Music festivals are usually riddled with tons of different treats. Food trucks are common and so are stands, tents, etc. While all of these foods are delicious (trust me I get it!) they are not necessarily all nutritious. That being said, I do realize it’s fun to splurge and eat all the goodies because its fun! So let’s take a look at a few essential things you DO need in your system to rave all night and not get sick, pass out, or crash.
Pre-Festival Breakfast: 2 Hours Before
Start your day with something nutritious! Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day (I know, come on mom), but it’s the truth. Load up your body with good food to fuel your long night of dancing and shuffling. I prefer to do this about 2 hours before it starts. That way I’m not starving but I’m not miserably full either. Your body also has enough time to absorb the nutrients you just put into it. Don’t forget your food pyramid, kids! Find it here if you need to brush up on it! It is really important to get whole grain carbohydrates and lean protein. Whole-grain carbohydrates will keep you fuller longer. That means you get to enjoy the fun longer. It also means that you’ll have a longer-lasting energy reserve because they take longer to breakdown. Lean proteins with low fat will keep you from feeling sluggish. Protein sources that are high in fat will cause an upset stomach because they are so heavy so steer clear! No one wants to bunk in the porta-potties all night. Trust me! Ick. Here are a few great options to choose from for breakfast:
- A small bowl of cereal (I love Special-K) and a banana
- Turkey, cheese, and a fruit bowl
- Yogurt with berries and granola
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich with fruit
- Fruit smoothie with protein
- Trail mix (cereal, dried fruit, and nuts mixed is delicious)
- Graham crackers and peanut butter with fruit.
During the Festival: Every 3-4 Hours
So now you’re at the festival and you’re going to be there a while. Eating every 3-4 hours is really the key to keep up your energy and health. You want your energy to be fueled by foods with substance rather than a ton of junk food. Again, it’s a fun time and junk food happens but we want to feel good while we’re dancing! Getting sick and leaving early is the worst. Don’t let it happen to you. Include carbs, protein, fruits, and veggies if available. This will ensure you get more energy from the carbs, you rebuild muscle with protein, and you decrease damage to cells with fruits and vegetables. Every festival is different with the food vendors they select and bring in but here are a few good options that are usually available at every festival:
- Fruit smoothies
- Grilled sausage or some type of protein with veggies and a 100% fruit juice
- A healthy sandwich
- A slice or two of veggie pizza
- Some type of rice bowl with chicken or some form of protein.
After the Festival
After a long day/night of festivities, you will definitely need to reload. You MUST get yourself a good meal. Take care of yourself so you can recover the correct way! Whether you have another day of the festival or not, it’s important to recharge. Refueling with carbohydrates, re-building with protein, and rehydrating with fluids are your three vital points to remember for recovery. A few good recovery meal options are:
- Turkey with pasta salad and a low-calorie sports drink or water
- Tuna sandwich with baked chips or fruit
- Scrambled eggs (egg whites are even better) with toast
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
- Fruit smoothie with whey protein
Do NOT forget the Water!!
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, HYDRATE! One of the most important rules of festivals is to not forget your water. Odds are, you’re losing water by sweating and drinking alcohol already so please do not let yourself get dehydrated. Over drink your water if you have to. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, impaired judgment, dizziness, heatstroke, and an all-around horrible time at the festival. I drink sips pretty much every few minutes throughout the day (even when I’m nowhere near thirsty) and fill up my hydration pack several times every day I’m there. Water is free so use it!! There IS a hydration station with clean drinking water at nearly every festival. Please find it and stay on yourself and your friends to drink up.
*Check out these other articles about hydration as well. They’re amazing at explaining what your body needs. This one is about dehydration in general and it’s side effects. This one explains how to stay hydrated at festivals. Last but not least, This one is about what it takes to rehydrate yourself after the fact. Knowledge is power! Also, of course, Rave Doctor makes some phenomenal products that will keep you raving healthy. I won’t go to a festival ever again without my supplements! Absolutely invest in yourself by investing in good products!
I truly hope this helps you prepare for your next festival! Remember that you pay a lot of money for these events so you don’t want to miss them by making a silly mistake like passing out from not eating correctly or getting a monstrous migraine from ignoring your water intake. Eat and drink responsibly so you’re able to maximize your time there and you’re sure to have a beautiful experience! Have fun!