bite a couple hours before heading out to avoid the dizziness. Come on, at least take a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter.
Not all calories are equal. Yes, any food will do in a pinch. But your body can use energy from carbs faster and more efficiently. This means a carb-based meal a couple hours before hitting the trail will keep you from feeling sluggish, stabilize your body temp’ and let you actually enjoy the hike… instead of limping along the trail. This ain’t the time to try out the newest low-carb fad!
… but go easy on the sugars
You know how kids are crazy wild right after candy… only to have a huge meltdown half an hour later? Yep, that’s you on simple carbs. While carbohydrates fuel your muscles, plain sugar will get you to cry on the side of the trail before you’ve said ‘granola’. Choose complex carbs like whole wheat breads, oats, whole fruits and sweet potatoes. These will feed your muscles but also have fiber, which stabilizes your blood sugar levels and keeps you full for longer. Also, watch out for the hidden sugars! Most granola bars and trail mix have a surprising amount, so try to choose homemade whenever possible.
You know what’s worse than awful mid-trail blisters? Mid-hike hunger. Yep, that unwavering certainty you would eat a whole elephant raw ain’t gonna go away on its own. Save yourself the literal headache and bring some snacks to munch on the go. No need to go fancy, a couple servings of low-sugar granola, a whole apple, or a muffin. Be careful and only pack snacks that travel well. That banana? Let’s be real, there’s a 99% chance it’ll get squashed and thrown away. So avoid the mess and only pack stuff you’ll eat.
Pack your lunch
And please, leave the soggy sandwich at home. We’ve got a better alternative: make your own on the trail! Yep, no need to be a chef to have delicious on-the-go meals to enjoy as you breathe in the view. Just pack your fillings and bread/wraps in different containers. Bonus points if you find those small mayo packages smuggled out of McDonalds a billion years ago. Then once you’re ready to eat, just assemble everything and enjoy fresh.
After the hike…
Now that you’re done, it’s time for a treat! You’ve earned a reward, so go ahead and get whatever it is you’re craving. Ice cream, chips, delicious brunch, a glass of wine… go for it. We’re giving you our blessing. Just try to add a little protein and that’s it. go and enjoy your post-hike endorphins!
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