You see everywhere people mainly focus on the “what to eat” part before hiking, but it’s equally important to understand what we shouldn’t eat.
I follow a simple routine before and after hiking, and I’d like to share my eating and drinking habits with you.
Like you, I also consume products containing carbohydrates, like oats and wheat grain bread, etc. to keep my energy level up.
But during the hike, I stay away from heavy, greasy, or overly sugary snacks. These often lead to energy crashes and discomfort on the trail.
I also run away from heavily processed foods, like chips and candy, which leave me feeling sluggish and thirsty. Fried foods are also a no-no because they become heavy on your stomach.
Carbonated beverages might be refreshing, but they also sometimes lead to bloating, so it’s best to skip them.
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Sugary and Salty Products
We all love our sweets but consuming an excess of sugar right before a hike often leads to some less pleasant outcomes. One of the most noticeable effects is a spike in your blood pressure.
When you load up on sugary snacks, your body’s insulin levels surge, causing your blood pressure to rise. This sudden increase often makes you feel lightheaded or even gives you a throbbing headache.
But that’s not all. Excessive sugar intake sometimes also leaves you feeling incredibly thirsty during your hike. Sugary items are a sneaky source of thirst.
Now, let’s shift our focus to salty snacks. Salty treats also seem like a good idea for an energy boost, but they come with their own set of issues.
When you munch on salty items before your hike, your sodium levels shoot up. This, in turn, will also lead to increased blood pressure, which isn’t ideal when you’re out in nature.
Furthermore, salt has a notorious way of making you feel incredibly thirsty. Similar to sugar, it tricks your body into thinking it needs more water to balance things out.
When it comes to hiking and enjoying the great outdoors, what you eat plays a crucial role in your adventure’s success.
Let’s talk about spicy foods for a moment. You know, those dishes with loads of spices or chili that make your taste buds tingle and your mouth sizzle? No doubt they are delicious but they might not be the best choice for your hiking journey.
Spicy foods are a bit tough on your stomach during a hike. They have a way of irritating your tummy, which leads to some unwanted digestive discomfort.
Spicy foods also tend to make you incredibly thirsty while you’re on the trail. You might find yourself reaching for your water bottle more often than you’d like, which could lead to dehydration. And trust me, dehydration is not something you want to experience while hiking.
Spicy curries and hot wings are amazing treats but it’s a good idea to save them for post-hike celebrations. When you’re out exploring nature, consider opting for milder, easily digestible foods to keep your stomach happy and your thirst in check.
Your hiking experience will be much more enjoyable, and you’ll be able to fully savor the beauty of the great outdoors without any tummy troubles or excessive thirst slowing you down.
Alcohol dehydrates your body faster than you might think. And when you’re trekking through the wilderness, staying hydrated is like your secret weapon against fatigue and heat. Alcohol can rob you of this precious hydration, and that’s not a gamble you want to take.
Alcohol can also mess with your coordination and balance, turning a leisurely hike into a potential accident waiting to happen. Trust me, you don’t want to be that person struggling to stay on their feet.
Alcohol also clouds your thinking, impairing your ability to make sound decisions. When you’re out in nature, being sharp and alert can be a lifesaver. It helps you make the right choices, like knowing when to take a break when to turn back, or when to seek help in case of an emergency.
You see, having a moderate amount of caffeine is fine. It gives you that extra boost of energy to conquer those steep paths. But if you guzzle down too much caffeine, it often leads to some not-so-great stuff.
It also makes you seriously thirsty. That means more pit stops for water, which can slow you down and leave you feeling parched. Nobody wants that when they’re out in the wild.
Excessive caffeine increases your heart rate. That’s not exactly what you want when you’re already getting your cardio in on a hike. It could make you feel a bit too amped up for the peaceful, zen-like experience that hiking can be.
So enjoy your coffee or energy drinks in moderation before you hit the trails. Stay hydrated with water, savor the natural beauty around you, and keep the jitteriness and racing heart at bay. That way, you’ll have the best hiking adventure possible!”
What You Can Do Instead?
Now we know why it is a good idea to avoid excessive sugar and salt before a hike, let’s talk about what you can do instead.
Go for a balanced pre-hike meal or snack. Incorporate foods rich in complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Whole grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables are excellent choices. These foods provide sustained energy, helping you stay strong and focused throughout your hike.
Hydration is key, but you don’t want to go overboard before your hike either. Drink enough water to stay adequately hydrated, but don’t chug it down right before you hit the trail.
It’s best to start your hike well-hydrated by drinking water throughout the day leading up to your adventure. During the hike, sip water at regular intervals to keep your body in balance.
Too much sugar or salt leads to increased blood pressure, headaches, and excessive thirst during your hike. Go for a well-balanced meal or snack and stay hydrated without overloading with fluids right before your hike.
By making these simple dietary adjustments, you can ensure a more enjoyable and comfortable hiking experience.