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Eat Better

Want to hike farther, explore tougher terrain, and carry big loads without bonking? To achieve your biggest backcountry goals, you have to change how you eat.
Backpacker_Magazine_eatbetterintroPhoto by Justin Bailie

Sport-Specific Nutrition | Snack For All-Day Energy | Balance Your Backcountry Diet | Food Expert Q & A | The 10 Best Backpacking Foods | The Perfect Menu | A Day of Eating Healthy | The Burning Curve… | …And a Radical Deviation

SNACK FOR ALL-DAY ENERGY
Maximize your performance by syncing your meals to your body’s daily ups and downs.

The Need: Long-lasting fuel to prevent bonking at mile 5

  • The Fix: Slow-burning, high-fiber carbs are digested gradually, supplying you with a steady stream of energy. Start the day strong by eating them for breakfast.
  • The Food: Whole grain oats, quinoa, or granola with powdered milk or soy milk

The Need: A fast-acting burst of power to propel you up the day’s monster climb

  • The Fix: Load up on simple sugars an hour before you hit the first switchback, giving your muscles a boost of easily accessible glucose.
  • The Food: A handful of M&Ms or raisins, shot of honey, or packet of energy gel

The Need: A post-hike snack to keep you going until dinner

  • The Fix: The enzymes that transfer glucose to tired muscles are most active within 30 minutes of a tough workout. Take advantage–and start refueling for tomorrow–by nibbling on fast-burning carbs.
  • The Food: Pretzels, a handful or two of dried berries

The Need : Power for tomorrow and nutritional TLC for aching muscles

  • The Fix: Complex carbs top off glycogen stores, protein rebuilds stressed muscles, and antioxidants fight free radicals, so load up on all three every day.
  • The Food: Brown rice, whole-grain pasta, dried or fresh veggies, beef jerky

Sport-Specific Nutrition | Snack For All-Day Energy | Balance Your Backcountry Diet | Food Expert Q & A | The 10 Best Backpacking Foods | The Perfect Menu | A Day of Eating Healthy | The Burning Curve… | …And a Radical Deviation

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