During a hike and especially in high mountain, a person can consume until 8,000 kcal. per day. This means that our organism needs energy (food) to ensure the success of the journey and enjoy one of the best pleasures of life: nature.
It is noteworthy that although it is very important to eat the days of route, is more important to get prepared the body the previous days for the peak of energy consumption it supposed. With this I mean that it is very important to prepare the body the previous days ingesting more kcal. that which are usually eaten any other day.
This is important because as we all know, it is not advisable to make large intakes during a route since a heavy digestion consumes many resources of our body and can produce sleep or cold among other things.
To sum up it only remains to say that the human body is a machine that needs energy to continue his functions and in the feeding, is fundamental. Even when we are going to make some special effort, we are going to name some of the factors that you have to take into account when you are choosing the adventure food.
The main factors that determine the kind of adventure food you have to take are the following ones:
Type of activity
The type of activity will directly influence in your energy expenditure and your nutritional needs. Thus, mountaineering, sailing, running, etc … produce different nutritional needs. In addition, you must be aware if the intensity in the activity that you realize is low, moderate or intense, since the same activity can be carried out with one intensity or another. The weight of the food or the way of preparation are also important according to the type of activity. If you are looking for lightness, we recommend you choose freeze-dried foods instead of cooked dishes, as these do not contain water and are lighter.On the contrary, if you are not going to have plenty of drinking water, it may be more interesting to bring cooked dishes, which do not require added water, you should only heat the food in a frying pan or the water bath.
The duration of the activity that you are going to perform will be the key to choose the foods that you are going to consume. You must analyze the expected duration and thus make a calculation of the meals that you must take. In long-term activities such as mountain expeditions or ocean races that last several days, you should keep in mind what type of food to take: lyophilized or cooked dishes? Both can perfectly adapt to your nutritional needs and to prepare them wherever you are you can use a stove to warm it.
Looking for an extreme example, in an Ultra Trail, such as the UTMB (Ultra Trail of Mont Blanc, that was won recently by François D’Haene), if we believe that we will be about 30 hours exercising, we can predict how many times we should feed and that we should eat in each of the intakes, taking into account the provisions of the organization and their own. Throughout the test we must hydrate with isotonic drinks and get energy with energy bars.
The physical characteristics of each individue will also condicionate their nutritional needs: if you are male or female, your age (it is not the same to be 20 years old than 60), your weight, your height and your physical state are variables that you should consider.
The climatology in which the activity takes place will influence on the caloric expenditure. Thus, in cold climates we consume more energy to perform the same activity than in a hot day. During the hike you will feel the need to eat different foods, this will be greatly influenced by the weather in that day. In warmer climates you would like fresh and lighter. Instead in cold climates you will prefer hot dishes.
Super energy products
Nowadays there a new kind of adventure food which are called Super energy products; sweets, chocolate, nuts, fats and almost all products that combine them usually have a high caloric intake in very light, but we will not exceed 500 kilocalories per 100 grams. These foods are very energetic, but thanks to the sugar and fats they contain. In reality, they hardly have slow assimilation carbohydrates or proteins, which are the nutrients that allow us to perform for more hours and recover in the face of the following stages. Cheeses, sausages and pastries are also very energetic, but their digestion is slow and difficult, so they are not the most suitable foods during sports practice. If the effort is low or medium intensity, surely there will be no problem, but if we go to high speeds, they can cause difficult digestions.