Fall is coming and the weather is cooling. That doesn’t mean that your activity has to, though! Hiking the Trail is a fantastic way to get exercise while enjoying the great outdoors and being in nature. Bringing the kids with you is one of the best ways to get them off their technology and acquaint them with nature, all while having a family bonding experience.
Just because the weather is getting cooler, doesn’t mean that you can overlook proper nutrition and hydration while you’re on The Great Trail … or even beforehand!
Before your hike, breakfast should be hearty, and contain a good mix of carbohydrates, protein, and fat to keep you satisfied and energized. Some great pre-hike breakfast options are: Steel cut or large flake oatmeal with peanut butter, 2% plain Greek yogurt with nuts and berries, or even a sunflower-seed butter and banana sandwich on whole grain bread. If your hike is going to be very long and/or strenuous, you’ll want to choose a carbohydrate-based meal – like the oatmeal – beforehand to ensure you’re properly fuelled for the day.
Heading out on the Trail, you’ll want to pack plenty of water! For most recreational hikes, water is the best rehydration option, and doesn’t contain sugar like most sports drinks. You’ll want to drink often – about a quarter cup every 30 minutes or so, and one cup before starting exercise.
You’ll need to choose your trail snacks wisely. They should be portable, non-messy, and definitely shelf-stable in order to stay fresh while you’re out on the Trail.
Some of my favourite hiking picks are CLIF Nut Butter Filled, an organic energy bar filled with delicious, creamy nut butter; CLIF Kids ZBar, which is all organic and made with whole grains; the classic GORP with nuts, raisins, and maybe a few chocolate chips thrown in; fruit that’s hard (i.e., NOT bananas); yogurt tubes that have been frozen; medjool dates stuffed with any type of nut butter; homemade muffins. All of these will give you the energy to keep moving and stay strong until the very end of the hike.
Have fun and enjoy!
Abby Langer is a dietician based in Toronto. Aside from spending hours in her kitchen developing recipes, she writes an entertaining and brutally honest nutrition blog at www.abbylangernutrition.com. Abby has been a CLIF Bar Nutrition Ambassador since 2014.
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