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What to Eat Before and During Hiking

Before you go out on a hike, it’s important to fuel your body with the right foods. What you eat before a hike can make or break your experience – eating the wrong kind of food can make you feel considerably sluggish and tired while eating the right kind of food will energize you for an enjoyable outing.

This guide will highlight the best food to eat before hiking and the kind of meals you need to sustain energy while on the trail.

Food to Eat Before Hiking

When deciding what to eat before a hike, focus on consuming complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Complex carbohydrates provide sustained energy throughout the day and will help your muscles refuel throughout the hike.

Lean proteins like fish and poultry are good choices because they promote muscle repair after exercise and also contain B vitamins which boost energy levels. Healthy fats like avocados and nuts provide essential fatty acids, which can give you a boost of energy. For more specificity, you can go for any of these meals just before hitting the trail.


A bowl of oatmeal is an ideal pre-hike meal as it contains complex carbohydrates that provide slow-burning fuel to keep your energy levels up throughout the trek.

To get more sustaining benefits, you can go for a  bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh fruits and nuts for a  great and filling energy boost. This choice is packed with carbohydrates, which will provide sustained energy, as well as fiber to keep you fuller for longer. You can also add honey or maple syrup for an even sweeter kick!


Whether you’re going for almonds, cashews, or walnuts, these tasty bites are packed with energy-sustaining protein and healthy fats necessary to power you up during your hike.



If you’re looking for a quick and easy snack that packs a punch of protein, consider adding hard-boiled eggs to your pre-hike meal plan. They’re full of healthy fats and essential nutrients like Vitamin D and Iron, which will help keep your energy levels up even as the day wears on.

They also provide a good essential protein which is just as important as any nutrient. The good thing is that you can have a couple ready in just a few minutes.


There are lots of yogurt you can opt for to get your body ready for hiking. Non-fat Greek yogurt is packed with protein and probiotics, which help your digestion along the way. Top it off with some nuts or fruit for extra sustenance and flavor!


Whether fresh or frozen, these sweet treats provide a good source of natural energy and antioxidants. They’re also easy to carry around and can be eaten on the go for an instant pick-me-up.

Dried Fruit

Raisins, apricots, or figs are all great options as they contain simple sugars that give you quick bursts of energy during your hike. Plus, they taste delicious too!

Avocado Toast

This is an excellent meal choice if you have some time before heading out on your hike. The complex carbs offer slow-burning fuel while the healthy fats help keep you feeling full throughout the day—a win/win situation!


Hummus (& Veggies)

Packed with healthy fats, protein, and fiber, as well as essential vitamins and minerals, hummus is a perfect snack to have before your next hike. It’s creamy yet light enough not to weigh you down, and it can be paired with anything from pita chips to vegetables.

You can get a better delight by going for Hummus and veggies. While hummus is packed full of protein, veggies are packed with vitamins and minerals, making both a winning combination for sustained energy on the trail. You could also dip some carrots, celery, or peppers in hummus for a snack that will keep you going all day long.

Chia Seeds

These tiny seeds are a powerhouse of nutrition. They are rich in essential minerals like iron, zinc, phosphorus and magnesium; contain Omega-3 fatty acids; and provide long-lasting energy due to their high content of dietary fiber. They’re incredibly versatile, so why not sprinkle them into your oatmeal or add them to a smoothie?

Trail Mix

A few handfuls of trail mix is a great way to get a quick energy boost before you hit the trails. Look for mixes with nuts, dried fruits and seeds for an added nutritional punch! You can even make your own, so you’ll be sure to get exactly what your body needs.

You just need to combine some of the nuts, seeds and dried fruits mentioned in this piece to get a nice combination of protein, carbs, and a bit of sweetness. Make sure not to add too much chocolate, and you will get that nice perfect blend to keep you going for the day.

Energy bars

Energy Bars

The importance of energy bars cannot be underestimated when looking for the perfect meal to eat just before hitting the trail. Not all energy bars are created equal, so make sure to read labels carefully and avoid added sugar. Look for bars that contain healthy fats, proteins, and complex carbs—all the ingredients you need to power through your hike.

With all these options, you’re sure to find something that’s perfect for pre-hike fueling! You can make a combination of these foods and have them at a go. They are great for the stomach. So you don’t have to worry about suffering from insistent restroom issues.

Food to Eat on The Trail

When it comes to already on the trail, it is recommended you go for salty meals. Generally, high-energy foods that are easy to eat and digest are best. Choose snacks that have protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, like trail mix, granola bars, or jerky. Avoid high-sugar snacks as they will cause your blood sugar levels to spike and crash quickly.

The majority of the foods already mentioned in the pre-hike meal section are still cool to eat while on the trail. You can eventually opt for electrolytes powder, drinks or even tablets to sustain healthy sodium levels.

The Role of Water and Drinks

While it is easy to be very concerned about eating the right food before and during hiking, most hikers ignore the importance of water and other essential beverages. If there is anything your body requires most for revitalization it is water. It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day with plenty of water. Make sure you drink before feeling thirsty so that dehydration doesn’t catch up with you during your hike.

Water is essential for hikers, especially during long hikes. It has numerous benefits, including providing energy, regulating body temperature, and preventing dehydration. Water helps the hiker to maintain their physical performance throughout the course of a hike. It also prevents muscle cramps due to electrolyte imbalance and can help to reduce fatigue.

Eating during hike

Furthermore, drinking water regularly helps prevent dizziness and headaches associated with dehydration. For optimal performance while hiking, it is important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before and during a hike. Additionally, carrying enough water on a hike can be life-saving if faced with an emergency or difficult weather conditions leading to increased fluid loss.

Drinking the right amount of water is one of the most important aspects of maintaining good health while hiking, and it can make the difference between a successful hike and one that leaves the hiker in distress. Therefore, staying hydrated is essential for hikers of all levels.

If plain water isn’t palatable for you, try adding slices of citrus fruit or herbs like mint to enhance the flavor. There are also other special sports beverages to keep your electrolytes up and help you enjoy a long, successful hike.

You can stack up with energy beverages and your casual, common soft drinks. Don’t worry too much about not stacking up weight on the trail with your choice of drink. You will be losing lots of calories and could suffer electrolyte drops. So when you feel thirsty, gulp some water and some beverages too.

Final Thoughts

By doing some basic nutrition preparation, you can make sure that your hike is enjoyable and energizing from start to finish. What you eat before and during a hike is essential for having an enjoyable experience in the great outdoors.

Also, do not ignore the importance of water. Water is critical for any hiker to stay healthy while on a hike. It benefits performance by providing energy, regulating body temperature and preventing dehydration. Additionally, it can be life-saving in emergency situations or difficult weather conditions. Ultimately, drinking enough water should always be a priority when hiking as it ensures both physical health and safety during the activity.

As a side note, never hike on an empty stomach. You will find it more challenging to complete the entire hike and may even end up not completing the entire process.

By following the guidelines outlined in this piece, you’ll have plenty of energy for a successful day out on the trails!

Happy Hiking!

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