performance and nutrition

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Home Forums General Forums Food, Hydration, and Nutrition performance and nutrition

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    Jerold Swan


    I was just reading the ongoing “protein” debate on the old forum. Since we have this nifty new threading feature, I thought I’d start a new thread.

    The debate in the other thread seems to me to suffer from a lack of parameter definition. When one makes claims about nutrition in a forum such as this, it’s important to define one’s goal. Since BPL isn’t a weight loss or general-health organization, I have to assume that we are talking about nutrition as it relates to hiking or climbing performance.

    With that in mind: are we talking about nutrition during an endurance event, or afterward for recovery?

    With respect to nutrition during an event, such as a long-distance, continuous hiking day, my research indicates that one should focus on regularly consuming easily-digested carbohydrates with a low-to-moderate glycemic index, with 10% to 25% protein. A small amount of fat is helpful.

    After stopping, you can shorten your recovery time by immediately eating 200-400 calories consisting of 50% to 75% high glycemic index carbohydrates and 25% to 50% protein.

    This advice is taken from a variety of sources, mostly in the long-distance running and adventure racing realm. I think those activities have a high degree of correlation to long-distance, high-speed hiking.

    jack flanagan


    This is great information – could you translate into real world terms by providing examples of foods that fall into each of your two catagories (i.e. during and post exertion)? Thanks!

    Jerold Swan


    For during-exercise and immediate post-exercise nutrition, I use mostly “fake food”: for the during-exercise stuff, I use commercial sports drinks. Some popular ones that have good protein ratios are “Accelerade”, and “Sustained Energy”. I like the former, but it all comes down to personal taste.

    I supplement the drink mix with gels and trail food like M&Ms, bars, or occasionally some dried meat.

    For immediate post-exercise, I use a commercial recovery drink like Endurox or Biotest Surge. The main reason for this is that you really want to jack up your insulin levels within about 15-30 minutes post-exercise.

    Note that this outline is just for high-speed, long-day types of hikes. For “real” meals I eat whatever the heck I want.

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