E.Eating meals while hiking is a challenge for many. Your body is exercising so much that you are tempted to eat all of the foods available. However, overeating can work against you while trekking. So how do you strike a balance? Here is a quick guide to 8 food habits you must follow while trekking.
Trekking is a high calorie activity – it’s a no-brainer.
Senior Experience Coordinator
What I did notice, however, is that many hikers are overwhelmed with the amount of exercise they suddenly do while hiking and feel that the amount of food that is served is inadequate.
The idea here is to replace the lost calories, not the feast. You don’t want to feel like a bloated beanbag when you have to walk uphill for miles, right?
“You have to consume the right kind of calories. While carbohydrates increase energy, more than amount is needed to make sure that you are eating the right kind of carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates like broken wheat (dahlia) are ideal because they are slowly released into your system and therefore last longer, ”says Manish Pasad, head of research and development at Indiahikes.
It is a good idea to cook your own food while trekking. Image by Milind Tambe
How do you decide what is good for you and what is not? Here is a list of 8 eating habits to keep in mind while trekking.
1. Eat a healthy, healthy breakfast – It can set you up for the day. Avoid early morning caffeine cravings. They lead to dehydration.
2. Lunch and dinner must consist of foods rich in carbohydrates and whole grains. They digest slowly and give you more stable energy during the day.
3. Have some dry fruit ready – It is a good solution to keep your energy levels up.
4. Rock sugar and cream cookies are a big no-no. They tend to give you sore throats at high altitudes.
5. Drink at least 6 liters of water through the day (this takes practice). It prevents muscle spasms and keeps you hydrated. Water also contains oxygen, which can compensate for the low oxygen levels experienced during high-altitude hikes.
6. Protein takes longer to digest at high altitudes due to low oxygen levels. Do not avoid vegetarian food. You can consume egg instead. This prevents muscle soreness and helps to replace broken down muscle protein.
7. Avoid chocolate and energy bars. They definitely give you a sudden burst of energy, but since they rely almost entirely on sugar and corn syrup, it creates an unhealthy energy cycle with spikes and drops. This will lead to hunger pangs after a while.
8. Avoid alcohol before and during the hike. Alcohol leads to dehydration, which can trigger acute mountain sickness (AMS) during a high-altitude hike.
“It becomes very difficult for trekkers to suddenly change their eating habits on a trek, especially because they are sweating so much,” he says Arjun Majumdar, Founder of Indiahikes.
It is important that you condition your body to get used to similar physical activities and eating habits before starting your hike. Problems usually arise when hikers try to condition their bodies on the slope. Preparation should be done before trekking, not during trekking. Get used to the Dal Chawal, Sabzi Roti diet and stay away from any litter for a week before the start of the trek.
Most of us lead sedentary lifestyles that lack physical exertion and a healthy diet. Such habits lead to difficulties at high altitudes. Do you want a good Himalayan trekking experience? Try tweaking your eating habits a little and it will work wonders.
If you practice these and other healthy eating habits, let us know in the comments below. And if you have your friends who would benefit from these healthy habits, please don’t hesitate to spread the word.