Nutritional Tips for Earth’s Edge Expeditions | Earths Edge
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Nutritional Tips for Earth’s Edge Expeditions

This article tackles the matter of nutrition before, during and after your expeditions.

During a multi-day expedition, your body and mind will be put under a lot of stress, far more than on a normal day. It is important that you look after yourself not only during the event but in the months, weeks and days leading up to it as well. Think of your body as an engine that needs fuel to operate. If your body runs out of fuel then….well you know the rest!

 

LEADING UP TO AND DURING THE EVENT

Water is Vital

A photo by Aidan Meyer. unsplash.com/photos/nvj-PDU98WU
We recommend drinking between three and five litres of water per day depending on how much you sweat. Drinking three or more litres in a day is much harder than it sounds. We would recommend people practice drinking a large amount of water. Try drinking from a 500ml water bottle and see how many times you can refill it in a day. While trekking drink plenty and often. Water bladders are very handy to keep sipping from and you can still have your hands free for balance and snacking!

 

Before Training

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Have a low fat meal within one to two hours before training. It is best not to eat anything immediately before you train. A high fat meal (e.g. fried sausages and chips) takes about four hours to clear your digestive system, so it can slow you down or cause cramps. A low fat meal (e.g. grilled chicken fillets, boiled potatoes & veg) will clear in one and a half to two hours; so will leave you with more energy for training.

 

Carbs Required
We would advise you increase your intake of carbohydrates in the run up to the event. Specifically the week before the event, participants should be ‘carb-loading’ (potatoes/pasta/bread). A good breakfast or lunch is scrambled egg on toast, as the bread provides the carbs and the egg provides vital protein and it’s all in an easily absorbed format. Good dinners are beef stew with bread or lasagne with garlic bread or salad.

 

Little and Often

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During your training, experiment with eating ‘on the go’, so that you get used to the feeling of food in your stomach when you are trekking. Aim to eat small, frequent meals and snacks on the go to maintain energy levels. Ideally while trekking, a snack should be consumed every hour or so. Snacks should be a mix of carbohydrates and protein. An ideal snack might include; 25g of nuts, a boiled egg or a brown bread chicken/turkey sandwich.

 

Extra Snacks

No matter how strong a walker you are, everyone is going to be using up a lot of energy. If you have a particular snack that works for you then bring some of this with you. Replenishing carbohydrates during training will enable you to keep going for longer. You can eat it in cereal bars, dried fruit, glucose sweets, or drink it in the form of sports drinks. The dried fruit or cereal bars will give a longer lasting level of carbohydrate than drinks, but either will work.

 

Get Fruity

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Fruit is easy to eat on the move and excellent for an energy boost. Dried fruit and nuts are a great source of energy.

 

 

Golden Rule
Your body must maintain a regular energy input – don’t wait until you are hungry to eat. Your guide will ensure that brief stops are taken frequently for food and water. The human body can burn up to 1000 calories per hour but can only process 300 calories of food into energy per hour so it is important to continually take on small amounts of food. On a typical trek you will burn up to 400 calories per hour. The summit night on Kilimanjaro can be up to 15 hours long so that’s a whole load of calories!

 

Alcohol is a no no!

Drinking alcohol isn’t advised from a training or performance point of view. There will be a chance to have a celebratory drink on the last night after all the hard work is done!

 

POST EVENT

 

Don’t stop drinking just because you’ve stopped moving
Re-hydration in the evening is very important. Your body needs to recover and prepare for the next day’s trek. Keep drinking water at regular intervals.

 

Recovery
Eating within half an hour of finishing each trek is ideal, our cook will have meals ready for you and they will be hot wherever possible. Protein is very important as it helps your muscles to recover and rejuvenate. Protein bars/powder/drinks are all supplements that you might consider bringing with you.

 

Aches & Pains

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Do not let your body get cold after finishing each trek, always put on layers when you have come to a stop to keep your muscles warm. Always stretch when you finish exercising. If your body is still aching 24-48hrs after the event go for a 10 minute fast walk or slow run and then stretch for 15 minutes.

 

If you have any questions or would like more intel on any of these items, drop us an email at info@earths-edge.com

 

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