If you’re going on a long hike, it can be tempting to fill your backpack with chocolate, sweets and other sugary snacks – but this is not always the best idea, experts say.

But these foods are not good news for hikers, according to experts. They will make your blood sugar levels go up very fast, providing an instant burst of energy –but they will also make it drop back down very quickly.

Sugar will also actually reduce the body’s fat burning, says Boris Gnielka of the specialist magazine Outdoor.

And yet Gnielka recommends adding a bit of sugar to drinks – by mixing water with fresh apple juice, for example.

“Water is actually enough, but we tend to drink too little of it because it does not taste that nice, and that reduces performance,” he explains.

If you drink out of a pouch, however, this mix is not for you. The sugar will make the tubes dirty. Vitamin C powder, which you can buy from a pharmacist, and sugar-free drink powder are suitable alternatives, although not everyone likes them.

long hike

Avoid sugary snacks and go for food that can give you sustained energy on your hike.

What you should eat on a long hike

Optimal nutrition for a hike will include lots of water, carbohydrates, and only a little fat and sugar. Gnielka recommends the classics: a homemade sandwich with wholemeal bread, an apple and a cereal bar.

Snacks should be small and well wrapped up, and they should be able to withstand both pressure and heat.

When it comes to choosing the right sandwich filling, there is only one rule.

“I would make sure that it is not too fatty or difficult to digest,” Gnielka says. – dpa