Let’s talk nutrition for a few minutes.
Mental acuity for good decisions in the backcountry, no matter how far you PLAN to go, is the best way to stay out of ANY TROUBLE … besides why feel like crap when it takes a few minutes to be more efficient and feel like a champion on every adventure even if you don’t summit.
- Mental stress is the #1 reason athletic performance goes down.
- Dehydration is the #2 reason athletic performance goes down.
- When performance goes down danger goes UP incalculably.
- Dehydration compounds the probability of injury.
So fuel up and drink up! Wringing yourself out doesn’t make you a badass and could leave you with collateral damage you never even fathomed.
ReFit My Food
I pack my food in a Nalgene for several reasons, but having a brain injury (TBI) made me change the way I do things to help me stay organized. This method prevents me from loosing things as well as making sure I don’t have to repack or recalculate my calories. It reduces the worry and the frustration, which is common even if you don’t have a TBI, which takes energy away from enjoying the activities.
The Nalgene – A Personal Bear Can
- To keep the critters out.
- For efficiently packing my backpack.
- To organize my daily caloric intake.
- To keep my food from getting mashed (crackers mmmmm).
- To prevent food from leaking into my pack. (Tuna or mayo on my camera gear… UG)
- Something for my lunch beverage made with clear wild water from some creek.
- It’s really easy to sling into a tree on a caribeaner, I usually stash 3-4.
- Way smaller than a bear can!!! It’s made from the same material…
- To make sure I have everything I need once it’s feeding time! (Ever loose your spoon)?
- Last but not least, clip it to your belt and head out from camp for a unltra light picnic away from your tent so you don’t have lingering food smells that will attract unwanted animals in the backcountry!
The altitude or destination, length and type, specificity, of activity will dictate the ratio of carbs to protein to fats. Those details will be covered in a lecture series I will be offering this fall. See the ReFit My Food Facebook page for details.
Breakfast is usually … 600 calories – 800 calories.
I’ve got my water bottle handy for lunch and there is 3000 calories (2 days) for me in there to consume on the trail until dinner.
Dinner is usually 500 calories – 600 calories
Now, you should probably know that I’m only 130 lbs and my pack ranges from 45-85lbs depending on the length of my trip. The average length of my treks are 10-15 MPD and 18 pounds of my gear is camera equipment. However, if I don’t consume at least 3000 – 5000 calories per day, reflective of pack weight, on the trail I loose muscle and strength to weight ratio …. which is BAD!!!!
Also if you don’t eat enough your body will catabolize, which means break down, and you will never feel good if your not feeding your machine to maxamize the repairs you will need after racing your machine up and down a rugged mountain or a corporate hill.
What’s in the bag?
Trail mix – peanuts cashews cherries chocolate cranberries bananas
2 cliff bars
2 cliff shots
2 Gatorade mix packets
1 roll of crackers
Calculating how many calories your body needs is a great tool for enhancing any stage of performance. Ratio of protein to carbs and fat can be calculated with stage of performance and stage of fitness in mind. Measuring your metabolic performance will give you other pertinent information pertaining to VO2 max, anaerobic thresholds and the bodies true ability to burn the energy we call calories. We can talk metabolic testing next time though, because it’s a deep subject with lots of training tips and tricks for any season any sport.
If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it! I hope you will be back for more tips and tricks to enjoy the adventure I call life!
#highaltitudenutrition #highaltitudetraining #highaltitudeperformance #exercisescience #foodscience