Hiking is one of the most physical outdoor activities that require a lot of energy and fitness at the same time. If you ever started a hike empty stomach you know how bad it is.
If you have never done that then that’s good because hiking empty stomach can lead to many health problems and in some cases also lead to dangerous situations. Not only that if you are eating too much or heavy food before a hike then also you are putting yourself in trouble, you may experience indigestion, nausea, and vomiting during your hike.
So, if you don’t know what to eat before a hike? then don’t worry today I will tell you exactly what is a great option to eat before a hike with their benefits.
What to Eat Before a Hike?
Hiking involves the movement of every muscle group and the functioning of most of the organs in our body, but as humans, our body is made of cells that require a frequent supply of energy throughout the day to work properly and efficiently.
To do the job and for a proper body, functioning protein is required. Before a hike eating, protein-rich meals are the best option because hiking involves a lot of physical movement which indirectly increases the work for organs in our body.
carbs are the main source of fuel for our entire body. carbs help to fuel up every body cell in the body and give energy to the body.
Eating carbs before a hike is the best way to fuel up your body. But before you take them first you should know there are three types of carbs and that is complex carbs which break into glucose as you eat them, fiber carbs don’t break down but are found to be the best of all three options.
And the last is simple carbs which contain artificial sugar like candies, bars, and drinks.
Now you may be asking what is the best option to eat before a hike. Simply getting to the point complex carbs are best to take or eat before a hike. To know what are good sources of carbs check down the list below.
Some best complex carbs sources before the hike:
- whole grains
The best source for fiber carbs are:
- whole grains
Diet plan before a hike
You need a combination of carbs and protein in your meal before a hike. To make it easy for you I have picked some best meal options that are popular among hikers as a pre hiking meal.
Combination of white eggs and whole egg
The egg is one of the best sources of lean protein and fats. Eating white provides protein to your body which will help in the prevention of muscle damage on intense hikes.
Not only that white egg only takes around 45 minutes to digest. So, white egg is a good option to eat before a hike, just make sure you eat it before 1 hour of your hiking.
If egg whites don’t feel good or don’t give you enough energy then you can mix whole eggs in which egg yolk is present, provides fat and energy, and only takes 30 minutes to digest.
In my opinion, eating four eggs in which two are whole and two are white eggs is a sufficient way to get enough protein and fats before the hike.
Depending on your digestion rate you can decrease the 2 whole eggs to 1 because it contains fat in it and takes more time to digest because both egg yolk and white are present in a whole egg.
Oatmeal is another best meal before a hike. Oatmeal is a complex carb that takes 1 to 2 hours to digest. The reason behind its slow digestion is it soaks up the water in your stomach and delay the food craving.
So, oatmeal is a great source of energy that is required in hiking, as it digests slowly it also delays or increases the gap between your next meal. Oatmeal is the preferred choice for hikers before a hike because of the nutritional value it shares.
An average 1 cup of oatmeal contains 389 calories, 66-gram carbs, 16-gram protein, and 6-gram fat.
These nutrition values show that I cup of oatmeal is a great meal before a hike as it contains a lot of carbs and protein with a very low amount of fat which is what is required in hiking.
Peanut butter with Brown bread
Peanut butter with brown bread is another priority and the best meal choice before a hike for hikers. The reason behind this is- no. one the meal is very light, and the second is the amount of nutritional value it shares.
Peanut butter is a great source of vitamins and minerals, it contains more than 30 essential vitamins and minerals. Besides that, peanut butter shares a lot of health benefits some are- maintaining blood pressure, providing energy, etc.
On the other hand, brown bread is a great source of carbs and protein. Besides that brown bread also contains good fiber which improves your digestion.
Depending on your hike distance you can select the meal quantity. Usually, a single slice of brown bread contains 15 g of carbs and 2.6g of protein which is good but not sufficient to fuel up the body with energy.
So, depending on your hike if your goal is to hike all day then you can eat 4 brown slices of bread with 2 to 4 spoons of peanut butter on them.
Note: Avoid sugary and dairy products before a hike as it contains lactose which can cause many health issues such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea.
Fruits contain sugar and carbs, which boost energy in our body immediately. Among all fruits, a banana is recommended as the best snack before a hike or run because it contains a high amount of carbs which boosts the energy level.
Besides that, it also takes less time to digest. Eating 2 bananas 30 minutes before your hike is the best way to boost your energy level just before the hike.
Bananas contain sugar but it is a natural sugar and doesn’t have any effects if taken in the proper amount.
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Lean protein is on the priority list of hikers because of its benefits. Lean protein is a healer for hikers when muscles get tired or you feel soreness in muscles after conquering long and incline trails.
Eating lean protein before a hike proved as the best and efficient way to reduce muscle soreness or tissue repair.
Some of the best options in lean meat for hikers are- fish, turkey, chicken, etc. If you are vegetarian, you can include tofu or use other options as your pre snack meal.
The vegetable is a source of complex carbohydrates which are best to boost your energy through your journey. Unlike other simple carbs sources, vegetables are always the best option, but not all vegetables are a good source of carbs and protein some contain more than others.
To cut down the list to only two options you have carrot and potato to choose from. Where potato is a great source of carbs, carrot contains both carbs and protein.
Last but not least always drink 150-250 ml of water before a hike to be hydrated even if you don’t feel thirsty. Other than keeping you hydrated it also helps in the digestion of food and keeps the body cool on hot sunny days.