For the average fatty doing the trail, yeah definitely most of what is lost needed to be lost. But there are many athletes for whom the loss doing the trail would be a Bad Thing (TM) -- mostly weight-classed competitive weightlifters come to mind. For the average fatty, sure there would be some redistribution--but mostly because they don't really do anything at all. For someone who does anything requiring more force output than hiking, there probably won't be as much redistribution as you think because there simply isn't a very serious stimulation toward hypertrophy or even neuromuscular adaptations. But a completely detrained individual can gain muscle from nearly anything. Athletic people will still lose fat, and probably lose some muscle in the arms and shoulders, while maintaining in the used areas (legs and trunk).
So... I guess it sounds like a good idea to do some pushups, pack presses and tree limb pullups a couple times a day with added weight if possible! Beefcake!
Fitness Minutes: (27,550) Posts: 1,479 7/24/13 9:49 P
@GRACFULIFE - I like your number of 4500 cal a day as something of a baseline. Depending on the ups and downs, and how much you're carrying up and down, it might be a bit more. But you are also correct that access to the 4-5 thousand calories is part of the problem. Carrying that much food is an issue, so hungry hikers make short work of large meals when they hit towns every 5 days or so. Part of what people lose on the trail probably needed to be lost. And likely there's some redistribution of fat and muscle during the trek.
I don't entirely disagree and I've heard similar stories, however I like to put numbars on things.
The traditional number used for calorie burn for running and walking is 100 kcal per mile. So let's say you're a guy and you can maintain on about 2500 kcal per day, and you hike 20 miles per day, that would say you need 4500 kcal per day. I suspect the real issue is having to carry what you can eat more than stuffing in that many calories. On an athletic scale it's not really all that many. Tour de France riders are also said to have difficulty maintaining weight through the race (and with the Alps in the final week that's generally a good thing). They are said to burn 10-11,000 kcal/day, and they are said to eat about 7,000 kcal/day. And it's still well short of Michael Phelps' published intake during heavy training periods!
I bet 4A would burn in the range of 2000 kcal per day according to a heart rate monitor back in the day when she would do two spinning classes a day.
Edited by: GRACEFULIFE at: 7/31/2013 (11:03)
Fitness Minutes: (27,550) Posts: 1,479 7/22/13 7:19 A
@BREWMASTERBILL - that's 15-20 miles a day for four to five months, carrying a pack. Day's off, of course, but the general rule is that guys have trouble maintaining their weight on the trail. Often they start with some to lose, but the stories of how much through hikers on the Appalachian Trail eat in the course of the journey are legend. Fat is the most compact calorie source. Sugar is the most available. Protein seems to find its way even into the least supervised diets.
current weight: 0.3 over
Fitness Minutes: (12,713) Posts: 4,111 7/22/13 7:09 A
I know there are wild variations in hiking intensities, but it seems like not all of the energy used would have to come from a carbohydrate source. If you're not maintaining a high heart rate for an extended period, the body should switch between fat and carb sources. Not saying it wouldn't be a lot more comfortable to have plenty of "fuel" on hand, just speculating that it might be less necessary for a hike versus a 20 mile run.
@MEDDYPEDDY. Good insights and good suggestions. I'm nowhere near the olympics. If I do any extreme exercise, it's going to be long distance hiking. I hear it's nearly impossible to eat all the calories it takes to hike 20 miles a day. Thanks for the comment.
I think there are more studies on animals than on humans in this - I trained race horses (trotters, a million dollar sport in Sweden) for a whil and read a lot of research of what to give them and when i relation to their "workouts". And of course with animals that has a much shorter life time and also a lot shorter time on top it is easy to do big research projects.
I - who was not training for elite - found that to an average horse it was not that strict. If it a question of running 1 hundred of a second faster then the horse next to you, it might matter, but els...no.
And I take the liberty to draw the same conclusion for humans - if you aim for the olympics it is important but otherwise you don΄t have to be that scrupoluos. I was distracted for a while by all those sayings that you have to eat in two hours after working out - hmm, how much workout, what kind of food - how much is it worth what you ate before? etc...
o me - that needs to lose a lot - the details in exercise and food are not as important as being very observant on how my behaviour affects me. I have discovered that thirst can trigger a binge - but that does not mean that I have to carry a waterbottle around, it means that drinking should be the first choice when cravings sets in.
Too hungry when shopping might result in crap food purchases. But instead of never shopping hungry I develope a habit of shopping from a list - if it is not on the list it will not come home with me...
"Trust God and buy broccoli."
Let me put this into perspective (from my viewpoint), this is micromanagement for most of the people here on SparkPeople. Timing, carbs, etc is largely irrelevant for most folks here. They probably eat enough and the exercise is not intense enough to warrant a "refuel". Glycogen stores are sufficient for the vast majority of folks not to have to take some sort of timed, perfectly ratioed carb/pro "meal".
Some of this stuff may be quasi-science based. When it comes to serious endurance, 300 calories is a joke. When it comes to serious strength training, 12 g pro is a joke. There is a good meta study on protein requirements.
Protein consumed ~3 hours before at about 0.5g/kg and again within ~3 hours after shows the most benefit.
I'm 185, so I would need ~80g pro within that 6 hour window to maximize the anabolic response.
There are numerous studies that show that ~1g/lb protein is best for maintaining or growing muscle mass (I've probably posted the link bomb of those studies here, but if you cannot find it, let me know).
So to sum up my thoughts, this is circlejerk fodder at best.
Spark has presented yet another article discussing eating schedules, relationship to exercise sessions, and not much at all about eating for endurance exercise (like marathon running, long distance bicycle treking, and long distance backpacking. Here's the link: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutriti on _articles.asp?id=627
People have lots of concepts about what they need in the way of nutrition before or just after a workout. This article suggests that the timeline is not really critical to performance. Protein and strength training? Carbohydrates and performance (speed/endurance)?
What do you think about this? Where can we find good, reliable, defensible advice?
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