Nourishment and Fuel

I’ve heard it said and there’s significant research showing a healthy male doing doing manual work under normal conditions,  requires 3600 calories a day and a little less for females.

This may vary from person to person and activity or lack of at any given time, or due to individual metabolic rates. The calorific requirements may be slightly higher or lower. But one thing is for certain is you will need fuel. Now throw abnormal conditions into this mix, like adverse weather conditions, longer than planned days, unexpected situations cropping up etc.

The same as your car requires fuel/oil/coolant, so does your body in order for you to perform and get to where you’re headed safely and efficiently. A big question for lots of folk is what to eat, when to eat, what food to bring. If it’s not something you’re asking yourself and you’re planning on any adventure activities, it’s probably about time you did.

There’s endless articles available on this and I’ve read some. I’ve also heard from a lot of my pals who are at this game a lot longer than me, and I was a trained professional chef for a lot of my adult life. So what I’ll do here is try and shed a little light on the matter. I’ll offer a few recipes, hints and tips to what works for me and a lot of others.

Like a high performance sports car needs to run on high octane fuel, your body’s the same. You can only get out of it what you put into it. Put in too much at the wrong time and you’ll be sluggish and uncomfortable. Put in too little and you’ll gradually come to a halt after slowly deteriorating performance, risking accident, illness or death.

So with that said lets start with the basics for a day hike and then move on to camping trips and expeditions. I’ll get into what to prepare and how to’s for when at your destination to make things simple and maximize your trip. Lets face it, you don’t want to spend your adventure cooking and cleaning pots and pans right? I know I don’t.

I’ll also talk about equipment to bring and how much can be prepared at home in your own kitchen before departure and I’ll even throw in a few of my favorite recipes.

This is a work in progress, so stay tuned if ya wanna get more.

Banana Bread

Chick Peas/Hummus/Falafel

I’ll also carry quick and easy things as I’ve not always got the time to be baking and cooking prior to hike.

Cheese and onion sandwiches are good and good for you, some breads and better for some folk than others. Add your own filling or bread.

Scottish oat cakes, Dates, really good energy value, same as figs, dried or fresh. Nuts, Just plain cheese, forget the bread. Beef jerky when you can get it, though it’s not cheap in Ireland and comes in tiny packets. Seeds, sultanas/rasins, dried apricot, fresh/dried banana, dried fish, but if bringing fresh fruit, it just means extra peels and plastic bags and stuff to pack out, keeping in line with the leave no trace policies. Hard boiled eggs, dark chocolate, and for a quick sugar rush like you may sometimes want, now and then jellies, chocolate covered or plain coffee beans, or you can get glucose sweets in your local chemist, I can recommend dextrose, and this is what my pals in mountain rescue often carry, but only use in emergencies. They’re strong and can also be used to help focus or study, or so says the chemist. More to follow as I discover. What works for you? Maybe leave a comment below with your thoughts. 

To drink

Water’s hard to beat. I know there’s lovers of redbull and other energy drinks, but did you know that it also takes energy for your body to digest and process any extra sugar. This energy could be used in your muscles to propel you forward or higher. Others say isotonic sports drinks are the way to go. Sure. Expensive. Did you know you can make your own very easy? Follow this link for some delicious recipes.  Isotonic sports drink.

Me I’ve got simple taste. I’ve normally got a pint of water with juice of half a freshly squeezed lemon, 1st thing in the morning, every morning. I’ve also being same on a hike with me, but with an added pinch of himilayan sea salt, and you can add a squeeze of honey also. This is for the hike and often another in the car on the way if I think I’ll be needing it.

I like to stay well hydrated.

The salt works as an electrolyte which is needed for your brain to send signals along your nerves to your muscles. As we sweat, we lose salt, not enough salt in your body, nerves go wonky and you’re likely to cramp up. I’ve heard from a trusted and reliable source who adds a pinch of baking soda for same reason, however I’ve not tried this myself yet as haven’t felt the need to. I get my daily dose of bread soda in other ways.

Now for lunch a hot drink often goes down well, and depending on what’s for lunch, Teas, I do like coffee, but not while hiking as It’s a diuretic. Hot fruit juice, bovril or some other beef/chicken stock drink if somewhere in the snow maybe is very good too. Lots of my friends take yogurt drinks or just plain yogurt and add to some fruit salad they brought in a wee container. Works for them.

Any other ideas, Please leave comments below for what works for you.