What To Eat Before Hiking (4-Common But Great Sources)

There is no one perfect food for every hiker, but there are some general guidelines to follow when determining what to eat on a day hike.

As far as nutrition is concerned, the best foods for hiking are high in Carbohydrates and Low in Fat, as they will give you sustained energy without weighing you down.

Good choices include Trail Mix, Energy Bars, Granola, and Dried Fruit.

It’s also important to stay hydrated, so pack plenty of water and some electrolyte-replenishing sports drinks as well.

Ultimately, don’t forget to pack some snacks for the trail!

What To Eat Before Hiking- Check Expert’s List


Before heading out on a hike, it’s necessary to fuel your body with the right foods.

Therefore, eating a nutritious meal before hiking will give you sustained energy and help you avoid fatigue.

What you eat can make or break your hiking experience, so it’s worth taking the time to plan ahead.

Here are some suggestions for what to eat before hiking, depending on the length and intensity of your hike.

#1. Complex Carbohydrates:

Think about whole grain bread, oatmeal, quinoa, or sweet potatoes, however, these foods will give you slow-burning energy that will last throughout your hike.

#2. Protein:

A little bit of protein can go a long way in giving you energy and preventing muscle fatigue. Good sources of protein include lean meats, nuts, and seeds.

#3. Healthy Fats:

Fat is an essential nutrient for health, but it’s also great for providing sustained energy on the trail. Choose healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, and nuts/seeds.

#4. Electrolytes:

Electrolytes like sodium and potassium are important for maintaining hydration levels and preventing cramping.

Be sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout your hike (water is best!) and consider packing some electrolyte-rich snacks like sports drinks or coconut water.

What to Eat on a Hike (Best Food for Day Hike)


One of the best things about hiking is that you can pack your own food and snacks.

Particularly, this means you can control what you eat, and how much of it you have access to.

Nevertheless, it’s important to choose the right foods when packing for a hike.

You’ll want foods that are high in energy, easy to carry and won’t spoil in the heat.

Here are some great ideas for what to eat on a hike:

#1. Energy Bars or Gels

An energy bar or gel is great for a quick burst of energy when you need them most. Look for ones that are high in carbohydrates and low in fat.

#2. Dried Fruit

Various dried fruits are a healthy alternative to candy or chocolate bars. Dried fruit is also lightweight and easy to pack.

#3. Nuts and seeds

Foods like nuts and seeds are another good source of healthy fats and protein. They’re also easy to grab and eat on the go.

Just be sure to watch your portion size, as nuts can be calorie-dense.

#4. Jerky

This is a great option if you’re looking for something more filling than just snacks. Jerky is high in protein, which will help keep you feeling satisfied during your hike.

Plus, it doesn’t require any cooking or preparation, so it’s perfect for on-the-go snacking.

#5. Trail Mix

The Trail Mix is always a classic hiking snack.

Mix together your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and maybe even some chocolate chips for a delicious treat that will give you sustained energy throughout your hike.

Should You Drink Coffee Before a Hike!

Drinking coffee before hiking can give you the energy and focus you need to power through your hike, even if you’re not a coffee lover.

So the answer is YES!

You’ll definitely get more energy and focus with coffee before hiking.

Here are a few reasons why coffee is the perfect beverage to drink before hitting the trails:

#1. Caffeine provides a much-needed energy boost.

If you’re feeling tired before starting your hike, coffee can help give you the pep in your step that you need.

Just be sure not to overdo it – too much caffeine can lead to jitters and an anxious feeling. Stick to one cup or less for the best results.

2. Coffee can help improve your focus and concentration.

When hiking, it’s important to pay attention to your surroundings and where you’re stepping – especially if there’s rough terrain involved.

Having some coffee beforehand can help sharpen your senses so that you can navigate safely.

3. Coffee helps stave off hunger pains.

If you know you won’t have time for a proper meal before starting your hike, drinking coffee can help tide you over until you break for lunch (or whenever else you decide to eat).

Just be sure to bring along some snacks as well – caffeine alone won’t keep you going for long!

So next time you’re planning a hike, don’t forget to grab a cup of joe first – it just might make all the difference in how enjoyable (and successful) your outing is!

3 Best Foods for Hiking in the Heat

When hiking in the heat, it is important to stay hydrated and to eat foods that will help you stay cool.

Some great foods for hiking in the heat include:

Watermelon – This delicious summer fruit is 90% water, making it a great way to rehydrate. It also contains electrolytes like potassium, which can help prevent cramping.

Cucumber – Another refreshing food, cucumbers are 96% water. They can help keep you feeling full without weighing you down.

Grapes – Grapes are another great source of electrolytes and are 80% water. Their small size makes them easy to pack and eat on the go.

Why Carb Loading Before Long Hike Is Important!

The best way to increase your Glycogen Stores before a long hike is to Carb load. This involves eating more Carbohydrates than usual to increase your Carb intake.

Glycogen is a form of stored energy that your body can use for exercise.

By increasing your Glycogen Stores, you’ll have more energy available to you during your hike. There are a few different ways that you can Carb load before a long hike.

Gradually increase your Carbohydrate intake over the course of several days leading up to the hike.

Furthermore, another method is to do an overnight Carb load, where you consume a large number of Carb right before going to bed the night before the hike.

Whichever method you choose, make sure that you’re also getting enough protein and fat, as well as adequate hydration.

Carb Loading isn’t meant to be a free-for-all where you eat nothing but pasta and bread!

A balanced diet will help ensure that you have all the nutrients and energy you need for a successful hike.

Best Energy Food for Hiking

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, it’s important to fuel your body with the right foods to maintain energy levels on the trail.

While there are many different opinions on what the best energy foods are, here are some of our favorites that will help keep you going strong all hike long:

1. Nuts and Seeds A great source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, nuts and seeds are perfect for a mid-hike snack.

I like to carry a mix of almonds, pistachios, and sunflower seeds in our packs for a little boost when I need it.

2. Dried Fruit – Dried fruit is another excellent option for a quick snack on the trail. Be sure to choose varieties without added sugar for the healthiest option.

Our favorites include dried apricots, cherries, and mangoes.

3. Energy Bars – There are so many different types of energy bars on the market these days, it can be hard to choose which one is right for you.

Look for bars with whole food ingredients that will give you sustained energy throughout your hike. Our top picks are Larabars and RXBars.

What Not to Eat Before a Hike to Make Hiking Enjoyable

When you’re planning a hike, it’s important to think about what you’re going to eat to fuel your body.

You want to make sure you have enough energy to make it through your hike, but you also don’t want to end up with an upset stomach.

Here are some things you should avoid eating before a hike:

#1. Spicy Food

The spicy stuff can cause indigestion and heartburn, neither of which is fun when you’re trying to enjoy the great outdoors.

#2. Too Much Caffeine

A cup of coffee might sound like a good idea to help wake you up for an early morning hike, but too much caffeine can lead to dehydration and jitters.

Stick to water or herbal tea instead.

#3. High-fiber foods

Foods that are high in fiber can be hard on your stomach, especially if you’re not used to eating them regularly.

Save these for another time and stick with something that will be easier on your system before heading out on a hike.

#4. Greasy food

A greasy breakfast might seem like it would give you lasting energy for your hike, but it can actually end up making you feel sluggish.

And if your stomach starts growling halfway through your hike, all that grease isn’t going to sit well.

What to Eat Before Hiking a 14Er

A lot of people ask me what they should eat before hiking a 14er.

As a hiker, it’s important to fuel your body properly before embarking on any strenuous activity, and that includes hiking up a mountain!

Here are some tips on what to eat before hiking a 14er:

#1. Eat a light breakfast.

You don’t want to feel weighed down by a big meal, but you also don’t want to start your hike on an empty stomach.

A bowl of oatmeal or a banana will give you the energy you need to start your hike without making you feel too full.

#2. Bring snacks with you

Once you start hiking, your body will start burning through those calories quickly!

Make sure to bring along some snacks like granola bars or trail mix so you can keep your energy up throughout the hike.

#3. Drink plenty of water

This is crucial no matter what kind of hike you’re going on, but it’s especially important when tackling a 14er.

Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, and pack an extra bottle just in case.

#4. Eat a hearty dinner afterward.

After all that exertion, your body will need some good food to replenish its energy stores!

Be certain to have a filling dinner like pasta or rice with vegetables and protein after your hike – you’ll be glad you did!

FAQs About Hiking Foods

What Food Should I Eat Before a Hike?

Before you embark on a hike, it’s important to fuel your body with the right foods.

Eating foods that are high in protein and complex carbohydrates will give you sustained energy throughout your hike.

Some great pre-hike meals include:

  • A bowl of oatmeal with fruit and nuts
  • A PB&J sandwich on whole wheat bread
  • A yogurt parfait with granola and berries
  • A veggie wrap with hummus or avocado.

It’s also important to stay hydrated before heading out on a hike.

Just be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day leading up to your hike.

And, if you’ll be hiking in hot weather, pack some electrolyte-rich snacks or drinks, like sports drinks or coconut water, to keep your energy levels up.

Is It Better to Eat Before Or After a Hike?

Assuming you are talking about a long hike, it is better to eat before.

Typically, you will need the energy for the hike itself and eating beforehand will help give you that boost.

Eating during or after a long hike can be difficult since your body is already working hard and may not have the appetite for it.

Plus, stopping for a break to eat can throw off your rhythm and make the hike take longer.

What is a Good Breakfast to Eat Before a Hike?

As the best breakfast to eat before a hike depends on an individual’s preferences, dietary restrictions, and the hike’s length and intensity, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

Regardless, some general tips for choosing a nutritious and energizing breakfast before a hike include:

  1. Select complex carbohydrates that will provide sustained energy throughout the hike, such as oatmeal or whole-grain toast.
  2. Add protein to help repair muscles and keep hunger at bay, such as eggs or nut butter.
  3. Include healthy fats for added satiety and energy, such as avocado or olive oil.
  4. Choose foods that are easy to digest so you don’t end up with an upset stomach on the trail – plain yogurt or fruit are good options.
  5. Drink plenty of water or fluid prior to starting your hike to ensure you stay hydrated throughout.

Is It Good to Eat a Banana before a Hike?

Yes, it is good to eat a banana before a hike!

Bananas are full of potassium and other nutrients that can help give you energy and stamina for your hike.

They are also easy to carry with you and don’t require any preparation, so they are a great snack to have on hand when you’re heading out on a hike.


Getting suitable foods before you go hiking will give you sustained energy and keep you from getting tired.

If you eat a good pre-hike meal, it should include complex carbs, healthy fats, and proteins.

Some examples of complex carbs are oatmeal, whole-grain bread, and quinoa.

Avocados, nuts, and seeds are good for healthy fats. Eggs, yogurt, or chicken are good for protein.



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