People claim they want to be able to hike longer, run faster, and climb higher, so they hit the gym and train hard, the results may go up a little, but they aren’t getting the exponential jump they want to see in their performance while in the backcountry. You can not change your overall performance and take it to the next level without the proper nutrition. Food is fuel, and we can decide whether we put junk fuel or healthy and hardy fuel into our bodies. One of the two is going to allow you to be stronger and travel farther, you guess which one.
Activity Specific Diet:
Different activities are going to result in different needs in order to reach peak performance. A backpacker is going to be trudging up long and steady switchbacks with a forty to fifty pound pack on their back, which is much different than mountain biking or trail running.
*Bakcountry is cooking up some awesome stuff in the nutrition lab. Our experts are discovering the best balance of carbs, fats and protein for long-distance treks, cold weather climbs, and high altitude hunting trips for those doll sheep. Be sure to stay tuned by joining our newsletter for our nutrition program release!
Snack for the Long Run
A great way to maximize your performance is to sync your snacks and meals to your activities throughout the day. Syncing your snacks to your specific activity is going to allow your body to function at full capacity and give you that edge you’ve been looking for. I’ll show you what I mean…
Start of the Journey:
Before you embark on your adventure filled trek into the wilderness, you are going to want to fuel up on some long lasting food. Slow-burning and high fiber carbs will supply you with a steady stream of energy because they are slowly digested, giving you the most bang for your buck. Granola with almond milk or greek yogurt, quinoa, or my personal favorite, organic rolled oats, are going to be great go-to’s for your morning meal to keep you from bonking five miles in. You don’t want to be the guy or gal who can’t keep up with the rest of the pack, trust me.
Big Climb Ahead:
Now you’re approaching the base of the mountain and the real fun is about to begin. You are going to want to eat a fast acting burst of power an hour before the real work begins that will fuel your body to power up the steep climb ahead. Take a shot of a simple sugar such as honey, a handful of raisins, or even a handful of M&Ms to give you that extra boost to push you up and over the top of your climb.
Now you’ve made it up the hard part and your trek is winding down for the day, but you still have to setup camp and all that good stuff, so you are going to need a post-hike snack to keep you going until dinner. Athletes fuel up on fast burning carbs within 30 minutes after their workout because that is when the enzymes that transfer glucose to muscles are most active. Pretzels, rice cakes, and dried fruit or berries are great to nibble on and hold you over until your last meal for the day.
Planning Ahead for Tomorrow:
Now that you are going to prepare your last meal after a long days hike, you are going to want to think ahead and make sure you are taking care of your sore and tired muscles. Brown rice, whole-grain pasta, fresh veggies, a source of protein, unless you’re hunting or brought a cooler then beef or turkey jerky are good. Complex carbs are going to top off glycogen store, the protein is going to rebuild your stressed and worked muscles, and antioxidants are going to keep you healthy and strong on your journey ahead.
So there it is, some easy tips and ideas to implement on your next adventure to make sure you perform your best while in the backcountry, where it matters most. If you found this useful or interesting like, comment or follow our tribe here at Bakcountry Fitness and Nutrition Lab.
Be Strong, #Bakcountrystrong
Founder and CEO of Bakcountry Fitness & Nutrition Lab