What To Eat Before Hiking (6-Common But Great Sources)

Hiking is one of my favorite summertime pastimes. I often go for trails to breathe fresh air amidst nature. However, for a good trek, you also need good food.

The most common question friends and family ask me is what to eat before hiking? Let’s find. 

Here, I’m going to give viewers a perfect idea of what they should consume before going on a trail.

To complete the hike, you must consume prior foods that will provide you with the energy, fuel, and strength to accomplish your goal.

Learn which foods can help you do that and which may cause you to give up and return to your sofa by reading on.

What To Eat Before Hiking- Check Expert’s List

1. Protein

For hikers, protein is a crucial macronutrient. It promotes metabolism and aids in the recovery of achy muscles, which are essential when climbing a steep mountain.

Try to consume lean meats, such as chicken, turkey, or fish, before you embark on your trip to help reduce muscular discomfort.

You can also get protein from vegan-based diets. So, vegetarians can consume seeds, dry fruits, and more.

2. Eggs and Carbohydrates

Another fantastic protein-rich breakfast option is eggs. Combine them with a carbohydrate to improve performance, lessen muscle damage, and speed up recovery.

According to studies, eggs and toast have a satiety index that is 50% higher than breakfast cereals, preventing you from eating throughout your hike. 

3. Peanut Butter

Nut butter is rich in protein, magnesium, fiber, and other nutrients that support healthy bones and muscles.

While hiking for an extended amount of time, being in top physical shape is crucial.

Whole wheat toast slathered with your favorite nut butter is an excellent combination that you can pick.

4. Nutritional Bars

A nutrition bar is ideal if you don’t have time to make a meal before your hike.

However, consuming any bar will not be enough because some of them only have slightly more nutritional content than a chocolate bar.

To help you get through any hike, pick one with actual ingredients and a lot of protein, carbs, and other vitamins and minerals.

5. Fresh Fruits

Fruits are a food group that is heavy in carbs and can improve your hiking ability. Bananas, apples, and peaches are excellent alternatives for snacks before hiking.

Mixing them into Greek yoghurt or oatmeal may make them even better.

Greek yoghurt is a great source of protein and will help you stay energized throughout your journey when mixed with fruit.

Also, bring some fruit on your journey to keep you fueled if you start to get hungry.

6. Water

Lastly, hydration is crucial, especially when hiking on a hot day. Thus, water is the most important food or beverage to ingest before trekking.

Be careful to drink water well before you start, even if you don’t feel thirsty (and pee first, too) regularly.

As water aids in maintaining your body temperature, it will keep you cool while you are hiking.

Also, drinking it with food can assist it to become the energy you will need for traveling. Moreover, bring a lot of water with you on 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.

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?

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:

Select complex carbohydrates that will provide sustained energy throughout the hike, such as oatmeal or whole-grain toast. Add protein to help repair muscles and keep hunger at bay, such as eggs or nut butter.

Include healthy fats for added satiety and energy, such as avocado or olive oil. 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.

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.

Final Words

Hiking is a time and energy-consuming activity. Thus, ensure you eat the right foods and prep your body well for no negative results.

Avoid eating junk and spicy food before the hike to prevent acidity.

Also, do not go o treks empty stomach, as it will dehydrate your body and lower energy levels instantly.

Additionally, avoid eating soup, drinking milk or juice, and eating processed foods. Take the finest aid from this guide and enjoy your hike to the fullest.


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