Eating Tips for Traveling

How to Eat Healthy While Traveling

Traveling the world to participate in events may sound like (and is!) a lot of fun, however sometimes not having familiar foods, or knowing what sorts of things to choose in foreign places can make it difficult.

Here are my top six tips for healthy fueling when traveling.

Research food options before you go.

You don’t want to turn up for the {insert name of your next race} without knowing what a) they supply on race day, or b) what sort of facilities are available for food. If you’re particularly picky, booking somewhere with a kitchen so you can cook your meals before the race can make life easier. If you’re more comfortable with eating out, do some checking of what is available close to your hotel, be it shops or cafes or restaurants, as the last thing you want to have to do is trek to the other side of the city to find a decent meal.

Stock up on healthy snacks.

Purchase nuts, fruit, bars and other non-perishable goods to keep in your handbag/backpack/car, so that you don’t end up over-hungry, and so you can fuel regularly over the day in the days leading in to your race.

Choose meal places with appropriate portions and choices good for you.

When it is time for a meal, choose places that provide both appropriate portions, and choices that are good for you. Check menus before you go, or at least before you sit down, if you have specific requirements (such as an allergy), let the venue know in advance, and if the cuisine isn’t something you’ve tried before, don’t be afraid to experiment and try it out (but maybe don’t do this the day before the race!).

Featured photo credit: Chad A. Johnson via Visualhunt / CC BY-ND

Be hygiene-aware and culture-sensitive.

Some countries will have food rules, or advised foods to choose/avoid that may not necessarily apply to you; be aware of this before you arrive. For example, pork is not eaten in some cultures, so it won’t be available. In others, it may not be hygienic to consume meat in many of the restaurants. Avoiding both social mistakes and hygiene mistakes will help your trip run much more smoothly.

Take your race nutrition with you if you can.

We all know how uncomfortable it is to use a gel or bar that doesn’t sit so well in your stomach. If this is something you’re prone to, taking your favorite brand with you when traveling can save a whole lot of upsets.

Carry water.

Not carrying water can make it particularly easy to become dehydrated, especially if traveling to somewhere warm. Carry water with you, ask for water when sitting to eat, and top up your bottle as needed throughout the day (or purchase more water, depending where you are).

Every country is unique, and will have its own things that can make it both easy or challenging to make healthy, safe choices. Enjoy the culture by experimenting with the local cuisine, and have a wonderful time whilst also being mindful of fueling well and being safe.

Chloe McLeod
Chloe McLeod
Chloe McLeod has had a keen interest in nutrition from a young age due to food intolerances as well as a realization about the important role food plays in an active lifestyle. She has a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition & Dietetics, a master’s degree in Public Health, has received Sports Dietetics training through the Australian Institute of Sport, and has earned qualifications for ISAK Level 1, and is a member of DAA, SDA, and PINES. She is a two-time marathoner, avid trail runner, and also enjoys staying active through snowboarding and Pilates.