Whether you’re going on your first long-distance hike or are hiking veteran, you need to ensure your body is adequately fuelled for those grueling hikes. Because hiking tests long-term endurance, eating the right amount of food is necessary to avoid feeling hunger mid-hike, as there won’t be many food options beyond what you bring with you.
Therefore, most hikers like to prepare their bodies for the upcoming journey with two eating habits – before and during the hike. Getting the right energy levels before a hike is essential for maintaining a good walking pace and avoiding fatigue, while mid-hike snacks help to keep you going once the main meal as worn off.
There are certain foods that are well-suited for hiking. These foods keep the body healthy and fueled for long-distance walking, so it’s important to choose suitable food to ensure you have all the energy required to complete the hike.
Given the endurance required for a long-distance hike, it’s important to fuel up properly before you head out. Remember, you won’t have time to make anything during your hike (unless you want it to take a lot longer) so it helps to eat a suitable meal prior to that.
Carbohydrates are essential for a long-hike as they provide you with the energy needed for the intense journey. We only store small amounts of carbs, which is why we need to eat a large quantity of it to ensure there is enough energy for the hike.
Consider eating a starchy meal the night before the hike to ensure there are ample energy reserves for the next day. Some great carb-rich meals include:
Tuna Pasta Bake
Wholegrain pasta is a fantastic source of complex carbohydrates, which offer a slower, more sustained release of energy that is ideal for hiking.
This made with a tomato-based sauce that uses tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, peppers, sweetcorn, dried herbs, and salt and pepper. You’ll also need a few cups of whole grain pasta and a tin of tuna.
- Fry onions and garlic with some olive oil, combine with tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, peppers, sweetcorn, dried herbs, and salt and pepper
- Bring to boil before simmering for five minutes.
- Boil wholegrain pasta and drain when ready.
- Drain a tin of tuna, combine with the tomato-based sauce, then stir into the pasta.
- Place in a baking dish, cover with torn bread or breadcrumbs, add some cheese and then bake for five minutes then enjoy!
You can go for other meals that have a similar amount of complex carbs with a moderate amount of protein. Gymequipmentgb show whey protein is essential, so think whole grains like brown rice, whole grain noodles, and whole grain pasta with protein-rich meats like chicken, turkey, or salmon- vegetarians can substitute this with tofu, chickpeas, or lentils.
Don’t forget about breakfast either! This should also be a mean rich in carbs but you should combine this with high-fiber foods and avoid too many sugars.
For example, oatmeal with fresh fruit is a great source of complex carbs and fiber, while whole grain toast topped with peanut butter, avocado, or scrambled eggs should offer all the energy you need to start your hike.
During the Hike
Eating all the right foods before a hike will only get you so far. Eventually, you’re going to start feeling hungry again which is why it’s important to bring the right foods along with you for the hike. These foods aren’t as dense as pre-hike meals, as they’re supposed to top up the energy to keep you going.
The longer the distance and more difficult the hike, the more calories you need to replace. It always helps to bring more food to be on the safer side, as the last thing you want is to feel energy levels plummet in the middle of a long-distance hike.
Plus, in many cases, you won’t even need to eat all your hiking snacks, so it never hurts to have some spare food on hand to keep you fuelled and on track. Better still, there is a nice variety of snacks that are suitable for long-distance hikes!
Fruit is one of the healthiest snacks to bring on a hike. It provides you with a nice top up of natural sugars that give a quick and notable energy boost while avoiding a crash like you would with sugary candy bars.
Consider both dried and fresh fruits, such as grapes, raisins, apple, bananas, mango, and blueberries. You’ll get lots of fiber and vitamins too, keeping the body fit and healthy during those trying hikes.
Granola bars are a hiker’s best friend, offering the perfect blend of fruits and carbs to keep you fueled during a hike. Avoid overly sugary bars however, as you want the natural sugars from the fruits for the energy boost.
Mixed Nuts and Seeds
Packed with protein and fiber, a mixture of nuts and seeds is one of the healthier and more filling snacks to bring on a hiking trip. They also happen to be high in healthy fats, which offer a slower, more sustained release of energy.
Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches
Wholegrain bread with peanut butter and sliced bananas don’t just taste amazing – it helps keep you well energized during long-distance hikes. The banana offers a quicker release of energy while the bread and peanut butter offer a slower release of energy, ensuring you’re fuelled for longer.