What’s The Best Food to Take Climbing?

Horsetooth Reservoir - Pads“I only eat food in bar form. When you concentrate food, you unleash its awesome power, I’m told.” – Homer Simpson

There are a lot of people who would agree with this doughnut-loving cartoon man, especially rock climbers. There’s no disputing that food bars are convenient, but there are many other options when it comes to nutrition and climbing.

The food that you eat while climbing – as well as the food that you eat before and after climbing – has a direct impact on your performance. If you’re not eating enough food, or not eating the right foods, you will fade. If you stay hydrated and nourished, however, you can keep climbing strong.

Protein is, of course, important for the growth and repair of your muscles, but you can’t climb on a diet of pure protein alone. You also need fats and complex carbohydrates, which unlike protein provide our bodies with the energy that we need for intense physical activity. Ultimately you want foods that provide energy and nutrients.

Check out this article if you want more detailed information about climbing nutrition.

Here are some of the best foods to take rock climbing.

  • Fruit
  • Tortillas
  • Peanut butter
  • Jerky
  • Nuts
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Cheese
  • Of course, food bars

These foods are great because they are nutritious and easy to carry. They are snack foods, however, and therefore not necessarily enough to keep you climbing at your best all day long. Contrary to popular belief, eating food that’s more substantial than a food bar is perfectly acceptable.

Here are some heartier meal options to keep you climbing at your best.

  • Rice
  • Chicken
  • Vegetables
  • Sandwich
  • Noodles
  • Tuna

If you don’t want to deal with carrying a camp stove around with you, you can prepare and cook your food at home and pack your meal in a reusable container. It’s important to remember that food is to people as gas is to a car. Without the proper fuel, you won’t be able to perform at your best.

In short, food bars are great, convenient, and often nutritious, but there are plenty of other “real food” options when it comes to climbing. Unless you’re a professional climber, you probably don’t need to get hung up on nutritional information and calorie density, just make sure that you’re eating enough food while you’re at the crag!

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