Mar 18, 2010 at 3:57 pm #1256646
My wife and I are backpacking the PCT section A in a couple of weeks. It seems that we tend to focus on gear, gear, gear in these forums. While that describes me perfectly, I recently have been focusing on nutrition. It just doesn't make sense to spend all that time on lightening our gear and not carry the right food.
The following is a spreadsheet that I have broken into two sections in an attempt to make it readable in this post. This first part is nutrition facts on different types of food choices;
This next section shows meal planning for several days (4 days in this example);
Finally, here's a recipe for some meat sauce that we make and dehydrate that is referenced in the above charts. High calories per ounce, and we love it!
Hopefully this will be helpful to some. I've spent quite a bit of time researching this.
Happy Trails! ;~)>
JohnMar 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm #1588036
Very nice. One thing you might consider adding is a column for the protein. Most of the food list don't consider protein and how important it is to protecting your muscles. If you body runs out of protein it will start feeding on your lean muscle. A 170 pound guy should have between 100 and 130 grams of protein a day depending on the level of exercise.
Just my two cents. I really like your list and all the details.Mar 18, 2010 at 6:10 pm #1588063
@bleanLocale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
A 170 pound guy should have between 100 and 130 grams of protein a day depending on the level of exercise.
I have always wondered about protein requirement rules of thumb that are based on body weight — my question is "what body weight?". Specifically, how do such rules of thumb relate to body fat? Suppose the 170 lb guy in the example is way overweight (say 250 lbs). Does his protein requirement go way up, or is the protein requirement related to lean mass plus some modest/healthy amount of body fat?
— MVMar 18, 2010 at 6:16 pm #1588065
I prefer to go with 1 g per lb of lean mass.Mar 18, 2010 at 7:34 pm #1588101
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"I prefer to go with 1 g per lb of lean mass."
Seems a bit on the high side, but better high than low since the excess will get metabolized to produce energy anyway.Mar 18, 2010 at 7:41 pm #1588104
Weight divided by 2.2 then 1.4 to 1.7 times to convert to range. More details available at Hammer Nutrition website.
I'm sure others have different formulas, but the majority will probably fall into this range. Point being most don't give it much thought and often times will have significantly less protein than they need.
I'm no expert, but I have learned a lot at the Hammer website. I have been using in my marathon training with good results, but might not be for everyone.Mar 18, 2010 at 7:42 pm #1588105
Should be divide by 2.2 then multiply by 1.4 to 1.7.Mar 18, 2010 at 7:57 pm #1588110
@creachenLocale: East Bay
Thanks for the great list John–I just printed it out—Nice!Mar 19, 2010 at 9:32 am #1588278
Brad, good point on the protein. I'm working on adding it to my calculations. This will help me ensure I have good balance of calories from carbs, fat, and protein.
There's a great article called "Pack Light, Eat Right" on Thru-Hiker that covers this subject very well. At first, I was only focusing on calories per ounce to get to the lowest packed weight possible. But knew I needed to make sure I had the right types of calories as well. The article talks about the 50-35-15 trail diet, or better stated, 50% calories from carbohydrates, 35% from fat, and 15% from protein.
Here's a link to the article;
http://thru-hiker.com/articles/pack_light_eat_right.phpMar 19, 2010 at 11:03 am #1588303
Laurie Ann MarchMember
@laurie_annLocale: Ontario, Canada
I've always looked at it this way… the carbs give me the "now" energy for the hike and the protein gives me the "then" energy for my body to repair and keep good muscle tissue. I also, partially because of dietary reasons and partially because of performance, look at the glycemic index of some of the foods and the fat levels which can affect and reduce the glycemic index. This prevents "crashes" and keeps the energy more even in the body. Nutrition is fascinating isn't it?Mar 20, 2010 at 12:33 pm #1588788
It is totally true. This website (which I LOVE) spends far too much time on gear and not nearly enough on consumables. Maybe it's a guy thing. Think about it- with a 5-7 lb. "base weight" , more than half out "trailhead" weight is consumables. We obsess on 3 1/2 ounces difference on two different quilts ( costing $200 to $400 or more) yet we could easily loose that PER DAY (or maybe as much as 8 ounces or more!) in our food (costing a few dollars) we're carrying with intelligent choices in our diet.
We need to discuss more how many calories are really needed for trip length. our weight, how fast we're moving, etc.
How much water is needed to be carried in different situations, locals.
Techniques like "cameling up", etc. Water is heavy! Do we need to always carry 2 quart containers?
Anyhow, you get my drift.Mar 20, 2010 at 7:21 pm #1588892
John, good article at thru hiker. I would suggest you read the fueling handbook at Hammer Nutrition for a comparison. Not sure that anyone has this down perfectly, but good information. They are pretty similar.Mar 20, 2010 at 8:33 pm #1588903
Yes, nutrition is fascinating. While our bodies are capable of getting us through adverse conditions, good nutrition and hydration are what keeps us feeling our best.
Mark, I definitely agree with your rant (I hope that doesn't sound derogatory)…and I bet most of us are guilty of obsessing about gear then bringing along heavy food and too much water (I know I am!).
Here's the updated spreadsheet with protein added.
This is a great tool to help understand how to get a good balance of calories…not just light weight (although you can achieve both)
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