Good preparation for an excursion requires us to also pay attention to nutrition. We start from the fact that we need energy, but without gaining weight
To start the right way, we should prepare our dinner the night before: carbohydrates are a must - as they make up a good energy reserve - as are vegetables and fruits, for their sugars. It’s also important to drink liquids in order to improve hydration levels. We should, on the other hand, avoid proteins, which are less important than carbohydrates and sugar for the effort that we must make.
It should be rich, balanced, and abundant: so, it would be best to have it with some time before the start of the hike. Either a sweet or a savoury breakfast is good. For a sweet one, you may want to have toast with honey, jam, or even butter, biscuits, fruit pie, cereal, fresh fruit, or yogurt. For a savoury one: ham, cheese, eggs. To drink, go for milk, juice, water, or tea.
During the hike, there are two key elements: hydration and simple sugars.
We have to constantly integrate liquids in order to avoid the excessive loss of mineral salts in our sweat and breath (vapour). So, it’s very important to drink water, even with added mineral salts.
Next, simple sugars reinforce our energy levels quickly since they are easy to digest. Fresh fruit (ex. apples) is always a good idea, but it’s heavy and bulky: dry fruit is better from this point of view. Energy bars are also great, but keep an eye on the ingredients: the less the better! Avoid energy bars that contain glucose/fructose syrup, vegetable oils, and additives.
We should prioritise food with a medium-high glycemic index. The classic sandwich works as long as it contains ingredients that are easy to digest. Choose well risen bread, ham or cold cuts that are low in fat, and a little cheese. Eggs also work. It’s best to avoid coffee (that may, due to its diuretic effect, contribute to liquid loss)… but we can allow ourselves a bit of dark chocolate!
After a day of physical effort, we have to recover energy and the mineral salts that we lost.
A great idea is a soup with pasta or rice, rich in vegetable and legumes (ex. chick peas, beans, peas). If we want animal proteins, the best choice is fish. We can also add a portion of fruit that, together with vegetables, helps recover some vitamin content.