My Top 5 Foods for Hiking Fuel
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Top Sports Dietitian Food Ideas for Outdoor Adventures

By Calgary Sports Nutritionist and Athlete Dietitian Jana Spindler

Top Foods for Hiking by a Sports Dietitian

Hiking Season is upon us! And I for one am excited to get out there and explore some of the many hikes I have yet to do. Since moving to Alberta, I have developed a passion for exploring in the mountains.

It has become a way of exploring, spending time with my friends and family and definitely, a new challenge for me both physically and mentally. It is physically demanding but also extremely rewarding when I summit a new mountain or overcome a section of the climb that I never though I could do. #adrenaline rush!

Packing enough food and water for day hikes is both necessary for survival and fun! I have learned through trial and error, in addition to my sport nutrition background, what foods I feel best on when I am climbing a mountain.

My Top 5 Hiking Foods are:

  1. Homemade muffins – I love making oatmeal peanut butter muffins for my hikes. They are filling, high in carbs, and have enough easily digestible fibre and protein to keep me satisfied for a while.
  2. Electrolyte powders or tablets like Nuun tablets. These are lightweight and I keep them in my backpack all this time to add to my water for longer hikes where i need more than just water, hikes on hot days and in case I come across another hiker showing signs of dehydration, cramping, etc.
  3. Dried mangos, fruit gummies, jube jubes or Fuzzy Peaches – These are delicious and give me quick, easily digestible energy. Sometimes when a hike gets really hot or I am working really hard, my appetite decreases, so I need fun and appetizing foods to make it easier to eat.
  4. Peanut butter, honey and banana sandwiches are easy to pack, delicious, filling and a great easily digestible source of energy.
  5. Beef jerky – This is something I tend to eat at the summit of the mountain before I start to descend. When I am working really hard going up the mountain, my adrenaline is high and I don’t feel my hunger as much. However, when I start to descend, that adrenaline decreases and my hunger tends to come back with a vengeance! Beef jerky helps to replenish some of my sweat losses with the added salt and is a little slower to digest so I stay full longer on the way down the mountain.

Foods to pack for hiking: sports nutritonist / dietitian recommended

Food I avoid personally due to stomach upset or not being easily digestible energy sources: Low carbohydrate protein bars, larger portions of nuts or trail mix, energy drinks or coffee drinks.

If you want some guidance in figuring out which foods you feel best on for hiking or any activity, I would love to help!

As a past competitive athlete and sports enthusiast, Jana has a passion for working with athletes. As a Calgary sports nutritionist and athlete Dietitian, she can help with performance eating plans and establish a healthy relationship with food to complement your goals in sport or the gym.

For more information about our Calgary nutrition counselling services and virtual nutrition coaching with our experienced Registered Dietitian team visit: NUTRITION COUNSELING or Contact Us.

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