What to Eat Before and After a Hike

Hiking is a powerful cardio workout that has very many benefits to our bodies and mind. Most beginner hikers wonder what it is that they need to eat before the actual hike, during the hike and after the hike. Food preparation before long hikes should be taken very seriously, as seriously as your health and safety. 

Here is a guide on the foods you need to fuel your body for a successful hiking adventure. 

Before the Hike

Calories are very important in a pre-hike diet. For the night and morning of the hike. Ensure you have consumed the right carbohydrates, ones that are slowly released into your body and proteins to fuel up our bodies for the hike ahead. These foods are known as low-glycemic foods. They include pasta, starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, and pumpkin, and whole grains, beans, lentils, and peas. Also includes high-protein foods such as eggs, low-fat yoghurt, beef, fish, lean chicken, turkey and overnight oats for breakfast. 

Snacks 

During the hike, you need to keep your energy up without slowing down. While choosing the snacks to carry, you need snacks that will give you constant slow-burning energy throughout the day. Snacks that are high in processed sugar will give you that rush and energy but only for a short time. This is because this energy is released first in your body giving you an instant sugar rush which does not last long. 

To keep your blood sugar steady, eat energy bars, oat cookies, nuts (for example cashew nuts, peanuts, almonds, pecans and macadamia nuts), seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds), dark chocolate, cranberries or raisins, cheese, carrots, hummus and wholegrain crackers. Fruits such as apples, oranges, pineapples, bananas will keep the hunger pangs away. These food suggestions are healthy, low-glycemic protein, with fats and fibre which will prevent your body from crashing. 

After the hike

After conquering your day’s challenge, it is necessary to replenish your body with restorative foods and you can also give yourself a treat, you’ve earned it!!  An ideal post-hiking meal will contain essential protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and nutrients. Have more proteins since they help in muscle recovery. 

Hydration

You need to hydrate, well the day before the hike, during the hike and after the hike. We can’t insist on this enough. This helps your body regulate its internal temperature and keep your muscles and organs functioning. Pre hike, drink approximately 3-4 litres of water. On your hiking day, plan to drink 1 litre every 3km. Think about this, if you’re only hydrating when you’re thirsty, you are already behind. Ensure you are also taking sips here and there when you feel thirsty. 

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