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Your diet leading up to, during and after a challenge walk

Your diet leading up to, during and after a challenge walk

Sat 22nd February 2014

A number of people have got in touch regarding to their diet in both the build up and during the Challenge Walks. I am certainly not a dietary expert, but here are my Ďtop tipsí –

Build up -

1. Keep a balanced diet with at least 2 different types of food at each meal as you build up to the challenge walk.

2. Eat smaller more frequent meals. Four to five are better for you than three big meals as it is easier for your body to digest smaller amounts.

3. Eat fresh, rather than processed meals. Shop at the grocery store for fresh fruit, veggies, dairy, etc.

4. For three days before the challenge walk eat high-carbohydrate meals such as pasta.

5. Most importantly, do not change your diet significantly in the week before the marathon. Practice good eating habits in the prior months and increase your favorite complex carbohydrate the three days before the event.

5. Hydrate and drink lots of water as you build up to the challenge walk and cut back on the caffeine a little.

During the walk:

6. While walking be sure to hydrate yourself. Do not let yourself get thirsty, as it is too late. But donít overdrink as this washes out salts from you body. To compliment your water during the walk have a couple of  energy drinks.

7. Eat enough during the walk. This is not a time for worrying about having too many calories! So eat chocolate, sweets and nuts to keep your energy levels.
After the walk:

8. Protein - you want a light protein-rich meal that is easy to digest and wonít leave you feeling sluggish. Try a yogurt smoothie. You are looking for Protein that is low in fat and are easy on your digestive tract. Low-fat cheese is a good source of protein for post-workout recovery.

9. Carbohydrates - Try some fruit, like oranges or watermelon post walk. You could also eat some crackers. You should strive to eat twice as many carbohydrates as protein in your post-workout meal.

10. Dreaming about a hot shower at the end of your walk?  Make it cold and you will benefit a lot more.  Having a cold shower shrinks the swelling that has occurred during your walk.  If you can handle a cold bath, even better - adding ice cubes will really do the trick. Save the hot shower or bath for a few hours later.

Posted By: jane urwin | Sat 22nd February 2014

Thanks for that info. Last year was my first challenge walk and I bought a variety of gels, nutrition bars, glucose tablets etc - they weren't cheap and all tasted absolutely vile! Since then I take my favourite walking foods which include egg and watercress sarnies, M&S mini hot cross buns, date slice, chocolate tiffin and mint humbugs.

Posted By: Claire Hart | Sun 23rd February 2014

I agree with you there Jane, I think it's easy to get persuaded by manufacturers that their wonderful foods/gels/drinks etc will do the trick on the day.....but for a fraction of the cost and far tastier are ordinary foods , mmm, especially date slices yum !

Posted By: Jane Cartridge | Fri 28th March 2014

At the end of the walk I am planning to go down to the beach and have a good old plodge in the cold water! Keeping the legs moving in the cold water is a brilliant way to help muscle recovery.Also, food. I go on trekking holidays and we are given trail mix of nuts and dates and little salty biscuit things and are encouraged to have it in our pockets to graze as we go rather than stopping to fish stuff out of our bags.

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