Hiking is exciting but also requires a lot of preparation. Hiking Supplements should be part of your preparation so that you can enjoy your hikes and recover quickly for your next adventure.
As you may know by now hiking is one of our favorite activities. We hike year-round any chance we can get.
While hiking is a fun activity and great exercise, a lot of preparation goes into taking a hike, even the short ones. Preparation includes packing your bags with the essentials (food, water, first aid, etc.), figuring out what and how much to eat and drink during your hike, and planning your route.
WHY ARE SUPPLEMENTS IMPORTANT FOR HIKING?
To get the most out of your hikes and be ready for a hike at any time, following a healthy, clean eating lifestyle, a consistent workout routine, and proper supplementation year-round are key as you may have already read in our popular post on How to Get in Shape for Hiking.
However, hikers often overlook the importance of supplements. The definition of a supplement is something that completes or enhances something else when added to it. By learning which supplements you should take, your hikes will be enhanced with a more enjoyable hike and a faster recovery.
Not just any supplements will do though, you need to choose the right supplements for your activity, specific body needs, and ones that have ingredients that align with your clean eating lifestyle.
Below is a picture of us on the Four Mile Trail (that is definitely longer than 4 miles!) which we hiked on the way up to climb Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.
WHERE TO BUY SUPPLEMENTS:
Our favorite place to buy supplements is iHerb. We’ve posted about iHerb before and we are so excited to work with them again to bring you our favorite hiking supplements.
They carry over 30,000 natural products and ship, from a climate-controlled distribution center to ensure quality, to over 180 countries. Best of all they ship quickly and have excellent customer service (offered 24 hours a day / 7 days a week in 10 different languages)!
They carry the supplements that we use on a daily basis (like quality Fish Oil), fitness products we love (like the Mini Loop Bands and Performance Resistance Bands from our 30-Minute Lower Body Band Workout we shared), and ingredients that we use weekly like Oat Flour and Coconut Oil.
Best of all, new AND returning customers will get a discount off their iHerb order with no minimum purchase by clicking here.
OUR FAVORITE HIKING SUPPLEMENTS:
Before or during our workout we use protein powder and/or protein bars to give us the energy we need to take on the trail. We also consume pre-workout before the hike and BCAAs after the hike. We add an electrolyte drink mix in when needed. We have been able to find clean options for the supplements we take and we are excited to share them with you!
- PROTEIN POWDER – We’re pretty picky about the ingredients in our protein powder. Anytime we are going on a hike we use Vega Sport Performance Protein since it is available in packets making it easy to pack for hikes. One packet contains 30 grams of plant-based protein, 5 grams of BCAAs to help repair muscle and tart cherry to help support recovery. We typically drink this shake in the car either before or after we start our hike by just shaking it in a blender bottle with water and it tastes amazing! For longer hikes, we will take a pack of the protein power with us to mix up on the trail. This provides the protein our bodies need to complete the hike with the added bonus of 5 grams of BCAAs.
- PRE-WORKOUT – When used in moderation and when consuming the right kind of caffeine, pre-workout can be a great addition to your overall healthy lifestyle and your hikes. Our favorite pre-workout is the Vega Sport Sugar-Free Energizer. Our favorite flavor, the Strawberry Lemonade, is made with real plant-based food ingredients, and no sugar! We also love the fact that the container is small (yet still contains 35 servings) so it’s easy to pack without taking up too much space. One serving contains 100mg of caffeine from Coffeeberry and Green Tea extract which provides the clean energy we need to take on the mountain! We typically consume the pre-workout 20 – 30 minutes before hiking.
- PROTEIN BARS – Protein bars are one of the many items that can be loaded with unhealthy and unnecessary ingredients. Many protein bars more closely resemble a candy bar so it’s important to look for ones with clean, simple ingredients to give you the energy you need to start or continue your hike. RXBAR is one of our favorites. The blueberry flavor has 6 ingredients including egg whites for protein, dates to bind, and nuts (almonds and cashews) for texture. Their additional flavors have similar simple ingredients. These bars are easy to throw in our packs and we typically consume them about halfway through our hike to ensure we have the energy needed to complete the last half.
- If you want to take some of your own hiking snacks (like granola!) to eat along with your protein bar, try some of our favorite Homemade Hiking Snacks.
- ELECTROLYTE SUPPLEMENT – Ultima, our favorite electrolyte drink mix, is a clean electrolyte powder that is great for rehydrating and replenishing electrolytes lost from activity and sweat. It also helps prevent cramping so your body can perform optimally. It contains no sugar or artificial sweeteners, flavors, or dyes. It is delicious (sweetened with organic stevia leaf and made with real fruit flavor extracts) and contains 6 electrolytes and trace minerals all with zero calories, carbs, or sugar. These also come in convenient packsticks so they are easy to carry on a hike. We add 1 stickpack to 16 fl oz of water and drink after our hike.
- Speaking of water, our rule of thumb when hiking is to plan on consuming 1 liter of water for every 3 miles hiked. If it’s hotter than 80 degrees and/or there are more than 500 feet of elevation gain per mile adjust up to 1 liter for every 2 miles.
- BCAA – Muscle recovery is an important aspect that is often skipped or overlooked by many. Taking branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) aid in muscle recovery and growth. One of our favorite brands, Xtend Natural Zero, is free of artificial sweeteners, flavors, and chemical dyes. It also contains zero grams of sugar. Our favorite flavor is Strawberry Kiwi Splash. We mix a serving (one scoop) with 14 fl oz of water and drink during the hike or immediately after.
Keep in mind that these supplements are in addition to the daily supplements you should take for your overall healthy lifestyle (like a quality multivitamin and fish oil). Don’t leave out the most important parts of living a healthy lifestyle and being the best hiker you can be: eating a healthy diet and having a consistent workout routine.
Try iHerb for your next supplement order and remember that new and returning customers get a discount with no minimum purchase by clicking here.
Explore More Hiking Content:
- How to Get in Shape for Hiking
- Easy Snacks to Make for the Trail
- Hiking Etiquette 101
- Top 5 Tips for Visiting National Parks
- 5 Reasons Why You Should Never Hike