6 Tips for Getting Nutrition While Backpacking
Hiking or backpacking through the woods can make for an incredible adventure. However, if you do not get proper nutrition during your trip, you will end up dehydrated, hangry and unable to enjoy the gorgeous outdoors. To make the most out of your journey, follow the below nutrition tips.
1. Plan Ahead
When packing for your trip, be sure to keep your water and food needs in mind. Of course, the longer your hike will be, the more food you will have to bring. Do not forget to pack eating essentials, such as utensils, plates and a can opener.
2. Consider Supplements
You will not be able to fit a ton of food into your backpack. You may thus want to pack some nutritional supplements. They do not take up a lot of space, and they can give your body the minerals that would otherwise be missing from your diet. Supplements such as the superfood red powder, for instance, can boost your natural energy and increase your blood flow.
3. Opt for Lightweight, Nutritious Foods
The few foods that you do put into your backpack should be as small as possible. This way, you will not be lugging around pounds of extra weight as you walk through the woods or on a mountain.
Nuts or seeds are both great options. They contain plenty of necessary nutrients, including minerals, protein and healthy fats. They have lots of calories, as well. This is important because you will likely burn calories quickly as you hike. Nuts and seeds can help you quickly replenish those calories.
If you get tired of eating plain seeds or nuts, try mixing them with dried fruit. They contain the same antioxidants and vitamins found in fresh fruits. However, dried fruits are less perishable and can survive hot temperatures. Other dried or dehydrated foods, such as jerky, are smart choices, as well. You could also go with tried-and-true favorites such as protein bars and nut butters. While you probably cannot fit a whole jar in your backpack, you can easily bring dehydrated or portable packs of peanut or almond butter.
4. Consume Plenty of Carbohydrates
Protein bars and dried fruits are also good sources of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates give you endurance, strength and energy for your hike. The body also processes them easily. For best results, eat between 30 and 60 grams of carbohydrates each hour.
5. Drink Water When You Are Not Thirsty
Water is an essential component of proper nutrition. Be sure to bring plenty of water bottles for your trip. You may be tempted to keep the bottles buried in your backpack until you feel thirsty. However, you may already be dehydrated by that point. In fact, thirst is an early sign of dehydration. Dehydration can reduce your endurance and lead to severe medical complications.
You should thus start drinking water before your trip begins. Consume between 14 and 22 ounces two hours before your hike. Then, once you have started moving, try to drink six to 12 ounces every 20 minutes.
Even when you are done walking for the day, your body still needs fluids to rehydrate properly. In the hours after the hike, drink 16 to 20 ounces of water. If you get tired of water, you can substitute a sports drink.
6. Eat Breakfast
A high-carbohydrate breakfast with minimal fiber and fat should give you the energy you need for your long day of hiking. To give your body sufficient time to digest, eat a 300-to-500-calorie breakfast an hour before you begin walking.
To function at your best during a backpacking trip, you need proper nutrition. The above tips should keep your body healthy and ready for adventure.