T Nation

Road Trip Nutrition?


In a week and a half I'll be driving cross country. Questions about this from a fitness perspective:

First, would it be useful to do some bodyweight sessions and/or stretching in the evenings or mornings at hotels?

I figure I should just try to cut with just no carbs and not really bother with counting protein and fats but try to keep them high.

Buying food ahead of time would probably be cheaper and healthier than stopping at fast food joints.
What are some things that are cheap and convenient, would last over a week, have no carbs, high protein and if I could eat while driving that'd be good too.

Some thoughts:
general: cheese, sausage, macadamia nuts
When stopped: canned fish, cabbage, flax oil, olive oil
I'll supplement with fish oils.

Any and all suggestions would be appreciated.


Yes. This is my area of expertise!

I am on the road 5 days out of 7 every week due to work.

Working Out:

I find out if the hotel/place that I am staying in has a gym. If not, I take my resistance cables with me and use them in combination with body weight excercises.


I pack my suitcase with the following:
Beef jerky
A tub of protein
Fish Oils
Protein Bars
and other supplements
Peanut butter.

I also tend to buy some veggies/fruit wherever I am that day.

You can't always get what you want, but you can always get by.


Of course body weight excercises are better than nothing at all. In some respects, many of them have benefits over weight training.

Push ups are great. Use different variations. Hotel beds are a at great height to put your feet up on them and do incline push ups. Try some with a wide arm stance and some with your hands forming diamonds for your triceps. Don't bother with sets of ten and what not. Go for burn outs with push ups, rest and do it again.

Crunches, isometric excercises, burpees etc are all great.

Diet isn't hard either. protein bars, mixed nuts, granola bars, occassional fast food stops... subway can be a decent choice, chicken salads with low fat dressing, it's not very hard.


I lived out of my car for about a month earlier this summer. For nutrition I relied on vanilla protein powder and I'd mix it with slim fast chocolate powder. Great tasting and it has all kinds of vitamins.

Canned tuna w/balsamic
whole grain cereals
pre bought protein bars (you can get bulk expired bars for really cheap on ebay. expired meaning they cant be sold in stores but most of the time they are still good).
beef jerky
pre bought nuts (extremely expensive on the road).
all kinds of fruits and veggies: bananas, apples, organges, avacados, etc.

A lot of rest stops have pre made sandwiches on whole wheat. and a lot of fast food places have salad options, but again if moneys a problem gotta stay away from them.

As for beverages I would buy water by the gallon and if I felt like i needed something with taste I'd buy single serving crystal light packets.

Energy drinks: Coffee/diet rockstar

I didn't get much working out done but a weighted jump rope came in handy. Also if you stray from the highway you may be able to find a public playground that will have monkey bars for various grip pullups.

If you've been working out consistantly for a while maybe take this time for a rest week.


With the availability of sealable baggie and boxes anything is possible. Make up a week of chicken breasts. Something we do is make a pile of the Oatmeal Pancakes with sugar free applesauce.


oh henry protein bars


some good tips here. thanks all!

I don't know where I'll stay most of the days, as it depends on how fast I drive.

What's a good a low-carb beef jerky? Most I find have like 5g of straight sugar per serving (so relative to just 13g of protein).

Would a full-body bodyweight circuit-like routine (with those elevated feet pushups, single-leg squats, and some other things I saw in a couple articles I checked out that I forget right now) every morning be good for this? In my mind it's still kind of hard to treat bodyweight routines seriously..would pre and post WO nutrition still be important in this case?

I'm thinking it'll be too hard to put on muscle mass on the road so I'll just try to cut, so that means limited carbs (so no cereals, etc.

It'll be two and a half weeks between gyms, so probably best to exercise at least somewhat. How often would you say I should do the bodyweight stuff to not lose strength/mass but still get a break?

grilled chicken breasts woulud last a week?

will take a look, thanks



I use Wild West Beef Jerky. One 100g packet contains 48g protein, 300 calories and 20 grams carbs. I live in the UK and its not popular here at all. Being in the USA, you should have a massive variety and selection to choose from.

Some of the hotels I stay in don't have gyms. But this is okay and I don't use it as an excuse not to work out. Body weights stuff kicks my behind. I also throw in some dynamic stetching routines. So I alternate between body weight routines and dynamic routines.

As for the chicken breasts, they are not going to last a week if you don't have access to a fridge.

Keep in mind, that my travelling is done on planes, so I have to limit what I can pack in a suitcase, but I still manage!


I spent 3 months on the road with my job...it can be a pain, but it can be done.

Pretty much what everyone else posted. Protein powder, beef jerky(that was life saver), almonds, natty PB, fruit, yogurt, oats, subway double chicken wrap, Wendy's chili with chicken breast.

Depending on how serious you are, you can pick up one of those electric coolers from walmart that plug into the cigarette lighter and keep everything icy cold. You can even return it to another walmart in the city you're driving to;) Not that I did that...


OK. I do need to buy a cooler so maybe I should do that anyway.

Any thoughts on PWO nutrition for bodyweight these routines? and how frequently to perform them?


Do your body weight work outs correctly (to burn out on every set for every excercise) and if you will be doing full body every other day is best IMO.

Yes, do consider post wo nutrition important. You probably won't need to eat quite as much protein as you would after killing the weights, but you'll still need to feed your muscles after training them.

Chin ups are the most difficult body weight excercise to perform on the road, but as has been mentioned, find a playground, a tree etc and do them. In fact, a play ground can be great for body weight excercises. You can put your feet on a bench instead of a bed, do chin ups, body weight calf raises on play equipment, dips, plyometrics and all the usual stuff. Be creative and you can come up with all sorts of substitutes at a playground.

If you really work at it (no 3 sets of ten or five sets of 3), you'll get a great training session.