I go climbing on Sundays (starting at 2-3PM). Climbing is a very energy-consuming process and I need to have my body filled with energy, so I don't feel irresistable urge to eat after couple of hours doing climbing (no way you can fix a grip on rock handle after you've eaten steak with potatoes).

My question is when and what should I eat to get lots of lasting energy for my activities? When should I consume proteins to help my muscles grow a bit? (Hands are just wasted after you spend 4-5 hours climbing).

  • I know next to nothing about climbing, but triathletes face a similar problem (an ironman using up 5000kcal). Most of them eat less than 1000kcal before a race, but use energy gel to keep glycogen stores full, so you might try that. It would have to be taken during climbing though, and you should drink something with it too, so I'm not sure how comfortable/save that is.
    – user8119
    Mar 20, 2014 at 13:44

2 Answers 2


All the available articles online aren't specific about the specific foods you can eat right before climbing; however, they all advocate a mixture of lean protein and carbohydrates and staying hydrated of course.

In addition to those, this article mentions having coffee (or caffeine-based drink) and ciwujia (a chinese herb) before the climb.

This writer simply indicates his regular meal plan; so, it's not specific towards climbing alone.

Energy bars, granola bars, and banana are also part of the recommendation.

Consume protein supplements as soon as possible. Most supplements advocate consuming them about an hour or two after exercising the muscles so they can have the fastest impact on muscle cell regeneration.

The answer will be updated with more information as more's found.

  • Thanks for links - I will explore them for sure. But I am wondering - what's good in eating protein BEFORE activity, if it doesn't give you energy and, moreover, stealing some to digest itself? Carbohydrates seem more logical, but it's still a question WHEN to consume them and how much? Mar 20, 2014 at 13:56
  • Well, the protein is still needed for your muscular recovery (especially for a climbing duration that long). I would say about 20 minutes before the activity and the amount would largely depend on you through trial and error. How much will your body handle without negatively impacting your climb. Mar 20, 2014 at 14:08
  • to Kneel-Before-ZOD: thanks for comment on protein. I would investigate this statement. Always thought that protein is to be consumed after activity to provide building blocks needed to build muscles. Mar 20, 2014 at 15:10
  • 4
    @DenisKulagin I found this article that suggests that pre-workout protein intake is much preferable to post-workout intake. Mar 20, 2014 at 17:05

If you're looking for energy prior to climbing, you can add creatine or a protein shake into your routine prior to the exercise. However, recent studies have shown that if you're just looking to aid your body in muscle growth - then overall protein and nutrient intake is more important than when you take it.

Most people still recommend taking it within a half hour of working out

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