Backpacker Radio #154 | Backpacking Nutrition: How to Eat Intelligently, Avoiding Post-Trail Weight Gain, Hydration and Supplement Advice

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, brought to by RTIC, we are joined by Lauren Capone.  In addition to being an accomplished triathlete and runner herself, Lauren holds a Master of Science in Applied Nutrition and works as a Functional and Integrative Health Practitioner at Flatirons Integrative Health & Nutrition in Boulder, CO.  Our conversation covers a ton of ground on all things nutrition and health for backpacking and beyond, including why people end up gaining the weight they lose on a backpacking trip so quickly post-trail (and what can be done to prevent that), the metabolic effects of long distance endurance exercise, how to know if you’re getting the right amount of calories during your hike, her thoughts on eating keto, vegan, or paleo on trail, what supplements a backpacker should consider using, how to stay properly hydrated on trail, and much more.  Simply put, you will walk away from this interview with a ton of useful information.  Get the notepad ready.

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Interview with Lauren Capone

Time stamps & Questions

00:05:14 – Introducing Lauren

00:06:13 – How did you get into endurance sports?

00:08:16 – Tell us about the Ironman.

00:10:53 – At what point did you do your first full Ironman?

00:13:24 – What are the qualifying metrics for the Kona Ironman?

00:15:00 – Tell us the highlights and stats from your Kona race.

00:17:59 – Did you mentally prepare in addition to physically prepare?

00:19:22 – Tell us more about the trail running you do now.

00:20:22 – Tell us your educational background as it relates to nutrition.

00:22:38 – How should someone think about food before a half-year backpacking trip?

00:24:27 – What should people think about in terms of macronutrients or overall calorie intake?

00:26:20 – Do you think there’s an advantage to starting a trail with a little extra body weight?

00:27:43 – What should people think about caloric intake during the trail? 

00:29:45 – Is there anything magical about eating every hour?

00:31:00 – Do you have a rule of thumb for daily caloric intake?

00:32:18 – How does someone figure out their BMR?

00:35:40 – What characteristics should someone look for to know if they’re getting enough energy on trail?

00:41:19 – Would you advise against intermittent fasting while hiking a long trail?

00:43:24 – Tell us about macronutrients as they relate to backpacking.

00:46:40 – Do you have a rough starting spot for planning macronutrients?

00:47:39 – Should people rely on their cravings as a guide or be more targeted?

00:50:20 – Discussion about protein sources and intake on trail.

00:54:41 – Are there symptoms of someone getting sufficient carbs but insufficient protein?

00:55:56 – Do you have thoughts on diets like keto, paleo, vegetarian, or vegan?

01:00:16 – How should people think about weight loss on trail?

01:04:10 – Should someone aim for a surplus of calories while eating in town?

01:09:19 – What happens physiologically when you’re in a chronic calorie deficit?

01:12:35 – Why do females commonly lose their cycles when doing endurance sports?

01:14:32 – What would other symptoms of caloric deficit look like for males?

01:17:14 – Is there a rough guide for someone trying to monitor their weight?

01:18:07 – Why do you think people often put back on weight they lost while hiking?

01:22:57 – What are your thoughts on prioritizing strength training after a thru-hike?

01:26:05 – Do you work with athletes with eating disorders?

01:30:23 – Discussion about weight maintenance after a thru-hike.

01:31:52 – Do you have a rough guide to staying hydrated on trail?

01:34:35 – Discussion about adding salt to water.

01:36:56 – Do you think that electrolyte testing makes sense?

01:39:03 – Discussion about hyponatremia and ways to avoid it.

01:43:04 – What are the most common hydration mistakes made by endurance athletes?

01:44:02 – Do you recommend omega-3 supplements?

01:45:52 – What are your thoughts on CBD?

01:46:29 – What else do you recommend related to anti-inflammatory supplements?

01:48:30 – Thoughts on the chronic use of ibuprofen?

01:49:48 – Thoughts on protein supplements?

01:51:10 – Thoughts on a general multivitamin?

01:52:50 – Thoughts on sleep aids or recommended sleep supplements?

01:55:12 – Do you have thoughts on higher doses of magnesium?

01:56:26 – Do you have thoughts on dehydrated green juice?

01:57:57 – Discussion about nutrient and hormone testing.

02:02:20 – How can people work with you or Flatirons Integrative?

02:03:04 – Thank you!


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