With the right diet, the hike can be sustained and encouraged. The energy engine is the carbohydrates. They contribute an essential part to your endurance. A hike without endurance, strength and mobility can quickly turn into a nightmare. So that you are fit for your hike and can master mountains and hills without problems, I have put together the most important nutrition tips for you.
The Importance of Carbohydrates
The day before the hike
On the eve of a long hike, a high-carbohydrate diet is the top priority in order to be able to achieve the necessary performance and stamina the next day. Carbohydrates provide energy that the body can easily access and use. They are stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles and can be used immediately during activity.
Carbohydrate-rich foods include, pasta, noodles, rice with vegetables, mashed potatoes, potatoes with curd cheese, lasagna, oat flakes and muesli with yogurt . Avoid foods that can lead to gas and bloating. Foods that only stay in the stomach for a short time such as bananas, yogurt with oatmeal, kefir milk, cooked fish, muesli and mashed potatoes are best for day before hiking.
Keep in mind that changing diet all of a sudden isn’t good for you. So you shouldn’t change your diet overnight and suddenly start consuming whole grain products if your body is not used to this beforehand.
On the day of the hike
Never start hungry! It is the most important rule of a balanced diet before starting your hike. Walking hungry has a negative impact on the brain and nerves. The energy supply also suffers enormously as a result. The body consumes between 400 and 600 calories per hour of hiking, that’s 3500 calories over six hours. So do not underestimate the energy consumption. Again, don’t eat heavy foods. Take foods that are easily digestible. Fatty foods shouldn’t necessarily be on the menu. They just make the body sluggish and you don’t want that.
It is best to avoid high- carbohydrate foods like low-fat dairy products, oatmeal, white sugar as much as possible. Another important source of energy is protein. The combination of vegetable and animal protein is highly recommended. Therefore, eat grains or legumes with poultry, cheese, eggs or fish. Besides eating, don’t forget to drink. A good choice would be still mineral water rich in magnesium or apple juice diluted with water in a ratio of 50:50.
During the hike
As you have already learned, light food is a big issue for long-distance hikers . This also applies during the hike. Small snacks such as dried fruit, fresh fruit, bananas, muesli bars, yoghurt and a piece of grape sugar stimulate your energy again. Another great thing, eat everything in many small breaks, not in two large breaks.
Drink a quarter liter of water every 30 minutes , even if you are not thirsty, because you sweat out up to 3 liters of liquid in brisk hiking mode. Black tea and coffee only promote dehydration and should be left out completely.
After the hike
On your regeneration day you have to compensate for the loss of fluids and minerals. And guess how? Carbohydrates, exactly. If you start again with easily digestible carbohydrates such as semolina, oatmeal soup, rice pudding, yogurt, curd cheese and vegetable rice, the body is quickly supplied with carbohydrates. Take vitamin C in the form of citrus fruits, lemonade and iron. You can find iron in cress, pumpkin seeds, plums and nuts.
A low-fat sliced meat or fish with rice and vegetables will get you fit for the next day.
Some more tips
You can also increase the wellbeing of your body through relaxation exercises. Raise your shoulder and lower it again, circular movements also loosen the neck and shoulder area. Raise your knees to hip height or rock back and forth on your toes. In addition, a lukewarm foot bath with salt and a massage of the feet with rosemary oil can work wonders.
Also, check out Solo Hiking : Few Tips if You Like Hiking Alone
Have a safe hike and enjoy!