A guide on how to eat while traveling | Norton Sports Performance Louisville, Ky.

A guide on how to eat while traveling

We all want the end-of-summer season to be easy and fun, but sometimes traveling with family and friends can be difficult — especially when it comes to snacking on the road and eating meals. Hopefully this post will provide some insight and easy tips and tricks on how to nourish our bodies while traveling to the good times.

Pack snacks and hydration

  • When traveling, it’s easy to go through a drive-thru for a snack. Instead, pack a small cooler or lunchbox with nutritious food that will keep you full and provide nutrients for recovery from workouts and overall health.
  • Aim for snacks high in protein (to help keep you fuller longer and aid in muscle recovery/repair). Pair it with a complex carbohydrate as well to get some fiber and micronutrients!
    • Trail mix
    • Whole fruit
    • Beef jerky
    • Cheese sticks
    • Deli meat
    • Whole-wheat crackers
    • Dried fruit
    • Protein bars/shakes
    • Hard-boiled eggs
    • Greek yogurt
    • Tuna lunch kits
    • Hummus and pretzels
  • Flying
  • We all want long car rides to go by quickly with as few stops as possible (at least I do), but we still need to be sure we are hydrating consistently throughout the trip!
    • It may be a car ride one day and then the next day you’re on a cruise in 90-degree weather. Prevent dehydration and stay consistent on the road!
    • Flying also can dehydrate you due to the very low humidity levels in the aircraft, so be sure to consistently drink water while flying.
    • Buy a reusable bottle.
      • These can get through TSA checkpoints if empty, and onto boats as well.
      • Always have it on you, so you are prepared.
    • Before going out while you are exploring the town or island, be sure to fill your bottle up so you keep you hydrated throughout your fun day.
    • If you know you are going to be sweating a lot where you are, it may be smart to buy an electrolyte beverage like Gatorade or an electrolyte mix like DripDrop and throw it in your bottle with water.

Stay on schedule

  • Try your best to stick with your normal routine, eating at similar times throughout the day. Traveling may make food choices different. However, just like sleep consistency is important for health and recovery, eating consistency is also important.
  • If you are training up for something or just want to remain consistent with your exercise schedule, here are some tips on how to keep that going:
    • Train/exercise first thing in the morning and get it out of the way so you can relax and have fun the rest of the day.
    • If you can, stay somewhere with a gym (hotel gyms).
    • If there aren’t gyms available where you are staying, do a quick search of a 2-mile radius to see if there is a gym close by.
    • If there are no gyms at all near you, you can:
    • Go for a walk or run.
    • Find a nearby park.
    • Or, use this time to really focus on recovery and do some stretches/yoga.
    • Relax and have fun; you deserve it!
  • Stay healthy at rest stops, drive-thrus and airports.
    • Having pre-packed healthy and filling snacks should help you avoid food decisions that aren’t aligned with your goals. If you have no other option than going to a fast-food restaurant, here are some things to consider:
    • Get the sauce on the side.
    • Opt for a fruit instead of fried sides.
    • Get grilled instead of fried proteins.
    • Get calorie-free drinks instead of sugary drinks.
    • If you want to make sure you are getting enough protein at each meal you can check the restaurant’s website for the nutrition information.
    • Be sure to have at least 20 grams of protein for optimal muscle recovery.
  • How to build a plate (Note that everyone is different and has different goals; this is a general guideline.)
    • Gravitate toward the colors;
      • Fill half your plate with a variety of fruits or vegetables. They’re full of fiber and nutrients to help with recovery and overall health.
      • Fill up on protein.
        • Fill a quarter of your plate with lean protein.
          • Top sirloin
          • Chicken breast
          • Turkey
          • Pork loin
          • Fish
    • Pick a carb!
      • Fill the remainder of your plate with your favorite carbs
        • Potatoes
        • Rice
        • Pasta
        • Rolls

I hope we all have a safe, fun, and relaxing vacation! If you are interested in learning more, continue to come back to this website every month for a new blog post.

If you want to dive deeper into your personal nutrition, set up a free initial consultation by emailing marisa.faibish@nortonhealthcare.org or calling the Norton Sports Health Performance & Wellness Center: (502) 409-8888.

Marisa Faibish, M.S., R.D., CSSD, LDN, is lead performance dietitian at Norton Sports Health Performance & Wellness Center.

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