Taking a hike can be a refreshing and adventurous experience. Many people look forward to the holiday season because of these experiences.
However, hiking can be very strenuous and requires adequate preparation. These preparations could include what you eat.
The kind of food you eat a day before a strenuous hike can affect your hiking experience. Tour guides recommend some foods that you can eat a day before.
A day before a hike, you need foods that will provide a rich energy source to your body. These foods are complex carbohydrates. You can find complex carbohydrates in pasta, rice, sweet potatoes, and whole wheat bread. These foods store high amounts of energy and deliver them to you when you need the energy as you hike.
This article will explain all you need to know about what kind of food to eat before going on a strenuous hike. I will also give you tips on preparing for a long hike.
What Should You Eat the Day Before a Strenuous Hike?
You should eat foods rich in energy a day before your strenuous hike. Foods rich in energy are complex carbohydrates.
Complex carbohydrates include whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits.
These foods are recommended because they have a high amount of energy. When you eat these foods, your body will have a large store of energy to draw from when you need strength.
In addition to the high amount of energy, the body does not break down these foods quickly. So when you embark on a hike, your body expends some energy.
With complex carbohydrates, your body will have a great store of energy to draw from whenever the body needs some energy.
Complex carbohydrates take more extended period to digest; hence, they produce stable energy for your body. Complex carbohydrates are made up of long chains of sugars.
The essential energy molecules of the body are stored as glucose. These molecules supply the calories your body needs to carry out its function.
When you eat complex carbohydrates, the body breaks them down into glucose. Since the body can only break down complex carbohydrates slowly, there is usually a constant supply of glucose.
These molecules remain in the bloodstream for longer, supplying you with the energy you need.
During your strenuous hiking exercise, your body will constantly need energy. Complex carbohydrates are different from simple carbohydrates.
You must know the difference between simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates will deliver fewer amounts of glucose. This glucose will circulate in your body in lesser periods hence, will not sustain you during your hiking experience.
Complex carbohydrates include grains like rice, barley, wheat, and spelling. You could also have other foods like potatoes, pasta, and quinoa.
What Should You Not Eat the Day Before a Strenuous Hike?
There are foods you should avoid a day before your strenuous hike. These foods will not only slow you down but could also form a risk to your health in general.
Some foods you should avoid the day before your planned hike include:
#1. Carbonated Drinks
Carbonated drinks are a no for you if you plan to hike the next day. Carbonated drinks contain some sugar and chemicals.
These sugars are non-complex carbohydrates and are not suitable for you. In addition, carbonated drinks can cause your stomach to bloat during a hike.
It can also supply short-lived sugars that will not give you adequate energy during your strenuous hike. So instead of carbonated drinks, have a lot of water and fruit juice.
#2. Spicy Foods
Avoid spices or spicy food the day before your hike. Many people believe that spicy foods can burn more calories. This fact may be correct, but there are challenges with it.
When you eat spicy meals, you may suffer from heart burns and indigestion.
This discomfort is because it takes a long time for your stomach to break down the food, which is unsuitable for you.
When you eat spicy foods before a strenuous hike, you will become slower and may be forced to leave the hike.
#3. Candy Bars
Candy bars would supply a high amount of short-lived sugars into your bloodstream. These sugars would trigger a sugar rush.
You may be supplied with this energy immediately after eating candy bars. However, in the real sense, these sugars cannot sustain you for long.
When you begin your strenuous hike, you may be forced to stop or return due to an acute need for energy.
Instead of candy bars, it would be best for you to have complex sugars before you take on that strenuous hike.
Medical practitioners do not recommend foods high in fatty content before a strenuous hike. In the case of cheese, the fatty content in it does not allow you to have a great hike the day after.
The body digests fatty foods very slowly. It takes the body longer to digest fat than most other food classes.
When you eat cheese before a hike, the body will not break it down quickly. As a result, the cheese will feel heavy in your stomach, weighing you down considerably.
#5. Burgers and Fries
Just like cheese, burgers and fries are foods with fatty contents. So it would help if you avoided burgers and fries before your strenuous hikes.
These foods break down slowly. Hence, they will weigh you down significantly.
Depending on the quantity you take, milk can be a contraindicated meal the day before your strenuous hike. However, milk in large quantities may result in abdominal discomfort.
This discomfort could include stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. But, of course, you don’t want these experiences to ruin your hiking adventure.
It will be best to stay away from them the day before your strenuous hike.
Here’s a tabular representation of what I just explained for easier comprehension.
|Food||Why You Should Avoid Them|
|Carbonated drinks||Stomach bloating|
|Spicy foods||Indigestion and heartburn|
|Candy bars||Short energy supply|
|Burgers and fries||Slow digestion|
What Can You Eat During a Long and Strenuous Hike?
There are foods that you can eat during a long and strenuous hike. These foods will make you light while they supply an adequate amount of energy during your hike.
Here is a list of foods that you can eat during a long and strenuous hike:
#1. FoodEnergy Bars
These are bars that contain cereals and micronutrients. Energy bars will provide quick energy when you need them.
Grab a nutritious energy bar to refill your energy store whenever you feel hungry or tired. Most energy bar contains proteins, carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and other nutrients.
Energy bars are easy to carry around. They do not require any complex preparation. All you need is to open and eat.
Granola is a fast food that contains oats, nuts, and honey. In some brands, you can have puffed rice and sugar.
Granolas supply instant energy while hiking, and tour guides recommend this food during your strenuous hiking experience.
#3. Meat jerky
Look for meat jerky when you need to supply your body with some quick proteins. Meat jerkies are lean meat cut into strips and dried to prevent spoilage.
When you want a crispy and tasty energy supply, grab a meat jerky during your breaks and rest point.
Fruits are a handy supply of energy when you need some on the go. You can have your fruits fresh or dried. Anyway, they should be a part of your package as you hike.
How Can You Prepare for A Strenuous Hike?
As you prepare to embark on a hike, here are some tips you will find helpful:
Light exercise is beneficial. For example, a little walk around your house, some push-ups, and a few minutes of jogging will help.
These exercises would loosen your muscles and prepare you for the task ahead. But, on the other hand, a hike could be a strenuous activity.
Of course, you have to get a good supply of energy. So eat foods rich in energy and convenient for your system.
#3. Know The Routs Ahead of Time
You must know the routes ahead of time. Get yourself a map of the area and have a look at it.
#4. Know Your Hike Partners
You may be hiking with others; know your other hikers. It would be best if you formed a bond with them so that you can have a better hiking experience.
#5. Have A Plan
It would help if you had a plan for your hiking exercise. Only begin once you know exactly what you want to do. If in doubt, ask questions.
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