How to eat healthily for a mountain hike

Hiking’s in fashion, enjoyed by almost half the people in Switzerland. To enjoy your trip into the mountains you need good equipment, thorough preparation, plenty of sunshine and proper food. Find out here what you should be eating and drinking before and during your hike.

If you’re only planning a short hike of no more than two hours or so you don’t need to take anything to eat with you – although it’s always good to have something to drink. If you’re taking the kids on a short hike it makes sense to bring small snacks and enough water.

You need one or two litres of fluids a day, and considerably more if the weather’s warm or you’re exerting yourself. The best thing to drink is water or unsweetened fruit or herb tea. Slightly sweetened drinks with a small amount of sugar and diluted fruit juice are also okay. But you should avoid sweetened soft drinks.


Never start out hungry

Never start out on a hike on an empty stomach or feeling hungry. The best fuel is a balanced breakfast with enough carbohydrates:

  • Wholegrain bread with cottage cheese, fresh fruit
  • Bread and jam with yogurt and fresh fruit
  • Müesli (without added sugar if possible) with fresh fruit and yogurt or milk

Before you start, plan breaks to avoid getting hungry or “hitting the wall”. If you’re out for longer it’s important to take sufficient provisions. Especially on a longer hike it’s best to eat easily digestible things regularly to keep your energy levels up. Avoid heavy, fatty foods and alcohol, all of which make you tired and drain the body of energy.

Practical snacks include:

  • Ripe fruits (apples, pears, bananas, etc.)
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Crispbread, crackers (for example Darvida), bread or cereal bars (as low in sugar and fat as possible)

Take time for lunch and take the opportunity to rest and enjoy the surroundings. Carbohydrate-rich foods help recharge your energy reserves:

  • Pasta or rice salad
  • Bread
  • Sandwiches (dark bread, not too much butter, lean meat, poultry or cheese)
  • Sticks of raw vegetables with cottage cheese or a dip

On the campaign website you’ll find plenty of information and tips on how to hike safely in the mountains. SWICA supports the campaign.


In the event of further health-related questions, SWICA customers can contact the santé24 telemedicine service free of charge on +41 44 404 86 86. A telemedicine practice licence allows santé24 physicians to provide additional medical services in cases that are suited to a telemedicine approach. SWICA customers can also use the BENECURA medical app to carry out a digital SymptomCheck and receive recommendations about what to do next. During a subsequent phone call with santé24, customers can decide for themselves whether to release their information from SymptomCheck to santé24.