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Fasthike Fiber?
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Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
Fasthike Fiber? on 05/20/2013 11:47:21 MDT Print View

I don't like the idea of big bran bars to get fiber on a multi-day fasthike. Twice I've eaten a few hundred calories of cliff bars on 12+ hour 3+mph streaks. The resulting stomach lumps were something I had to work through for an hour or so. Nothing difficult, just noticeably annoying while trying to stay in an efficient groove.

If it were just a day, I would simply stick to MyoMalt on trail (3/4 malto, 1/4 whey). But over a 5 day JMT fasthike, I'm going to want fiber to "smooth out" the rest stops...

I will bring nuts and Cliff bars for fat, eaten over the last mile before sleep. There will be fiber in those, but enough? Spread throughout the day enough?

Answer: I could supplement with soluble fiber in the MyoMalt.

Thoughts? Anyone with experience in on-trail, low-fiber "regularity" issues? Last thing I want is to spend a lot of exhausted time 'working things out', if you know what I mean.

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
Re: Fasthike Fiber? on 05/20/2013 12:23:53 MDT Print View

Psyllium husks - pretty lightweight, and very effective as long as you drink enough water (otherwise kinda solidifies in your gut)

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Fasthike Fiber? on 05/20/2013 12:31:38 MDT Print View

This definitely drifts into the TMI catagory, but it is a reality that needs consideration.

I hike 20 to 25 miles a day. I eat 4 or 5 Powerbar Harvest Bars (and other stuff) because they are oat based, versus soy based like Cliff. They clear my stomach just fine, but Cliff would have me down for the count. I don't handle soy well at all. Something to test before hitting the trail. Breakfasts are granola (oats again), dinners are a variety of "regular" food. So I'm putting in the 1.5 pounds per day of solids.

As for "through put", I often don't take a dump until day two or three. I don't get concerned because I know what's going on and how my body works when stressed. It goes into "super efficiency" mode and there just isn't enough mass to make it worth the effort. My gut extracts and compacts until there is little left to deal with. Then when the time comes, it feels like a regular dump and looks like a regular dump. Two days later, same song 2nd verse. And so it goes.


Edited by greg23 on 05/20/2013 12:33:00 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Fasthike Fiber? on 05/20/2013 20:32:21 MDT Print View

Um, if you ate our diet at home and on trail you'd never, ever, ever, EVER be worried about enough fiber ;-)

Stay hydrated. Eat a lot of dried fruits and vegetables. Consumer a lot of fat in nuts, seeds, oil and more. Eat oats. Eat flaxssed meal. Ground chia seeds. Whole grains (nothing white). More veggies and fruits. More nuts.

You'll be running for privacy, not straining ;-)

Oh yeah, and cut back on the meat. It can bind you up!

Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Fasthike Fiber on 05/21/2013 00:49:08 MDT Print View

Greg -
I hadn't thought about soy vs oat or other. That may be the trick. I will definitely try some alternatives.

Sarah -
I can't believe it's taken me this long to hit your site. Very cool! We are certainly on the same page for 'normal' hiking. We bring a variety of bases - vermicelli, quinoa, quick rice - and add carmelized onions, suateed mushrooms, seasoned TVP, tomato sauce 'leather', potato flakes, dried hot sauce, etc.. Every night is decided that night. We just make sure there's enough of the bases and plenty of stuff to put on it. Planning any more than that is a waste of time at this point. The biggest thing I'm working on for that is reducing the seal-a-meal volume. The plastic takes up more room than the ingredients some times!

But for 'athletic' hiking, I'm trying to avoid anything that distracts energy from the hike. My worst example was day hiking the Rae Lakes (ccw). Everything was fine until we ate a couple bars just before Glen on the south side. That was the hardest 400' I've ever done. Then every time we ate something - Rae, Dollar, Upper Paradise, the same thing happened - big energy drop for an hour.

Fast forward to last summer - Roads End, Avalanche, Colby, Harrison - Roads End. Zero gastric slump - I was on the malto all day long and did normal food only at night. Come to think of it, I did eat a couple packets of oatmeal about 4 hours into day two. Don't remember there being a problem. Hmm...

I will make up some bars with oats, nuts, and honey, perhaps rice crispies. I have a 100 mile local hike I'm trying to get in the next two weeks. Good time to try some alternatives.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Fasthike Fiber? on 05/21/2013 07:50:51 MDT Print View

not trying to shift this thread,
but when are you planning your JMT 5 day fast pack ?
by 5 days, are you shooting for sub 6, or sub 5, or whatever happens ?
a friend and I will be fast packing NOBO starting July 20.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Fasthike Fiber? on 05/21/2013 08:26:26 MDT Print View

Reviewing and Reiterating -

"If it were just a day, I would simply stick to MyoMalt on trail (3/4 malto, 1/4 whey). But over a 5 day JMT fasthike, I'm going to want fiber to "smooth out" the rest stops...

"But for 'athletic' hiking...

"...Zero gastric slump - I was on the malto all day long..."

Looking at a "bigger picture" I'd say you are certainly on the right track. "Athletic" for multiple days points to malto in a big way. If you haven't discovered "Hiking Malto" here, now is the time.

Regarding your first post w/ fiber, obviously there is none in maltodextrin, and that lack of bulk adds to "accumulation time". As a distance cyclist - multiple consecutive 200 mile days - existing on maltodextrin during the days and regular food for dinners, my first dump can stretch out to 3 or 4 days. Sounds bizarre I know, but as mentioned above, when the time was right, everything was normal.


Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Fasthike Fiber? on 05/21/2013 10:06:37 MDT Print View

I don't really know anything about fasthiking, but if you are trying to stay regular, have you considered acidophilus pills? They are the concentrated bacteria in yogurt. They won't add any fiber, but will help with regularity.

Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
Re: When on 05/21/2013 10:39:03 MDT Print View

Art -

I have two JMTs planned/permitted, sobo 6/29, nobo 9/5. I covered the plans on another thread: JMT Fasthike

I really want to detach from the solar day cycle and so sleep/hike whenever. I love night hiking. 1 pm - 3 pm not so much. I think the only thing made more difficult is picking a spot to sleep in the dark.

Bummer I'll miss your trek. I look forward to the TR!

Edited by oroambulant on 05/21/2013 11:11:14 MDT.

Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Fasthike Fiber on 05/21/2013 11:25:09 MDT Print View

I know this has been extensively covered elsewhere, but this is my distillation.

My latest nutrition plan for 1.5 JMT fast hikes I'm doing this summer. First is a half fast/half slow sobo on 6/29, second is a 5 day nobo on 9/5.

For the past year I've been hiking with this MyoMalt recipe and I love it.
It's my home brew version of Hammer's Perpetuem (thank you again gg-man!). (Aside: ‘MyoMalt’: myo- prefix for ‘muscle’ and also ‘make yer own’ – Malto. Perfect!)

Yield 1 Lb, 2000 kcal, 30 miles, $4.85/LB (compare Hammer at $9.40):

12 oz malto-dextrin power powder (
3 oz whey isolate (plain) anti-autophagic (
1 oz whey isolate (vanilla) anti-autophagic (
1/4 oz soy lecithin * choline and lipids (health food store)
700 mcg chromium picolinate * fat burner (
375 mg choline amino boost (
500 mg L-carnitine anti-oxidant (
500 mg L-carnosine anti-oxidant (

Note: In the future I will no longer add lecithin or chromium picolinate, but seeing as I made up 60 pounds of this last year... Chromium picolinate has been debunked as a fat burner and muscle preserver, unless anyone knows better. Soy lecithin gums up my bottle and being oil based it doesn't rinse out. I'm moving to provide oil intake separately.

On trail I mix 2 oz (250 kcal) of MyoMalt into a 10 oz baby bottle (thx Brett M.!) of cold filtered Sierra Spring water (Sawyer Squeeze in-line with my bladder). It mixes easily at this concentration and I get a drink that is between soy and rice milk in both flavor and texture. By using vanilla flavor in only 1/4 of the whey powder I keep the sweetness down. I have yet to grow tired of the flavor, although my family likes to add in some hot chocolate mix.

As an aside, gg-man aka Hiking Malto suggested adding Crystal Light or similar powder for other flavors, but it hasn't worked for me. I used Aaron Sorensen's suggestion and prepackaged 2 oz baggies for no-mess measure and pour.

I consume 200 kcal/hour and provision for 28 miles/Lb (mostly 2.5 - 3.5 mph depending on grade and fatigue). I also carry 1-2L water depending on distance to refill and drink less than 1L per hour including the MyoMalt. I've been getting nice, infrequent (~6 hours), mellow yellow pees.

I will carry 7.5 pounds MyoMalt + 2 pounds bars of some sort. Trying to work out the right bars/fiber needs (ergo this thread).

I also have made up MyoLyte electrolyte caps to mimic Hammer's Endurolyte. Hiking Malto has suggested mixing in with the Malto. I wanted to keep these separate because I have found I need to adjust for heat/sweat variation. When I first started developing a fuel/salt protocol, I stuck to Hammer’s recommended 2-3 caps/hr. After 5 hours or so, I would feel the need to puke. It felt just like when you force yourself to heave by drinking salted water. Now I am more sensitive to actual need which is a lot more like 1/hr.

Yield 300 caps, 300 hrs, 900 miles, $7.20/120 (compare Hammer at $12.00/120):

31 grams NaCl ( 41 mg/cap)
76 caps K citrate, 99mg ( 25 mg/cap)
48 tabs Ca citrate, 315 mg ( 50 mg/cap)
56 caps Mg citrate, 133 mg ( 25 mg/cap)
48 caps Mn Gluconate, 10 mg (1.6 mg/cap)

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Re: Fasthike Fiber on 05/21/2013 11:46:45 MDT Print View

good nutrition info.
I'm an ultra runner and Perpetuem is about 80% of my diet during races.
but for the long slower pace of the JMT it seems like a lot of trouble and a lot of weight.
am considering a more solid high calorie diet but have not worked it out yet.
may still go with mostly Perpetuem, just not sure.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Fasthike Fiber on 05/21/2013 11:51:14 MDT Print View

If you are drinking a lot of your calories it can be one reason why a person gets bound up - artificial fiber is no ones friend. By that, I mean supplemented fiber. Protein drinks are high in calories but usually low on fiber so often faux fiber is slipped in. These can cause severe bloating/gas/distress as the stomach gets used to it. Better to simply eat your fiber in real food.

As for bars...most commercial bars are pretty notorious for being harder to digest. Lump like in the gut, they are so dense. It takes a lot on your body to digest them - better to nibble on a bar over a long period than to wolf one down (or worse 2-3 bars). If you must do bars, make your own so it is real food! I take fruit/nut/coconut ones often.

Before I had my last 2 kids and I was doing long days, I carried a snack bag I could get into easily, Every night I loaded it up. It had small bags of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, potato chips (potassium) and other items. It encouraged me to eat often. Then I had a bigger meal at dinner where I got hydrated as well.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Fasthike Fiber? on 05/21/2013 12:07:36 MDT Print View

Do you like fruit leather .

Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Fruit leather on 05/21/2013 15:13:00 MDT Print View

I usually throw in some TJ leathers although I hadn't yet considered what all was in the "bars" part of my haul. I forgot they have fiber boosted ones, and good fiber at that.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Fasthike Fiber on 05/21/2013 18:02:39 MDT Print View

"Fast forward to last summer - Roads End, Avalanche, Colby, Harrison - Roads End. Zero gastric slump - I was on the malto all day long and did normal food only at night. Come to think of it, I did eat a couple packets of oatmeal about 4 hours into day two. Don't remember there being a problem. Hmm..."


You just answered your own question. Drip in the malto during the day and take real food for breakfast and, especially, dinner. Works like a charm, although not for a really long hike like the PCT/AT/CDT. For 5 days you should be just fine, with lots of opportunity to get your fiber at breakfast and dinner. There is an inherent conflict of interest in eating food that requires digestion while doing something "athletic", in that your stomach and leg muscles will be competing for blood supply.