Nutrition for Walkers: Step by Step by Jeannette Jackson

28 August, 2018

 At Freshwalks, we take on a whole host of walking adventures: from easy rambles in the hills to challenging treks across difficult terrain… So, how should we prepare and fuel our body for this escape from the office?

As a corporate stress resilience, nutrition and wellness expert, Jeannette Jackson was the obvious person for us to turn to for some nutritional advice for our walkers.

Jeannette is a Nutritional Biochemist at Manchester Stress Institute and published author of ‘Drop Zone Diet’ who is passionate about educating others and offering integrated health, stress and wellbeing strategies for both staff health and personal development.

Ahead of our walks, be sure to read Jeannette’s top six facts and advice for Freshwalks attendees below. You may also find it useful to keep up-to-date on the latest news in nutrition and wellbeing by following Jeannette on LinkedIn or Twitter.

1. Temperature Regulation

Water is crucial to help sustain our core body temperature of 37°C during exercise. Hydrating the body before, during and after exercise improves the body’s efficiency and performance and can positively impact on post exercise recovery.

2. Sweat Rates

Depending on the intensity and duration of the walk, we can lose between 0.8 – 1.6L of sweat ± 50oz (i.e.1/10 bottle of 500ml water).

The maximum rate of water absorption during exercise is 800ml per hour vs sweat rate ± 2000ml per hour.

3. How Much Water and When

If you drink too much water, you’ll feel uncomfortable on your walk. If you drink too little, you will fatigue easily. So, what’s the delicate balance?

The rule of thumb is to drink 300ml 30 minutes before you set off and then 200ml every 20 minutes. You should finish by sipping 300ml slowly post exercise to help your body recover.

4. Carbohydrates

Glucose is the most important carbohydrate fuel in human cells. We get glucose from carbohydrate foods and the sugars that we eat. As we exercise our glucose levels deplete; so, a pasta based meal on the evening prior to the walk day will help to ensure that you have adequate glucose stores when you set off.

5. Proteins

Research shows that essential amino acid supplementation improves walking ability. Furthermore, research evidences that low protein intake is associated with a decline in muscle strength. Therefore including some protein in every meal and snack will aid your performance and recovery. It is recommended that you consider this when planning your packed lunch.

6. Fats

If you want the best results from your fitness and walking programme, then fats have to play a part. Gram for gram, fats provide more calories (energy) than protein and carbohydrates.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) will help with your stamina and focus throughout your walk – enabling you to get the best out of Freshwalks.


This advice was authored content created for Freshwalks by Jeannette Jackson – a leading professional nutrition and wellness expert. 


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