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Fuel Your Hike the Right Way

By Sara Butler

Hiking and backpacking are great ways to get outside and be active. It doesn’t take a lot of equipment and can be done by people of all fitness levels. Plus, once you’re hooked, it’s difficult to stop -- which is a good thing! No matter what kind of hiker or backpacker you are, one thing remains the same: how you fuel your hike. Here are a few tips!

A Few Thing to Think About

Before you can understand how to properly fuel your hike, you have to think about a few key things such as:

  • Length of your outing - Hiking isn’t fast and trails are often designed to be hiked for long periods of time. The longer you’re out having a hiking adventure, the more things you’ll need to bring with you to fit your demands. You must be cognizant of safety concerns since you’ll be out in the elements.
  • Level of exertion - Are you going for a stroll to enjoy the scenery or are you looking to break a sweat? How hard you plan to go will have an impact on your needs.
  • Duration and remoteness - Being snack-ready in the middle of nowhere is a challenge. Consider all the things you’ll need based on how long you plan to be gone and where you’ll be.

Some Snack Suggestions

There are plenty of nutrient-dense foods that don’t take up a lot of room in your pack. You can try:

  • Peanut butter
  • Granola
  • Trail mix
  • Apples
  • Meat jerky
  • Rice cakes
  • Freeze dried fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • Sport gel packs
  • Crackers

Don’t just toss a few random things into your pack when getting ready to go out on a hike. Instead, think about your goals and your nutrition requirements when choosing something. Also, don’t forget water. You will need to consistently sip on water as well as eat along your route so you don’t become dehydrated; it's important to fuel your body appropriately.

Nutrition is an important part of reaching your health and fitness goals. Make sure to choose the right foods for your activity and fitness level that will provide your body with what it needs to keep going but isn’t full of unneeded sugars or refined carbohydrates, either.

You don't have to know what the best fuel for hiking is right off the bat -- simply make sure to try new things and see what works best to take with you and helps you feel the best. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Arvada, Colo.

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