Nutrition tips for day-hiking in the mountain parks
Are you nutritionally prepared for that energy-burning outdoor venture into the Canadian wilderness?
Here are a few bare-bones guidelines to help maximize your outdoor pleasure and safety:
- Eat a hearty breakfast before you start. It will sustain your energy through the day. Include protein (such as eggs, dairy, meat, fish, or legumes), healthy fat, complex carbohydrates (fruit and whole grains), a sport drink for electrolytes, and water—always water.
- Snack and sip throughout the day—and don’t wait until you’re hungry to eat or until you’re thirsty to drink. By the time you feel hungry, you’ve lost energy. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Snack and sip; snack and sip.
- Carry enough food to meet your energy (calorie) needs for the day. Women need about 2500 – 3500 calories for a gentle hike while carrying a light load; men will need about 3000 – 4000. On a more rigorous hike (longer, steeper) or with a heavier load, add between 500 – 1000 extra calories. Calories can come from nuts, dried fruits, trail mixes, whole grains, and sports bars. For rigorous hikes, select snack foods containing above five calories per gram; that will supply the requisite amount of fat and complex carbs. Fat slows digestion, so your energy is meted out more evenly throughout your hike.
- Consider supplementing with Rhodiola Rosea—an herb found in the Arctic mountains of Europe and Asia. It’s been used for hundreds of years as an all-purpose tonic to increase mental and physical stamina. Recently, Russian researchers studied the herb for its ability to enhance performance. Brands combining Green Tea Extract with Rhodiola Rosea can help power you through a day’s hiking—or any vigorous workout. Research suggests Rhodiola Rosea also may shorten recovery time after prolonged exercise
- Finally, make sure you’re taking a plant-based, broad spectrum multivitamin-mineral supplement to supply your cells with all the micro-nutrients needed for optimum energy output. Also, consider supplementing with calcium-magnesium. These minerals are involved in energy production, muscle contraction, and the healing process.
~by Gloria Askew, R.R.N. and Jerre Paquette,Ph.D. authors of the best-selling book Secrets of Supplements: The Good, The Bad, The Totally Terrific.
For a more detailed discussion of nutrition and supplements in “SECRETS OF SUPPLEMENTS: The Good, The Bad, The Totally Terrific”, visit www.phytemedia.com.