A nutritious diet is essential in the world of climbing. You have to carefully select foods that build strength and support muscle function when you’re preparing for a trip.
Of course, you won’t be able to enjoy a gourmet meal while dangling from the side of a cliff. But you can and should pack a few snacks to keep you satisfied. So what should you bring?
Here are seven easy-to-pack foods for your next outing.
Simple and effective, a small block of cheese is an excellent source of protein. One bite contains tons of nutrients, including calcium, magnesium and zinc — all of which promote bone health.
Cheese is compact and relatively temperature-stable, though it’s wise to stay away from soft varieties, like brie or Gorgonzola. Instead, choose a hard type like Colby-jack, cheddar or provolone.
You want to keep your glycogen levels high on the climb to aid muscle restoration and energy production. You can boost glycogen with foods high in carbs and fat, such as nuts.
Similar to cheese, nuts are a compact snack you store in your pocket or pack. They come in tons of varieties — cashews, peanuts, walnuts and almonds. You can also choose between flavored, roasted, raw and mixed options.
Chips are popular with hikers and climbers because they’re ultralight. When picking out your favorites, the fattier, the better. When your arms are burning up, a little salt and fat can be the answer to your problems.
Look for corn chips, such as Doritos, which make excellent kindling for a fire when in a pinch. All of the starches, chemicals, oils and flavors allow the chips to burst into flame when lit.
4. Protein Bar
One straightforward way to hit your nutrition goals is to snack on a protein bar. You can also choose from a million flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, blueberry and peanut butter. Always read the labels before you buy and be cautious of brands with high levels of sugar.
Don’t forget to factor in cost. Some protein bars are overpriced since you’re paying for the brand name. But if you shop around, you can find the same benefits with a lower price tag.
5. Dried Meat
A stick of salami or pepperoni makes a tasty, easy-to-eat snack that’s high in protein. Want to finish your food later? You can quickly wrap it in the casing and store it in your pack.
Dried meats are popular in backpacking and climbing, as they can last days without refrigeration. They’re also handy if you need to camp out unexpectedly. It never hurts to be prepared for your next adventure. Choose from several cured and dried offerings, from ham to beef jerky.
6. Dried Fruit
A quarter-cup of dried fruit offers the equivalent nutrients of one cup of fresh fruit. It’s an excellent option for climbers who want to pack a light a load and keep glycogen levels up. Choose your favorites for your next trip, whether it’s kiwi, mango or apricots. Plus, don’t forget the bag of banana chips.
You can make dehydrated fruit in the oven by slicing it thin. Then, bake it at a very low temperature for several hours. Many store-bought options use a method where they soak the sliced fruit in sugar and artificial preservatives.
7. Performance Gummies
Gummies and energy gels are packed with energy-sustaining nutrients, making them ideal for climbers. Some blends offer a mixture of glucose, fructose and electrolytes, which deliver energy fast.
You can also try a holistic recipe filled with chia seeds, honey, fruit and peanut butter — an all-natural fuel pack. If you’re never tried a performance gummy or gel before, don’t worry. With millions of flavors available, you’re guaranteed to find one you like.
The Best Foods for Your Next Climb
When you’re hanging by a rope, sometimes you need a quick snack to refuel and recharge. Yet only certain foods offer the results you want.
Get a protein punch with a chunk of cheese or slice of jerky. Boost your energy with a handful of chips or cashews. You can also eat high-performances gummies for a quick one-handed snack.
Remember to choose foods that offer all the nutrients you need on your adventure!