Essential Nutrients for a Hiker’s Diet
The amount of energy that a hiker expends on a trip is quite large. A hiker’s diet must be filled with nutrients in order to maintain the same level of activity.
How to Nourish a Hiker’s Body
It’s imperative that hikers fuel their bodies properly so they can work to their best during an outing. Eating well-balanced meals that nourish the body properly is key to main performance at the highest level.
Ingesting carbs is not usually a problem. The problem lies in the quality of the carbs we eat. Carbohydrates are the top source of fuel that provides power to muscles. As a hiker, it is important that you can keep your energy levels steady and delay fatigue as much as possible. Choose complex carbs like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables over simple carbs like candy bars, bread, and cookies.
Complex carbs are rich in fiber and take a lot longer to break down in the body, reaching the blood stream little by little, which is why they keep the level of sugar in the bloodstream steady.
Giving your body a good portion protein after a long hike is very important. Muscle fibers are torn during the hike. Protein will replenish glycogen in your muscles after strenuous physical activity and will help repair muscle tissue. Fish, meat, dairy, and legumes are good sources of protein.
The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, the American College of Sports Medicine, and Dietitians of Canada recommend that you have 1.2 – 2.0 grams of protein a day per kilogram of body weight.
Good fats like those present in nuts, fish, avocado, and olive oil are beneficial to the body, but still, they should be consumed in moderation. Fats help organs work properly during exercise, and it also keeps a steady body temperature.
Hydration is a must. During a long hike in hot weather, the body can lose 3% to 4% of its weight in water through sweat, which can cause dehydration. Hikers should drink at least 2.5 liters of water a day depending on their level of activity.
Vitamins and Minerals
A hiker’s diet should be rich in the vitamin B group. This is essential to ensure the optimum production of energy, and repair and build muscle tissue. They also need vitamin D, iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin A, C, E, and selenium.
Conquer Colorado Trails
Colorado is full of wonderful places to explore. Mile Hi Rafting takes you to the Arkansas River, located three hours south of Denver. The areas surrounding the Arkansas River Valley are great for hiking and other things like mountain climbing and fishing. Take advantage of our great packages and start packing for your next adventure. Eat your fuel and get ready for the thrill that awaits.