What To Eat and Drink Before and After a Hike

Give your body what it needs when you plan on hitting the trails in our parks and preserves. Here are some tips on what to eat and drink, both before a hike and after you're done.

What to Eat and Drink Before a Hike:

  1. Pre-hydrate by drinking at least 4 cups of water.
  2. Don’t start a hike on an empty stomach!
  3. Eat a combination of complex carbohydrates and lean protein, 1-3 hours before a hike, for example:
  • A peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat bread
  • Greek yogurt with berries
  • Oatmeal with low fat milk and fruit
  • Apple and peanut butter
  • A handful of nuts and raisins (2 parts raisins, 1 part nuts)

What to Eat and Drink After a Hike:

  1. Rehydrate with water.
  2. Eat a combination of complex carbohydrates and lean protein within 20 minutes of a hike to replenish lost nutrients, for example:
  • An 8-ounce smoothie made from low-fat milk and fruit
  • String cheese with whole grain pretzels or crackers
  • Coconut water (with no added sugar)
  • Turkey on a whole grain wrap with veggies
  • Yogurt with berries

For more information, visit and

This information is brought to you through a partnership between the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation and the Health and Human Services Agency. 

Subscribe Now
Get Outside San Diego
News and Events
Find A Park
Donate Now
County News Center