What Do Good Climbers Eat?

If you are an athlete or are hoping to become a fabled one, you will know that in order to succeed at the activity you take up you will need mental focus, a solid training regimen and great. Nutrition, climbing is no different. Climbing is on the more extreme side of the sports scale for the obvious reason that certain climbs are undoubtedly life threatening. But the actual stress that climbing puts on your body is equally capable of lumping it in this category. From the ability to lift your own body weight many times over to remaining in held static positions over time, climbing is as much strength as it is endurance with some required problem solving in the mix too. This cocktail of skills requires your body and mind to be in top shape when you take to a cliff face, and nutrition is a vital component that can make or break a climb. The following are the essential parts of your diet that you will need to keep on top of if you want to make it to the precipice.


Of course, by now everyone both in and out of sports is aware that protein is an essential part of training. Though this doesn’t start and end with that gym bag staple accessory – the protein shaker. Though recently supplement companies have made getting your protein far easier thanks to all manner of shakes, bars and ready mixed drinkables, you shouldn’t neglect natural sources of protein either. These building blocks that provide fuel and growth in your body are present in animal products, legumes, nuts and seeds. Making sure protein is around a third of your diet is necessary to be able to take your climbing up to the next level.

Complex Carbs

The endurance part of your climb means that your body needs to be able to tap into energy long after you have consumed it. You’ve probably heard of marathon runners ‘carbo-loading’ the night before the big run, this is something that many athletes do in anticipation of a demanding task. Complex carbohydrates (unlike the simple ones) are a source of long term energy, getting these into your body means that when needed your system can continue to use these as a fuel source over longer periods of time than the quick burst provided by simple sugars. Eating truly wholemeal breads (don’t be fooled by all supermarket labels), brown rice, green vegetables and grains like quinoa will give you a healthy dose of this.

Good Fats

Though we previously thought fat was the enemy, science and public knowledge is steadily changing. Though dietary fat and the stuff you don’t want hanging off your belly are two separate things, too much of the bad stuff can leave to that overhang. However it isn’t as simple as that and if you are exercising regularly its unlikely you will see bad results in the short term. You do need fat, just not lots of it, and it’s a good idea to source it from better products such as avocados, olives, nuts and coconut (not actually a nut). Fat helps your brain, which you will need in good shape when you are planning your next move halfway up a mountainside.