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Kilimanjaro: Rongai Food & Nutrition

When taking on the Kilimanjaro Challenge it's extremely important to get your nutrition correct in training and on the event itself. Many participants have struggled on the challenge due to making poor nutritional choices. It's very important to try to mimic the conditions of the event in your training and this certainly applies to what you are eating too.

training & nutrition

It is important in any endurance event to keep eating and drinking to maintain energy and hydration levels;  the same applies to the training walks leading up to the challenge. Keeping both energy and hydration levels high will make strenuous portions of your walk feel far more manageable. Use your training walks to trial different foods and see what works for you, remembering that the predominant fuel you will need is carbohydrates (bread, pasta, potatoes) prior to the event to get your fuelled up before you head out, whilst taking a variety of snacks with you on the walk itself.
 
During any trek, after around 25 - 40 minutes, dependent on your pace and fitness, the predominant fuel source you will start to burn will be fat rather than carbohydrate. As a result of this, we recommend that snacks such as nuts, cereal bars & flapjack and fruit are a great way of keeping sustained as you walk.

what food can I expect on the climb

There will be three full meals a day provided whilst on the climb - and many of these meals will be two or three courses. All meals are eaten in a large mess tent, and we also will have hot drinks available at every meal time. A typical breakfast on a trekking day will consist of tea / coffee / hot chocolate / toast / fruit / porridge / eggs / sausage.

A typical lunch and dinner will start with a bowl of soup followed by chicken or beef / fish / rice / pasta / potatoes and vegetables. Meals are designed to be high in carbs to keep energy levels high. Please note that we will do our best to accommodate all dietary requirements if informed in advance.

staying hydrated

The importance of drinking water and energy drinks before, during and after training cannot be over emphasised. Being thirsty and having a dry mouth are the first signs of dehydration and often mean that you are already lacking water. Staying hydrated whilst on the challenge will also aid your body to overcome the effects of altitude the higher you climb. 

There will be an unlimited supply of fully purified and treated water a day whilst trekking - and recommend that you drink at least 3 litres of water a day. We recommend that you use a 'camel pack' in your rucksack to drink from during the day - to ensure that you are always drinking 'little and often' and you will soon drink enough to keep you going. 

hints & tips

  • Take your favourite snacks with you - cereal bars / sweets / nuts / biscuits / energy gels are just a few examples.
  • Remember some salty snacks too! After a few days of snacking on sweets, jelly babies and haribo - you will start to crave some salt! 
  • Electrolyte sachets and tablets are a great way to keep hydrated, energy levels up - and add a different flavour to your water which after a day or two will be very welcome!
  • Test out your snacks on your training walks - and see what your body and mind crave after trekking for 4 or 5 hours!
  • Plan to have 3-4 snacks per day and 5-6 for summit night!

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