Dingle Hillwalking Club

Beautiful landscape view on hillwalking route Nutrition on the Hills by Eavan Fitzsimons

Nutrition on the Hills by Eavan Fitzsimons

What to eat or not to eat, that is the question!

This is the final part in a 3 part series written by member Eavan Fitzsimons of ‘Nourish Me’. Eavan is a Nutrition and Health Coach.

In this final part we are looking at ‘REFUELLING AFTER THE HILLS’ Enjoy!

There are 5 main goals particularly after intense exercise:

Rehydrate – Drink 2 litres of water in the 2 hour period after completion of the hike. (the water content in alcohol is somewhere between 40% and 60% and unfortunately is not suitable for hydration! ). Sipping fluids will maximise fluid retention. On hot days add an electrolyte or a pinch of salt to avoid cramping.
Replace Glycogen Stores – Eat 1g of carbohydrates per kg of bodyweight within 30 minutes of completion of the hike to maximise recovery and replace glycogen stores.
Rebuild Muscle – Eat within the first 2 hours of completion of the hike. Try to consume 20 – 25g (female) 25g – 30g (male) of protein to help replace and rebuild muscle. Eggs, fish, meat, , broccoli and dark green leafy vegetables, (Kale, Collard Greens, Spinach, cooked Cabbage, Watercress, Romaine Lettuce, Swiss Chard Rocket Salad, Peas,) etc. are all good sources of protein. Magnesium is key for muscle protein syntheses and should be provided in the overall diet. Whole wheat, spinach, quinoa, almonds, cashew and avocado are all great sources.
Reduce inflammation – Anti-inflammatory foods such as Omega 3’s (fish oils), cherries, pineapples, green veg, turmeric, garlic and cinnamon may help reduce inflammation.
Sleep – A minimum of 8 – 9 hours’ sleep is recommended to aid recovery and guarantee pleasant dreams of “the hills are alive with the sound of music”!


Nutrition is completely individual. One plan does not suit all. What works for one may not work for another. Tips to create strategies for fun fuel adventures and a healthy balanced diet are:

Consume a plant centric diet with or without meat and fish with plenty of variety with wholegrains, unprocessed foods and 2 – 3 litres of water a day.
If a big day of hill walking is planned eat slightly more in the 2 – 3 days leading up to the event.
Start the day by:
eating a mixture of carbohydrates, fats and protein,
drinking water and staying hydrated,
Keeping fibre to a minimum.
If enjoying easy nonstrenuous days out a small snack will be sufficient.
Refuel when your walk has finished with real food snacks to help control hunger.
Finally, and most importantly eat the good foods you like and enjoy!

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