It might be a relatively low-intensity exercise, but trekking all day, day-in-day-out, burns a whole load of calories. So it’s really important you re-fuel with the right kind of food and drink.
High energy, slow-releasing foods are great, particularly those that are dried, like pasta, cous cous, quinoa and rice. These little energy bombs have a great weight to energy ratio and are the perfect base to any meal. Add in some protein like dried meat or beans and you’re on your way to a tasty, nutritious meal.
And you want foods that cook quickly. Your fuel needs to last for several days, so why waste it on 20 minutes of cooking, when you can get a good meal in 10.
Spices, hard cheeses, stock cubes and sun-dried tomatoes are easy ways to add flavour to an otherwise bland meal. Just because you’re out hiking doesn’t mean your food needs to taste like cardboard.
Snacks are essential. But think slow-release energy rather than sugary sweets. Nuts and dried fruit – with a little dark chocolate if it’s not too hot – make a great trail mix. It’s important to eat little but often on the trail, to maintain a steady blood-sugar level. And to keep you feeling positive. This is really important if you’re prone to getting moody when hungry.
And perhaps most importantly, drink water regularly. Did you know, just a 2% fluid loss can reduce your physical performance by 20%? We suggest drinking around 150-200ml of water every 20 minutes or so. If fresh, clean water is not readily available, make sure you top up your water bottle whenever you can. Always look for running water away from agriculture, roads and buildings. If you’re unsure, boil the water before you drink it.