Tips for keeping healthy on the road
If you’re taking an overland trip or travelling through remote regions, you’ll need to think carefully about how you’re going to feed yourself during those long journeys. What’s more important is WHAT you are going to eat, to ensure that you fuel your body with everything it needs to keep strong and healthy!
Food as Fuel
Overlanding can be particularly testing, not least because you may find yourself travelling non-stop for 10 hours or more. So unless you want to miss out on the sights and sounds around you because you’re too tired and weak to stay awake, you’d better fuel up on healthy, high energy snacks to keep you going.
The great thing about many developing nations is that fresh fruit is very cheap and widely available, so there is not excuse for not stocking up. But there are certain fruits that give you so much more than a refreshing treat and are known for their energy-giving attributes – being chock full of essential vitamins, minerals and fibre. The pick of the bunch for long journeys are:
Watermelon – Being rich in all the B vitamins necessary for energy production and with a high water content, Watermelons are one of the best choices for food on the go.
Bananas – These have always been favoured by sporty types due to their high energy attributes and are perfect for perking you up during a long trip.
Mangoes – High in complex carbohydrates, the world’s most consumed fruit can fill you up and provide you with natural goodness in the form of Vitamin A & C, fibre, magnesium, iron and antioxidants!
Oranges – Everybody knows that oranges mean Vitamin C, vital for boosting your immune system and keeping those pesky germs at bay.
One distinct downside of fresh fruit is that they can quickly distintigrate if travelling through hot countries so you will need to compensate by topping up your food stash with non-perishable items too. Our favourite choices are dried fruits, oat biscuits and cereal bars (if you can get your hands on them!). Cured meats and packs of instant noodles are also a great addition to a food bag as they wont go off and can provide you with extra goodness and a half decent meal.
Whilst it may be tempting to stock up on chocolatey treats as well, we’d probably recommend limiting this particular food item. Chocolate can get very messy in hot weather and it’s high sugar content will only trick you into a short ‘high’ before you descend back into weariness. By all means, buy a couple of bars if you really want to, but don’t sacrifice your healthy, practical snacks for a tasty treat!
Fuel source number one…
Without a doubt one of the most important items you will bring with you on an extended trip is your Water bottle. This clear, natural liquid really is a lifesaver so stock up on it as much as you can. It may not be the most appealing beverage for many people, who no doubt would prefer a shiny can of Pespi to enjoy on their travels, but is a definate must have for travellers. Even when warm, water will still quench your thirst and prevent you from feeling tired or getting a headache. As you can imagine, it also helps to ‘flush you out’ so can come in handy on the unfortunate occasion that you do happen to pick up a bug or two.
There may be times when you are travelling such long distances that you are unlikely to see a town for a couple of days, so we would always recommend that you carry enough food to last you two days. This will also cover you for those emergency situations that may crop up ‘on the road’. Potholes and searing heat are two things that very often lead to a breakdown – so stocking up on the right foods will ensure that you have the strength to cope with any eventuality!