How to optimise nutrition for bouldering performance

It’s no surprise that what we eat has a major impact on our bouldering performance. If we’re properly fuelled, we will be able to smash out a V6-8, right? To a degree, yes. With #hardcore bouldering training and an adequate nutrition plan to meet performance objectives, we are 90% closer to being as good as Adam Ondra (this may be a slight exaggeration, but you get the point).

But what does it mean to be “properly fuelled”? and what do we need to consider from a nutritional perspective? Today, I’ll explain the science behind food suggestions and provide both nutritious and delicious food examples.

We also have a blog dedicated to nutrition for climbing endurance - check it out.

Pre-bouldering session

Bouldering is an explosive sport, that requires large, short bursts of energy expenditure. For this reason, we want to make sure that we’ve got adequate carbohydrates on standby. This is to allow for the muscles to effectively and efficiently use energy whilst training. Examples of food include:

• A banana
• A chocolate protein shake - True Protein is a good option
• Pre-portioned porridge + ½ a cup of berries
• Pre-portioned dip and crackers

During a bouldering session

There are two major nutrition considerations when undertaking a bouldering session. Firstly, we want to make sure we’re adequately hydrated. This is because, hydration promotes better blood flow to the extremities (our fingers and toes), making the gnarlier climbs slightly easier due to enhanced power output. Secondly, depending on the duration of the climb, we may want to bring along a reserve store of energy. Examples could include:

• A Cliff bar
• ‘The Happy Snack’ dark roasted, choc-covered chickpeas (nom)
• Protein chickpea brownie (Scroll down for this salivation-worthy recipe)
• 4-5 dried apricots

Post-bouldering session

Bouldering is a muscle-fatiguing exercise (no surprise there). This means that we’ve got to nourish our body with a protein-dense meal, following a training session. Depending on the time of day, this may involve adding either an animal or plant-based source of protein to a meal.

For instance

• Breakfast – Scrambled eggs on multigrain toast
• Lunch – Chicken & salad sandwich
• Dinner – Tofu stir fry with veggies & brown rice

As you can see, nutrition is very important when it comes to maximising our bouldering ability. For a comprehensive plan, that encompasses your physical health, dietary preferences and goals around bouldering, book a consult with me at Nutrition for Living. I’ll be able to conduct a comprehensive nutrition assessment, which will enhance your bouldering performance for climbs to come! And who knows, with a nutritional adjustment, you may be the next Janja Garnbret!

Protein Chickpea Brownie - Recipe


• 1 can chickpeas, rinsed
• 3 tbsp chocolate protein powder
• 1/3 cup almond butter
• 1/4 cup maple syrup
• 2 tbsp cacao
• 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 cup chocolate chips
• 1/3 cup slivered almonds


1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray.
2. Excluding the chocolate chips and slivered almonds, place the ingredients into a food processor.
3. Blitz the mixture for 30 seconds, or until smooth.
4. Gently mix the chocolate chips and slivered almonds through the mixture. Pour into the baking tray.
5. Bake the brownie for 20 minutes and allow to cool for half an hour.

Nutrition for Living


Hello, I’m Annabel, the owner and principal dietitian of Nutrition for Living. 

I’ve always been passionate about the role food plays in physical, mental and emotional health. Hence, my decision to become a dietitian and optimise the health and wellbeing of the community!


  • Weight Loss

  • Nutrition Pre and Post Bariatric Surgery

  • Chronic disease management

    • Cardiovascular Disease - Heart Disease, High Blood pressure and High Cholesterol

    • Diabetes

    • Coeliac Disease

    • Crohn’s Disease

    • Ulcerative Colitis

    • Diverticular Disease

    • Malnutrition

    • Osteoporosis

  • Eating Disorder management - Anorexia, Bulimia & Binge Eating Disorder

  • IBS - Identification and Management

  • Sports Nutrition

Find Out More Here


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