The food you consume before or during a hike or run can play a crucial role in providing your body with the energy it needs to keep going.
Ensuring you eat the right combination of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats will give you the fuel your body needs to partake in sustained activity, whether that’s going for a run or a long hike.
WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS FOR RUNNING AND HIKING?
Below, we’ve listed some of the top foods for running and walking that will help fuel your body and power your outdoor activities.
The classic snack for outdoor activity lovers, trail mix is great for packing in your rucksack for a long trek or a long distance run. Trail mix normally consists of a combination of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits but sometimes includes chocolate as well, all of which provides your body with protein, healthy fats, and fibre, making trail mix a great source of sustained energy.
PEANUT BUTTER AND JAM SANDWICHES
Peanut butter and jam or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a staple on-the-go lunch for many Americans and has made the jump across the pond, becoming a firm favourite for many Brits, too. The peanut, jam, and bread combination provides your body with carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats that, much like trail mix, can give you a boost of energy for prolonged activities like hiking, walking, and running.
Bananas are great hiking food but are also carried by many long-distance runners, especially those looking to fuel endurance activities like running marathons or ultra marathons. Bananas are easy to carry, easy to eat, and are rich in the mineral potassium, which is essential for muscle and nerve function. Bananas are also a great source of easily digestible carbohydrates, which makes a great energy source for long distance runners or walkers.
A breakfast of porridge oats in the morning before a long hike or big run is a great way to supply your body with slow-burning carbohydrates to provide sustained energy throughout the day. Oats are also high in fibre, which will help to regulate your blood sugar levels and help you feel full for longer. When you add milk into the mix, you add a healthy source of protein to help with muscle recovery, tissue repair, and to assist your body with the production of red blood cells (the ones that carry oxygen around your body!).
You can top your porridge in a variety of different ways to add flavour or increase the benefits of oats to your body, too! Try adding seeds as a source of healthy fats and long-lasting energy, fresh or dried fruits for an energy boost thanks to natural sugars along with vitamins and minerals, or stir in a spoonful of peanut butter to increase the protein.
You can also add a scoop or two of protein powder into your porridge oats, like our Natural Chocolate Flavour Pea Protein or ‘Energy’ Cacao & Maca Supershake, to increase the amount of protein your body receives.
NUT BARS AND ENERGY BARS
Nut and energy bars are one of a hiker’s favourite snacks to carry in their backpack. In fact, you’ll probably find some form of energy bar in most long-distance hikers’ arsenal. Serious hikers, such as through-hikers or those hiking a long-distance trail from end-to-end, burn between 3,000 to 5,000 calories a day, which means they need to consume more calories than the average person. The problem with this is that on long-distance hikes or runs, you don’t want to be carrying lots of meals and adding a lot of extra weight to your backpack. Energy bars or nut bars are a great way to consume extra calories to keep your energy levels up and keep the weight down in your rucksack.
The key thing to look for in an energy bar is a good mix of fats, carbohydrates, and protein – carbohydrates in particular if you’re on a very long, high-intensity hike or run. However, if you’re hiking or running over multiple days, you’ll want to keep the weight of your pack down, which favours high-fat content energy bars because fat contains twice as many calories per gram than carbohydrates or protein. So, having a good mix of high carbohydrate and high fat snack bars is a good choice as it will provide you with both the energy you need and help keep the weight of your pack down.
When shopping for energy bars, however, you want to avoid bars with high processed sugar content like some cereal bars because they won’t sustain your body for longer periods of time but, instead, will provide a brief energy boost or spike.
Pulsin’s range of High Fibre Brownie Bars, Plant Based Protein Bars, and our high-fat content Plant Based Keto Bars all provide a great source of protein, carbohydrates, fibre, and/or fat, that will provide your body with energy, fibre, and protein to help fuel your hikes, runs, or long walks.
You can even get a whole bunch of Pulsin goodies to help fuel your body for your next long-distance hike or run with our Vegan Starter Bundle!