Dec 5, 2008 at 3:02 am #1232423
I'm planning a long unsupported trip (i.e. 680km with no food drops, resupplies or town visits) for next september and am wanting to do as much research into nutrition as I can. I figure this is a fair place to start.
Here are a few starting points;
1. Given the length of the trip I don't want a diet based on the principle "it's ok to eat high fat/caloric junk food – it's only a few days"
2. Given the lack of support/resupply, most to all food will have to be dehydrated i.e. as light as possible while still meeting dietary requirements
3. I'm not familiar with calorie counting (though i'm not adverse to learning)
4. I'm very interested in the viability of the paleolithic diet (or Zone) for hiking situations. the paleo diet is basically higher quantities of healthful fats and lean protein, high quantities of fruit and vegetables and no refined sugar, salt, dairy or grains/legumes. I know this flies in the face of a lot of pre-conceptions, but so do a significant number of lighweight backpacking fundamentals.
I'm sure this has been discussed before so i'd be content with thread references, but i'm keen to engage in a bit of discussion too!
thanks in advance
TegynDec 5, 2008 at 6:09 am #1462289
@chadnscLocale: Duluth, Minnesota
1 gram of carbohydrate or protein is 4 calories
1 gram of fat is 9 calories
For purposes of counting calories it is irrelevant what type of carbs, protein, or fat are; the number of calories are the same. Typically a 180 pound man carrying a 30 pound pack, hiking over moderate terrain will burn between 700-900 calories and hour.
With your Zone diet a major concern will be consuming enough complex carbohydrates to sustain yourself during your hike. Unsaturated fats and lean protein are more difficult for your body to break down and use as energy, especially during prolonged exercise such as a through hike. Because of this the high amounts of lean protein and unsaturated fats consumed in the Zone diet help you to fill full longer while consuming less overall calories and promoting weight loss.
Unfortunately the Zone diet has been shown to provide an insufficient amount of carbohydrates for active adults. While fruits and some types of vegetables do contain carbohydrates they are typically comprised of simple sugars which will only provide short bursts of energy which will probably not be sufficient to sustain you throughout a long hike. Also an insufficient consumption of complex carbohydrates will severely diminish or even halt the repair and rebuilding of lean muscle tissue. This is a vital aspect of any long distance hike as your will be constantly tearing and rebuilding lean muscle.
In addition the relatively low calories per ounce of weight for dried fruit and vegetables will require you to carry a substantial amount of food to propel you through your journey.Dec 5, 2008 at 9:50 am #1462343
@clt1953Locale: northern minnesota
tegyn..i'm in the same boat, so to say, as you. i don't eat alot of grains as they bother me. i do eat oatmeal,quinoa,and barley. if you are able to eat oatmeal, i have a high protein mix that i make. i am going on a 4 week hike on john muir next july-aug. and am at a quandry as what to bring. i have hiked for shorter times and am able to handle a few grains. i found hemp.protein powder that i am going to try. if you want the recipe for the oatmeal, let me know. if you can think of anything that would help both of us, let me know that too. vickyDec 5, 2008 at 2:15 pm #1462388
So as to not hijack my own thread with Paleo discussion, i'll start a new thread. I hope you don't mind me quoting your post in that?
TegynDec 5, 2008 at 2:53 pm #1462401
sounds like a good trip!
I'd love the recipe if you're happy to pass it on :)
I just found some quinoa (not very common in Australia) and found that pretty tasty. Apparently it's also quite nutritious and has something like 7g/100g of protein in itself. nice.
I'm not so much bothered by grains physiologically as I am interested in alternatives. I tried the Paleo diet for a few months last year and while I found it really good, I also found it difficult to maintain due to the availability of readily available, pre-prepared paleo-friendly foods. On a hiking trip where you have to cater for every meal well in advance, that issue wouldn't be so relevant.
Anywho, watch this thread because I'm keen to keep the discussion flowing.
TegynDec 5, 2008 at 3:19 pm #1462407
Hi Chad, what you said about calories seems to confirm what I mate of mine had said:
* straight carbs (dry rice, flour or sugar) is 4 calories a gram
* dry weight protein is the same
* fat is 9 calories a gram.
* Chocolate is 5 cal/gm
* cashew nuts are 7 cal/gm
* salami/spam is 3 cal/gm
* Sweetned condensed milk is 3
* Flax seed oil is 9 cal/gm
here are some other things i've come across (don't know how relevant they are…):
Density of peanut oil: .93 g/ml
Calories per ml peanut oil: .93 x 9000 = 8370
Solubility of sucrose in room temperature water: ~2 g/ml
Calories per ml of room temperature water saturated with sucrose: ~8000
Solubility of sucrose in 90C water: ~4.2 g/ml
Calories per ml of 90C water saturated with sucrose: ~15000
Does anyone know what straight whey protein is?Dec 5, 2008 at 3:21 pm #1462409
I found this on Yahoo Answers – http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071129070214AAfnAxX – it has to do with bodybuilding but is informative nonetheless – sorry for the massive paste.
When to Eat and How Often
This might sound strange, but you have to eat more often to lose fat and gain muscle. During my transition period, I never ate less than 6 meals a day.
• Try to eat every 2 to 3 hours.
• Do not eat complex carbohydrates after 6:00 p.m. or four to five hours before going to bed.
• Try to eat one gram of protein per pound of lean body mass on lifting days and .8 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass on non-lifting days.
• Never eat more than 70 grams of protein in one meal.
When I think of carbohydrates, I think of energy. Carbohydrates supply our bodies with the energy it needs to make it through a workout. Without an adequate supply of carbohydrates, the body goes into carbohydrate deprivation. This is called a state of ketosis (meaning our body is using protein as energy). This is not a good state to be in for long because it will rob the body of muscle tissue in an effort to create energy. On the other hand, if too many carbohydrates are consumed, they convert into stored fat. The idea is to consume just enough carbohydrates to make it through our workouts with sufficient energy. I have broken down carbohydrates into these three categories:
• Simple carbs: These are sugars, or quick energy. They are absorbed very quickly into the body. Ex. Anything with sugar, also fruit
• Complex carbs: This is where you get long-term energy for the day. These are long chained carbohydrates that brake down slower, giving us energy over a prolonged period of time. Ex. Oatmeal, potatoes, pasta, rice, breads
• Fibrous carbs: These are things like vegetables. I think of them as roughage in order to stay regular. Make sure you include them in you later meals when you can't eat complex carbs. They are also a good source of vitamins. Ex. Leafy vegetables like lettuce.
Proteins are the building blocks of our muscles. Without a sufficient amount of protein in our diet, our muscles will not have the raw materials that they need to build up, or even hang on to what is already there.
Net protein utilization: Not all protein is created equal. Different foods are absorbed more than others. For example, egg white protein is absorbed at 88%. That means we get about 9 eggs to our muscles. On the other hand, chicken breast are absorbed at 68%, meaning we get about 7 bre@sts to our muscles. It is imported to eat a wide verity of protein foods though; no one protein source has all the amino acids we need.
• Whey protein (100%): the best source of whey protein is from protein supplements. It is also absorbed very fast by the body, so it is best to take this when your body needs amino acids quickly: like right after a workout or when you first get up in the morning.
• Egg whites (88%)
• Fish (78%)
• Chicken breast (78%)
• Soy protein: My one bit of advice would be to try and stay away from soy protein. It is not absorbed very well by the body.
We normally think of fats as being bad. The fact is certain fats are essential to building muscle and carrying out various functions of the body. There are 2 fat types we need to be concerned about:
• Saturated fats: these are the bad fats. Avoid these fats as much as possible. You will find these types of fats mostly in meats
• Unsaturated fats: these are the good fats. They are a good energy source and help us build muscle. You can find from plant oils. Peanuts are also a good source.
Do not under estimate the importance of water! If you are looking to get lean, water will be your best friend. Drink as much as you can and as often as you can. Also, it is very important to drink lots of water when you're eating large amounts of protein to clean urea from the system.
Vitamins & minerals
As resistance training athletes, we have a greater need for vitamins & minerals. When we workout and bring blood to our muscles it is important that our blood is full of those essential vitamins & minerals if we want to grow.
Supplements are just that, meaning they are used to supplement your diet, not replace it. Don't ever think of it that way.
Hierarchy of supplements:
I developed this hierarchy of supplements based on what I thought were the most important and also by price.
• 1. Proper diet: Without proper diet you are just wasting money on supplements. Start here! Do not think that supplements are going to do it for you alone.
• 2. Multi-vitamin & mineral: It is very important to have all your vitamins & minerals when resistance training. Most of us are lacking in some areas, make it a priority to make this your first supplement.
• 3. Protein powder: It is usually very hard to get all the protein you need from real foods. Powders make it much easier. Also, these powders are absorbed fast by the body making them ideal after workouts or before and after sleep.
• 4. Creatine: This is great for harder workouts. It also makes you muscles hang on to water, giving them a better environment to grow.
• 5. L-glutamine: This is an important amino acid in muscle recovery
• 6. Branch chained amino acid: These are great before and after workouts along with L-glutamine because it gives your muscles all the amino acids it needs to repair and grow.
• 7. ZMA: This helps you release more growth hormone while you sleep, increasing your size and strength.
• 8. Thermogenic: These really help in the fat loss process. They also help you hang on to more muscle while dieting due to the fact you can eat more.
• 9. Meal replacement: Although very expensive, meal replacements make it much more convenient to get some of your meals in. Also, you can get in more meals than if you were to eat only real foods.Dec 8, 2008 at 7:03 am #1462891
@chadnscLocale: Duluth, Minnesota
What you've posted above is very true with a few exceptions.
Typically highly active adults (think pro athletes) only require .6 to .7 grams of protein per pound of lean body weight.
The maximum protein intake is 40-50 grams every three hours. Any more than that and your body will simply pass it.
Eating complex carbohydrates within five hours of going to be is not always a bad thing. If you have done physical activity and depleted your glycogen stores in your muscles (thing working out after work) then it is actually beneficial for you to eat complex carbohydrates after working out regardless of when you're go to bed. Eating complex carbohydrates after working out is beneficial because before your body will rebuild muscle it will first replenish your glycogen stores.Feb 1, 2009 at 7:40 am #1474445
Sorry to bring back a rather old post, but thought I'd add a couple of things.
First, for the large energy expenditure that you're looking at, you have to provide your body with the proper sources. Both simple and complex carbs are needed to sufficiently fuel your body during days of demanding hiking. Simple carbs (sugars) provide your body with an instant source of energy. These are very helpful when you are looking at taking on a high mountain pass and need that burst of energy at the bottom. Complex carbs are needed for all day energy. These are what keeps you going for the kind of mileage that you are going to be doing. Like the long paste stated, you should eat every couple of hours to replenish the fuel that you have expended.
As far as protein, that is something that is sometimes lacking in the average backpacker's diet. One way to supplement this would be to take whey protein with you. You can package this at home into single servings (snack-sized baggies). You simply add this to about 12-16 oz of water and this will provide 25 gms (on average-depending on brand) of much needed protein that will help rebuild muscle tissue. Personally, when hiking, I take this at night, just before turning in, and this provides the muscles the much-needed protein and they have all night to rebuild.
Just thought I'd share this.Feb 1, 2009 at 4:38 pm #1474591
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
You should check out the Arctic1000 website for the approach to food taken by Roman Dial, Jason Keck, and Ryan Jordan on their unsupported traverse of the North Slope of the Brooks Range. It was 600 miles, off trail. Suffice it to say they weren't in "The Zone", but two of them finished it. Definitely worth reading; These guys knew what they were doing. Good luck.
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