A well-thought-out climbing diet is essential in ensuring the success of any ascent as it provides you with the energy you need to overcome obstacles and challenges and reach the top. Though a climber’s diet may vary individually, in general, they all follow the same principles behind proper nutrition for climbers. Below is a discussion of what makes a good diet or meal plan for climbers, from what you should eat before, during and after the climb.
The goal of pre-climb nutrition is to raise your blood glucose levels to delay glycogen depletion and extend endurance. That said, a climbing diet such as the one outlined below would be ideal.
Foods that are rich in dietary carbohydrates are essential components of pre-climb nutrition. Oats, whole grains, beans, and other similar foods prime the body for a strenuous climb ahead and ensures that there are enough glycogen stores for later use.
Consuming good protein like fish and lean meats are also important for several reasons. For one, protein can help with re-hydration, while at the same time helping climbers feel full for longer. It also helps to minimize fatigue signals coming from the brain.
Healthy fats coming from avocado, nuts, and others should also be part of a climber’s diet. Steer clear of unhealthy fats and processed foods since they won’t contribute much to the goals of pre-climb nutrition.
It is important to hydrate your body before any climb. Water is still the best option and it is recommended that climbers drink at least one liter before starting any climb. Avoid drinking too much water though since this can make you feel queasy and uncomfortable during the climb.
You’ll need to refuel your body throughout the climb to sustain your energy, keep fatigued at bay, and prevent loss of performance. That said, make sure that you stash a few of the following foods in your climbing backpack.
There is a place for simple carbohydrates in any climbing diet. Simple carbohydrates like those sourced from pretzels, sugary crackers and waffles are easier to digest so your body can metabolize them quickly and make them readily available as you continue climbing. Avoid fatty and greasy foods during mid-climbs since they will sit for longer in your stomach and make you feel bogged down.
A dash of protein during the ascent can also help to reduce muscle damage and delay fatigue.
Along this line, be sure not to leave food wrappers along the trail. As a responsible climber, be sure to practice good climbing ethics and the “Leave No Trace” principle when outdoors.
You need to keep yourself hydrated during the ascent so make sure that you fill your water bottle before the climb. Sports drinks are also a good idea since they contain electrolytes and simple carbohydrates.
What you eat after the climb is an essential component of nutrition for climbers. Consider the following meal plan to ensure that you get your post-climb nutrition right.
A combination of protein- and carbohydrate-rich foods are the ideal post-climb nutrition. Eating carbohydrates will replenish your glycogen stores while protein will help to repair damaged muscles. Foods that contain ample amounts of different vitamins, minerals and antioxidants help to repair cell damage.
Milk and chocolate drinks are great post-climb drinks since they contain electrolytes, protein, and carbohydrates. In any case, avoid drinking alcohol unless you’ve had a proper post-climb meal.
Q: How much protein should a climber eat?
It is recommended that climbers diet include at least 120 grams of protein on a daily basis. For better digestion and nutrient absorption, this should be divided into 5 meals, with each meal containing around 20 grams of protein and consumed at intervals of 3 hours.
Q: What should I eat before rock climbing?
In the morning before rock climbing, eat easy-to-digest carbs like oatmeal, fruits, pancakes and other similar food. Be sure to drink enough water as well. Pre-climbing nutrition for climbers also includes what climbers eat the night prior to climbing day, in which case a carb-heavy dinner like whole grains, pasta, and others are recommended.
Q: What do rock climbers eat?
A rock climbers diet isn’t complicated and pretty much consists of basic, healthy foods. These includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, and whole grains. Healthy fats like those found in avocado, tuna and others are also a necessary for a well-rounded climbing diet. Processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats should be avoided.
Q: What should I eat after rock climbing?
It is recommended that climbers eat a meal rich in carbohydrates after a climb. As always, carbohydrates should be sourced from healthy foods like whole grains and starchy fruits and vegetables. Foods like these can help in providing the necessary recovery and post-climbing nutrition for climbers after a long day outdoors.
Q: How much should I weigh to rock climb?
Most high quality climbing ropes, belaying device and other climbing gear and equipment have a weight capacity of around 500 lbs. so as long as you are below that weight limit then you should be fine. Overweight people may feel uncomfortable though because the climbing harnesses may feel too tight for them.
Q: How many calories does an hour of rock climbing burn?
Rock climbing can burn anywhere between 500-900 calories per hour. However, the number can be lower or higher depending on the intensity of the exercise and how much rest you take in between. Obviously, the less strenuous the climb and the more rest you take then the less calories are burned.
Globo Surf Overview
Food can make or break your climbing adventure. The right climbing diet will ensure that you have enough energy to see the climb through, while the wrong one can make you end your climb sooner than you planned. A climber’s diet isn’t very complicated, as long as you’re eating healthy and nutrient-dense foods and keeping yourself hydrated all the time. The correct nutrition for climbers will help you stay stronger for longer whether you’re climbing on rocks, indoor rock climbing gyms, or even ice.