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Fueling Your Adventure: Probiotics for Travel and Hiking Nutrition

Probiotics for Travel and Hiking Nutrition

Embarking on a thrilling hiking adventure or traveling to exotic destinations like Pakistan, Nepal, or India can be exhilarating, but it’s essential to prioritize your health and well-being while on the road – especially if the trip you are doing requires a degree of physicality. 

Proper nutrition plays a vital role in ensuring you have the energy and endurance to conquer those rugged trails and breathtaking landscapes. Below we explore the significance of probiotics for travel and delve into the world of hiking nutrition, equipping you with some basic knowledge to make informed choices for a successful journey.

Backpacking Nutrition: Eating Well on the Trail

When planning for a multi-day hiking trip like the K2 Base Camp or a climb up Island Peak, backpacking nutrition becomes a crucial consideration. A well-balanced diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats is essential to sustain your energy levels throughout the adventure.

To maintain a steady supply of fuel, opt for lightweight, nutrient-dense snacks/foods such as:

  1. Dehydrated fruits and vegetables: These lightweight and compact options are packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
  2. Nuts and seeds: High in healthy fats, proteins, and fiber, they provide long-lasting energy and are easy to carry.
  3. Whole grain crackers and energy bars: These convenient snacks offer a combination of carbohydrates and proteins to keep you going.
  4. Nut butter: A jar of nut butter (almond butter would be preferable over peanut butter as it’s more nutrient dense) can be a versatile addition to your backpack, providing both healthy fats and proteins.
  5. Dried meat or jerky: A protein-packed snack that requires no refrigeration and is perfect for maintaining muscle strength during hikes. 
  6. Canned fish: Depending on the length of your hike and weight restrictions, canned oily fish, like sardines, pack a lot of punch in terms of calories, protein intake and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. 
  7. Instant oatmeal or granola: A quick and nutritious breakfast option to kick-start your day on the trail, it contains plenty of complex carbohydrates and modest amounts of protein too.
Probiotics for Travel and Hiking Nutrition

Delhi Belly: Prevention and Management

One common concern for travelers is encountering gastrointestinal issues, often referred to as “Delhi Belly” or traveler’s diarrhea.

This unpleasant condition can put a damper on your adventures and set you back considerably in terms of physical performance on a hike. Here are some preventive measures to keep Delhi Belly at bay:

  1. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water, and avoid tap water in regions where it may be unsafe. Opt for bottled water or use water purification tablets or filters. Filters – or more accurately purifier bottles like a Grayl, are the most preferable, less plastic and less chemicals vs bottles or tablets.
  2. Be cautious with food choices: Avoid those tasty piles of street meats that have been sitting out in the sun for god knows how long and consume only well-cooked meals – aim for steaming hot too. Peel fruits and vegetables yourself to minimize the risk of contamination.
  3. Practice good hand hygiene: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating or handling food. If soap is unavailable, use a hand sanitizer with at least 90% alcohol content.
  4. Probiotics for travelers: Consider incorporating probiotic supplements into your travel routine. Probiotics promote a healthy gut microbiome, which can strengthen your immune system and support digestive health.
  5. Use a Grayl Geopress: Drinking contaminated water is one the best ways to get seriously sick on a trip. Even a small drop of unsafe water in your body can cause stomach trouble for days. We always recommend using a Grayl Geopress Bottle to purify any questionable water – on the trail or from the hotel sink when traveling.
Probiotics for Travel and Hiking Nutrition

Probiotics for Travel

Probiotics offer a range of benefits for travelers, including improved gastrointestinal health, enhanced immunity, and increased resistance to pathogens… this means a crucial defense to all of those invisible demons hell-bent on ruining your trekking holiday. 

These beneficial bacteria help restore the natural balance of your gut microbiota, which can be disrupted due to changes in diet, stress, or exposure to new environments. Incorporating probiotics into your travel regimen can help reduce the risk of digestive issues.

Best Probiotic for Traveler's Diarrhea

So you have eaten something delicious but questionable, gotten as sick as a dog, and taken antibiotics to curb your suffering and restore you back to health so you can continue on with your trek.

The only problem now is that your gut biome has received the belly equivalent of a nuclear bomb – destroying all of that healthy, good bacteria you had living in there. So now what?

Here is where probiotics have their second value: restorative gut health. 

When it comes to combating traveler’s diarrhea and the after-effects of taking antibiotics, not all probiotics are created equal. The most effective strains for preventing and managing this condition include:

  1. Saccharomyces boulardii: This yeast-based probiotic has been extensively studied and is known for its ability to reduce the duration and severity of diarrhea caused by various pathogens.
  2. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG: Another widely researched strain, L. rhamnosus GG, has shown promising results in preventing and treating diarrhea associated with travel.
  3. Bifidobacterium bifidum: This probiotic strain has demonstrated positive effects on gastrointestinal health and may help alleviate symptoms of traveler’s diarrhea.

Consult with a healthcare professional or pharmacist to determine the best probiotic option for your specific needs and travel plans.

Probiotics for Travel and Hiking Nutrition

Energy Gels for Hiking: Pros and Cons

Energy gels have gained popularity among hikers and endurance athletes as a convenient source of instant energy.

These portable gel packs are typically high in carbohydrates aka sugar and provide a quick boost during intense physical activity. Consider the following pros and cons when deciding whether to incorporate energy gels into your hiking nutrition plan:

Pros
:

  1. Convenient and lightweight: Energy gels are easy to carry and consume while on the move.
  2. Rapid absorption: The gel form allows for quick digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, providing an immediate energy boost.
  3. Precise dosing: Energy gels often come in pre-measured packets, allowing you to control your carbohydrate intake accurately.

Cons:

  1. Limited nutritional value: Energy gels primarily provide carbohydrates, aka simple sugars, and lack other essential nutrients like proteins, healthy fats, and fiber.
  2. Artificial ingredients: While they may test pretty damn good, many energy gels contain additives, artificial sweeteners, or high levels of sugar, which may not align with everyone’s dietary preferences.
  3. Digestive issues: The concentrated sugar content in energy gels can cause gastrointestinal discomfort in some individuals, especially when consumed in excess.
  4. Trial and error: Consider experimenting with energy gels during your training hikes to assess their compatibility with your digestive system and overall hiking performance.
Probiotics for Travel and Hiking Nutrition

Long-Distance Hiking Nutrition

For those embarking on long-distance hiking adventures, proper nutrition is vital to sustain endurance and optimize recovery – and also to ensure you are getting the proper rest. Here are some key considerations for long-distance hiking nutrition:

  1. Caloric balance: Ensure you consume enough calories to meet the increased energy demands of long hikes. An energy deficit will result in weight loss and put added strain on your immune system. Activity trackers like a Garmin, Fitbit or Apple iWatch can enable you to get an accurate picture on daily energy expenditure.
  2. Electrolyte replenishment: Sweating during extended hikes leads to electrolyte loss. Consider electrolyte supplements to maintain balance ensuring that you get the full spectrum of electrolytes including; magnesium, chloride, calcium sodium and potassium.
  3. Protein for recovery: Consuming adequate protein helps repair muscle damage and supports recovery. Include lean meats, fish, beans, and nuts in your meals and consider a protein powder when good sources of protein are lacking.
  4. Healthy fats: Incorporate sources of healthy fats, such as nuts and seeds to provide sustained energy.
  5. Hydration: We have already mentioned the importance of hydration but it is worth noting again! Stay hydrated by drinking water regularly, even when you do not feel thirsty or have not been sweating (like in cold temps). 
island peak climbing nepal

Using a Nutritionist to Prepare for Travel

If you want to take your nutrition game to the next level, hire a professional to ensure you are going about your nutrition program the right way for your age and body type. 

 Seeking guidance from a nutritionist can help optimize your diet for travel, ensuring you are well-equipped for the physical demands of hiking and exploring.

A nutritionist can provide personalized advice, assess your dietary requirements, and help create balanced diet plans that support your travel goals while taking into account your health history too.

The point is, nutrition advice is a nuanced business and if you have a little extra budget for your trip to put towards an expert to guide you on your nutritional preparation journey – you will find it likely to be 100% worth it. 

food in iran, cooking class
Prepare your body for all of the tasty food you will eat on the road!

Get Expert Advice from a former Epic Client and Professional Nutritionist

Don’t know where to find a nutritionist who travels, hikes, and climbs mountains? We got you covered…

Because we believe so much in the importance of gut health for preparation and the positive benefits it can have on your trek, we have teamed up with a past client of ours who is a BANT registered nutritionist in the UK. 

Mr. Neil has been with us twice on two different trips – once for the K2 Base Camp Trek where he successfully climbed Gondogoro La and once in Nepal where he successfully climbed Island Peak.

Due to his first-hand knowledge of Pakistan and Nepal and the certain belly ailments one might face on this adventure, Neil is an excellent resource when it comes to helping you physically prepare for the K2 Trek, Island Peak Climb, or any trip we offer. 

Here are the following services Neil offers:

Custom Epic Nutrition Package for Trekkers and Climbers

– 60-minute online initial consultation x 1
– 15-minute online nutritional plan delivery x 1
– 30-minute online follow-up consultation x 2
– Comprehensive health assessment
– Bespoke diet and lifestyle recommendations
– Personalized meal plans and recipes
– Functional testing (additional cost) and interpretation
– Anytime access to Neil via email, sms or WhatsApp to ask questions

If this sounds interesting to you, please reach out to Neil directly to inquire about pricing and more details about his nutrition plans. The plans cater to different budgets based on your needs, etc.

Be sure to mention Epic Expeditions to get our client-privileged rates.

Neil’s Whatsapp: +44 7786 917633
email: hello@neilbridgeman.com
Website: www.neilbridgeman.com/

Wrap Up: Fueling Your Adventure: Probiotics for Travel and Hiking Nutrition

As you prepare to embark on your next big travel adventure, our team of adventure experts strongly recommends that you prioritize your nutrition and digestive health to make the most of your journey.

Incorporate probiotics for travel to support gastrointestinal well-being and consider the best probiotics for travelers’ diarrhea before you start your trip; remember that it is damn near impossible to find these sorts of supplements in Pakistan or Nepal. 

There is no one way or tried and true system to prepare for a big trek like the K2 Base Camp – so a balance of proper nutrition and the right physical training that works for your body type will go a long way in making sure you get the most out of your trip with us.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this Epic blog is for informational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis. It is not intended as a substitute for advice from your doctor or other qualified health practitioner.

Island peak climbing

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Welcome to our Journal!

snow lake trek pakistan

Here at Epic Expeditions, adventure is constantly on our minds. 

Our blog – or Journal as we like to call it – contains epic trip stories, photo diaries, and news about new tours. 

Thanks for checking it out! 

What's new in the journal?

The trip we're most stoked about

MONGOLIA
Horse Trekking in Mongolia Expedition

Next trip: September 3rd - 17th, 2024

Adventure Guide

Hailing from the Toronto region of Eastern Canada, with a background as a former standout athlete (hockey of course) and a  love of mountain adventure, Clark is a welcomed addition to the Epic team.

In addition to being a keen photographer and adventurer, Clark brings his brilliant sense of humor, leadership skills, and positive attitude to everything he puts his mind to. 

When he is not leading trips, he is working on taking over the hard apple cider game in Canada as a skilled craft brewer. 

Adventure Guide

Noemi grew up in the mountains of German-Speaking Switzerland where she naturally developed a deep love and respect for mountain environments.

She is a talented photographer, aspiring climber, and speaks at least 5 languages fluently including Arabic (and probably a few more that we don’t know about), which she taught herself in a matter of months by watching YouTube videos. 

Noemi has spent the last several years traveling, hiking, and photographing her way around many different countries in the Middle East, South and Central Asia, and Europe, and we could not be more stoked to welcome her to the Epic team! 

Adventure Guide

As our man on the ground in Mongolia, there is not much this legend can’t do. As a native the Bayan-Ölgii province of the Western Mongolia Altai, Syerik has been working as a guide and tourism entrepreneur…

for the past several years and is one of the rising stars in Mongolia adventure travel industry. 

He is currently building a beautiful Ger (Yurt) camp near his hometown where he will host Epic Mongolia team members on our trip as well as other travelers from around the world! 

He is the perfect guide for your trip to Mongolia. Serik did an amazing job giving us a well rounded experience in the Altai NP region and down in the Gobi…
The food was fantastic and Serik gave us many opportunities to learn about the Kazakh culture in that region including traditional meals. (I can’t recommend enjoying the milk tea enough!)

– Coastal

Head of canine operations

Choriza started off life as a care-free vagabond on the streets of Madeira Island without any place to call home. From the moment we met her, we knew this dog was just different, and it was pretty much love at first sight. 

She gave up the dog street life in favor of joining her new dad Chris to become a full-time member of the Epic family towards the end of 2022.

These days she can be found listening in on the fringes of important Epic business meetings while half-asleep on the couch. She is a keen hiker, lover of mud, rare steak, and might just be the sweetest little dog we have ever seen. 

Adventure Guide

An experienced trek leader and
IFMGA aspirant ski guide, avid alpine climber, devoted adventure photographer.

Organized and guided trekking expeditions, climbs and ski tours in Tajikistan’s Pamirs, Patagonia, Peru, Morocco, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Georgian and Russian Caucasus and Kamchatka.

A full member and meets the organiser of the British Alpine Club. Visited over 40 countries, lived in the UK for four years. Certified first-aider.

We joined Andrew on a fantastic trip to the Fann Mountains in Tajikistan, pure nature and magnificent scenery! Andrey was super prepared and led us safely up and down numerous passes and through some rough and icy cold rivers. Thank you for a very memorable trip, your planning and prep was excellent!

– Monika Steinlechner

epic backpacker tours team

Adventure Guide

Our man in Nepal, Sandip is what we like to call a “Swiss Army Knife”. There is not much Sandip can’t do when it comes to helping Epic to run our expeditions smoothly in Nepal.

His tireless work ethic, passion for all things trekking in the Himalayas, and smart decision-making mean that Sandip is a truly invaluable member of our team.

Sandip is passionate about showing visitors to his country an amazing time, and he goes above and beyond to make sure that happens. 

His company Himalayan Masters is Epic’s trusted partner in Nepal and one of the country’s top new tour agencies.

We really enjoyed the entire journey, and I would like to say that Sandip is truly professional. He guided us and he is a hardworking person, providing us with the best service and taking care of each one of us. Plus, he is super funny! The kind of professionnal you always want to find on your path for your explorations! 

– Alexandra Ruth

Fairy Meadows

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Our Favorite Experiences

#1 Sunrise from Reflection Lake

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#2 Hiking to Nanga Parbat Base Camp

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#3 Playing cricket with the locals

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Trips Where We Visit Fairy Meadows

Our flagship Pakistani adventure tour.  Road trip with some  hiking and cultural immersion.

A trekking-style tour that features some very remote locations, inlcuding a K2 viewpoint.

Adventure Guide

João has born in the mountains of Madeira Islands in Portugal. Nature lover, writer, musician, guide, for him, a day without contact with outdoor vibes is a nightmare. 

With a degree in Cultural Studies in Portugal and a Master of Arts in Global Cultures and Creativity in the U.K.

João found out what really matters in life can be found on the trails, and in the contact with people from different backgrounds and cultures.

Guiding, crazy trekking missions, and sharing observations about the natural world, – these are some of João’s passions. 

After trekking to K2 Base Camp and exploring all over Northern Pakistan, he fell in love with the country and the local people. His experiences resulted in his desire to share these feelings with the world.

João is one of the most experienced guides at Epic and his skillset and positive mindset in the mountains is second to none

When not in Pakistan, João is  guiding and exploring in the Madeira Islands trails –  discovering some of the hidden treasures on his Portuguese Island.

João I can not thank you enough for the off the beaten paths and views you keep giving. Definitely one of the most challenging and amazing hikes we did 1200m meters all the way up to Fanal forest and circling back to the hidden village. Wow!

– Jeffery 

travel hunza valley

Adventure Guide

Sohail is the newest addition to the Epic Backpacker Tours team and we are beyond stoked to have him on board. As a veteran of the Karakoram and a native of Karimabad in Hunza, there is not much Sohail can’t do in the mountains. 

Besides having the ability to speak more languages than we can count, Sohail has explored every corner of Gilgit Baltistan and logs more trekking miles 

in a year than most people will do in a lifetime. As of the summer of 2022, Sohail has summited Gasherbrum 1, Gasherbrum 2, and K2 – three of Pakistan’s five 8000-meter peaks. Sohail guides several trips including our annual bespoke expeditions but specializes in Hunza Valley tours.

Chris and Sohail, and the team at Epic are FANTASTIC! Highly recommend anyone to do a tour with ‘Epic’. They have the perfect balance of fun, excitement and wild adventures, tied in with being super professional and ensuring your safety/health in a foreign environment. Don’t waste a moment and book a tour with these guys as the value for money is UNREAL!

– Borgan

iran travel tour

Adventure Guide

Pedro’s been traveling all around the globe since 2009. His keen interests in documentary photography, rural life, and local people from different ethnic groups have been the focus of many of his professional projects.

Since 2012, he has developed his passion for travel and awesome shared experiences into a full-time adventure photography tour leader position.

Pedro has found himself continuously going back to the Middle East, with his likely favorite destination being Iran. Pedro will be leading his 11th tour in Iran with EBT this coming spring 2020

When Pedro’s not traveling the world with Epic Backpacker Tours, you’ll find him based in the western south of Portugal planning he’s next adventure missions, logistics and working out his photos in local exhibitions.

 I loved the combination of hiking, camping around breathtaking scenery mixed with the cultural aspects. The guide (Pedro) is knowledgeable and work very hard to make the trip as memorable as possible. All in all an epic adventure with some extremely epic individuals! Go for it, you won’t regret it!

– Coastal

Diane Bouvet

Adventure Admin / Marketing

After fleeing from the corporate fashion world in Paris towards the start of 2020, Diane has been working as a web developer and graphic designer remotely from various bases across the globe

She brings all of her incredible design and organizational power to Epic Backpacker Tours and is responsible for many of the beautiful behind-the-scenes design elements. 

Diane has been to Iran and to Pakistan twice including all over Gilgit Baltistan and KPK.

k2 gondogoro la trek

Head of Operations | Guide

A veteran of Pakistan travel, Ralph is an experienced guide, photographer and writer who specializes in documenting remote locations. 

Not one to simply go where everyone else does, he insists on exploring new and lesser-known areas.

Together with Epic Backpacker Tours, he shows people parts of Pakistan that most other operators don’t even know about. He is particularly fond of the village of Barah, which he believes will become just as famous as Hunza one day.

Just got back from EBT’s Trekking Amongst Giants 15 day tour. The experience was first class. Ralph, our head guide, ensured that the entire trip ran smoothly and relatively on time (a bonus for anyone travelling in Pakistan). We had so many unforgettable days on the tour and the trekking was well-planned, safe but also a rewarding challenge. 

– Calvin


Traveling to a non-tourist destination can be a little intimidating but EBT takes all of the worry and trepidation away. From the pre-trip call to meeting the wonderful staff in person you can tell that you are dealing with a company that has a passion for what they do each and every day. Ralph, Zahid, and Khan were supportive, kind, and always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that everyone on the trip was getting what they wanted out of the experience.

– Katrina 

adventure tours pakistan

Founder | Adventure Guide | Director

Since he started exploring the world, Chris has been seeking out every shade of adventure in various parts of the globe and had visited more than 70 countries along the way. 

Over the last 10 years, Chris has logged more than 7000 trail miles across five continents and climbed multiple 6000 + 7000 meter peaks in Pakistan and Nepal.

A few years back, a distant dream and a deep passion for the mountains and the people of Pakistan led Chris to co-found Epic Backpacker Tours at a time when foreign adventure tourism in Pakistan was almost nonexistent. Since then, Chris has guided more than 20 expeditions to various parts of Northern Pakistan.

Chris believes in using photography and powerful adventure experiences to dismantle negative stereotypes regarding what mainstream media considers “dangerous” countries while facilitating unique and meaningful memories in the mountains for countless people from around the globe. 

For him, an ideal start to the day begins with a steaming cup of good coffee, the beam of a headlamp, alpine boots, and a camera in hand.

He lives in Madeira Island when not leading expeditions in far-flung lands. 

Chris also works as a writer and photographer on his blog Off the Atlas – an adventure travel blog all about Pakistan.  

Read this interview our staff did with Chris to learn more about him!

 

Chris believes in Pakistan and its people, and he believes in the value of journeys shared with others and family cultivated on the road. Honesty and integrity are at the heart of what he does, and this really shines through in his work as a guide. He also makes great coffee – whether at 5am in an empty guesthouse or half way up a Himalayan peak.”

– Will De Villers

Pakistan is a magical country! Had 3 of the best weeks of my life thanks to Epic Backpacking Tours with owner, and one of our awesome guides, Chris. From detailed itinerary, preparation with an equipment list, and visa assistance. To amazing food, great porters, helpful guides, and great accommodations. Epic really hit home run after home run. […]

Their desire for adventure and amazing trip is just as high as yours. Bring a good pound of coffee for the trip. French press coffee every morning and no average tin coffee, plus you’ll be in your guides good books.

– Clark Tyler

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