What To Eat Before Hiking?

Ever wondered what to eat before my day hike tomorrow? Or what should my diet plan consist of before the trek? ..Or what sort of food to avoid before hiking off to the mountains?

Well! If you are in such a dilemma, welcome to the article that you have been looking for as a solution to your all problems. Here you will be able to access exclusive content regarding diet plans for a hike.

Hiking is an amazing exercise with the extreme drain of energy and churning of fat while utilizing your leg muscles to the extreme level depending upon the trail of choice.

Diet always has a straight connection to your performance, be it pre-workout meals or your breakfast before the hike. Pre-purposive meals are meant to offer you plenty of energy and are quite light. You will have to follow different diet plans with the change in progression/ duration of the course of your activities.

Another thing is hydration. If you are hydrated enough you won’t be facing any serious issues besides strain, but in case of less hydration, sprains, cramps, and spasms might occur. In order to relax your muscles throughout the journey, try sipping water throughout the journey without wasting any droplets other than just your skin pores. Well, a day hike would demand a lot of hydration indeed.

Here are a bunch of diet plans that we would like to offer you so you stay in top shape while hiking!

The Diet Plan

Well, hiking is a strenuous exercise in itself and requires a lot of energy to fuel you up all along the way. That’s the very reason you must be aware of the calories buckled up in your rucksack and what you eat on that very morning. The diet right before the onset of the hike must contain complex carbohydrates which take quite a time to digest and keeps you going on.

eating before hiking

Besides, you might opt. to eat up some lean protein too which helps to replenish the muscular vigor and avoids sprain upon your muscles. The ratio of complex carbs to protein could be maintained as a 4:1 ratio. A light blend of protein powder with vitamins and amino acids could do wonders for establishing vigor within your body.

As per the National Academy of Sports medicine, an intake of even 6-7 meals is fine if you continuously work out and burn it up. If you feel any strain upon your muscles while hiking, add protein powder to your drink and hydrate yourself.

Besides, you should carry dried fruits, energy bars, whole grain bars, or aloha trail mix in your rucksack. It is basically a snack mix with granola, dried fruit, nuts seeds, and sometimes even candies, developed as a food to be taken along on hikes. Other snacking options include eggs, oat bars and granola bars with all those nuts seeds, bagel peanut butter bananas.

The Right Amount

Well, quantity is an issue when you do any sort of strenuous workout or venture out for a trek/hike. You must be conscious of the limit that might cause you to feel sagged down and limit your steps. Make sure that the diet is lasting yet not too heavy on your tummy. There should be a time difference of more than an hour before you begin your expedition to limit the strain upon your abdominals that might make you slouch over. Heavier meals take quite a long to digest and also cause discomfort during physical activities.

A quantity of around 300-500 calories of a meal is enough as a pre-hike meal and make sure that you strictly avoid a huge meal to keep yourself moving on while maintaining the flow of energy alongside maintaining the blood sugar level on optimum limits. That’s the very reason we generally require some energy bars on our rucksack to refuel calories into us. An hourly intake of such mini-meals is the best way to keep yourself pumped with energy.

what to eat before hiking- proper diet

The most important thing is, never to let yourself hike without food up on the mountains. An empty stomach indicates a lack of complex carbohydrates and glucose in your blood which leads to an energy deficit on a really bad level. Make sure to eat at least a proper meal as instructed above to avoid blood sugar levels going really low.


You will need to eat on both occasions as the pre-hike diet must comprise a full load of complex carbs that keep on being digested and store out a wholesome lot of glucose. Even the dinner on the evening before the hike could be complex carbs rich like potatoes, pasta, rice, and much more so that you have enough glucose in your blood to burn up in the hills.

While the diet after the hike could be a rather heavy meal with the wholesome goodness of carbs, proteins, vitamins, amino acids, and other essentials. Another important thing alongside snacking on the trial is hydration. As already mentioned above, constant sipping of water is a lot better than drinking a whole lot of water in one gulp. Make sure that the water you drink mustn’t cause any discomfort to your abdomen.

proper timing for diet before hiking

Food To Avoid

Well, hiking would definitely allow you to digest literally anything that you had before the trek, but it is a lot better if you are conscious about what you eat and track the right amount of calories required before any event. The most important thing to be considered is your diet plan which must contain easily digestible foodstuffs that give you a surge of energy upon digestion.

There is a bunch of foodstuffs to avoid before going on a hike, mostly; fatty foods, grease, junk, and an unbalanced heavy protein diet. The healthier your diet plan is, the healthier your body would be.

food to avoid while hiking

What To Drink

Absolutely yes! but only water. The reason is, water is a hydrant itself that keeps you energized whereas alcohol itself is a diuretic that demands the water to blend into it willing to make your body dehydrated. That’s the exact reason we strictly suggest you on drinking juices or water only. Make sure that the volume of water intake doesn’t slow you down and serves as a proper hydrant only.

what to drink before hiking

A Look At Complex Carbohydrates And Lean Proteins

Complex carbohydrates are basically sugar molecules that are chained into long polymer forms. They are found in foodstuffs like pasta, rice, bread, whole grains, and some starchy veggies like potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, and likewise. They are extracted into the bloodstream as glucose and are burnt up for energy.

eating complex carbohydrates and nutrients before hiking

Lean proteins could rather be understood as pure protein meat i.e. the meat containing 4.5 grams of fat upon a hundred grams of meat. The foodstuffs serving as lean protein sources could be beans, lentils, peas, poultry white meat, fish meat, and so on.

These are important food items that are quite good to be included in your pre-hike diet plan.


Well, we had plenty of discussion over what should be on the menu before you are off for your day hike, the kind of snacks to stuff yourself up with, awareness about the diet plans, and the stuff to avoid that might look rich but ain’t the right energy options for you.

I’d like to remind you to take enough carbs/ glucose before you are off to the hike making sure that you are not stuffing your tummy carelessly. Enjoy your hike!

If you liked reading our post, you may also like our post on hiking as an aerobic activity.


Should I eat a meal before hiking?

Yes, you can eat a nice amount of meals 1-3 hours prior to starting off your hike. Make sure you eat enough loaded carbs and lean protein included in your diet. A load of complex carbs is going to work as your glucose reservoir for your trek. It is nice to take some healthy snacks like cereal bars and trail mix along your hike.

Can I eat a banana before hiking?

Yes, bananas are good pre-hike snacks. They are reservoirs of glucose and also potassium which are good for rejuvenating your muscles.

What should you eat before hiking?

You must eat a fine mix of carbohydrates, lean proteins, vitamins, and amino acids. Make sure whatever you eat must be a healthy diet and do not stuff yourself up with literally any random foodstuff.

What should I avoid before hiking?

You must avoid any sort of junk food that is going to stuff your tummy without acting as a proper energy source. Also, avoid any sort of alcoholic drinks as they are diuretics and might cause you to pee more often.

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