Long hours in the car, loads of coffee, cigarettes, gas station pit stops, fast food, and bad decisions. These are all part of the fun of road trips with friends, but does that mean we should be making these choices in our chosen pursuits? If these road trips are about hunting down waves, then not a chance.
From professional athletes who train with coaches to dirtbag surfers/climbers living out of our trucks, we’re an incredibly diverse group of people. We travel so we can indulge in our pleasures up in the mountains or down at the beach. Some of us live on the road, eating whatever is available at the gas station. And if you can relate to this you know changing those habits and treating yourself the right way can change your entire travel experience as well as raise the bar in every other aspect of your life.
We can increase our awareness and performance levels by changing how we eat on the road, leading to higher, longer lasting energy, and even keeping our brains sharper. When we make poor food choices and don’t stay hydrated, the results can range from bad decision making to a decline in physical motor skills.
Running on Dunkin Donuts and gas-station breakfast sandwiches are not going to get you through that third surf session of the day, down that last six-mile push, or even to the car in one piece. You’ll probably survive but you almost certainly won’t be stoked at the end of the day. We can compare this feeling to the morning after scraping down a pint of ice cream, full of shame and a sluggish lethargy.
Now, I’m not saying I don’t drink loads of coffee and hit the classic rest stop for the occasional Slim-Jim, but pre-packing some healthy choice fruits and meals often save me from crushing that $2.99 hot dog after your morning session. If your trip will be a short one, packing food for the duration is definitely possible. You’ll need to spend a few hours cooking or assembling your meals, but stocking up on things like bananas, nuts, oatmeal or sandwiches, are all going to keep you away from hitting the California Pizza Kitchen at LAX.
Most people don’t realize you can bring whatever kind of food you want through airport security. Pack some options in Tupperware, bring an empty hydro flask through security, and fill it up at the fountain. You’re going to want to feel energized sitting through a seven-hour flight to Central America and not like a sweaty bowl of pasta. Putting in the effort to prepare yourself in this way will also save you more money to spend on the trip.
Not only are all of the classic choices absolutely horrible for you, but they are slowly taking away from your time as a surfer/snowboarder/climber. So keep all of this in mind next time you’re loading up the truck or headed to the airport.