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Hiking Nutrition 101

The following article was written by Fourpoints Bar founder and Sports Nutritionist Kevin Webber.

Pre-Adventure: Hydrate & Carb Load

Hydration, above all else, is the single most important element of success at altitude. Aim to consume 100­-135 ounces of water the day before a big hike. Find that carb loading with complex carbs the night before helps ensure you have the energy for a long day of strenuous climbing/hiking. While high-fat foods are energy dense, they require more oxygen to metabolize. At altitude, your body needs all the oxygen it can muster.

Day-of Adventure: Balance Blood Sugar

Carbohydrates are the most important macronutrient for endurance activities. Low carb stores result in low blood sugar, which in turn leads to confusion, lack of coordination, and disorientation. All are bad things at high altitude.

To stay ahead of the game, keep the carbs coming regularly throughout your adventure. Mix in some quick absorbing protein to keep muscles fed and stave off feelings of lethargy. Remember, by the time you feel hungry, you're already behind the eight ball.

Post-Adventure: It’s All About Recovery

After adventuring all day, your body is spent. Carbohydrate stores are depleted and your muscles are too. A high protein plus high carb meal or a snack balanced with healthy fats will repair muscle tissue, replenish lost carbohydrates, and have you feeling better in no time. 

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