Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rapid Fire Answers to Some Race Day Nutrition Questions

i was recently asked the following questions for an article and figured i'd publish. my answers are short on purpose but might be helpful to some.

1. What foods are you eating during an ultramarathon (early vs late in the race)? How often do you eat (every hour, every 30 minutes?)

i try to get 200-300 calories per hour unless the wheels come off and there are certainly times where i'll eat more than that as tolerable. but i shoot for 250 or so. any more than that and i can't keep the pace i want as blood flow is in the stomach and not the legs. gels are the base and i eat every 20-30 minutes. after a few hours i'll have perpetuem mixed into a paste in a gel flask (bit of protein). i have my crew keep me away fro the junk food at the aid stations, like literally dont' let me in there. bananas and roch horton's turkey sliders have worked well for me - avocado wrapped in turkey. small bit size nuggets.

2. About how much sodium are you taking per hour (mg's), knowing that it depends on the weather, hot versus normal weather... Do you use S-Caps?

i don't use S caps. i use nuun (they are a sponsor too) and endurolytes. because nuun is flavored i'll end up drinking more than just water with pills. i keep the endurolytes as just in case backups. 360 mg of sodium per hour about - but it totally depends and i'm not a big sweater, or a salty (stained) sweater either.

3. About how many ounces of fluid are you consuming per hour? Hot versus Normal weather. Do you use an electrolyte drink or water or both?
i'll consume 16 oz when it's cold and as much as 30 when it's blazing hot. so the mid range is about 18-20oz per hour average.

4. Any tricks you have found to works when you start to get nauseous?

i've been blessed with an iron stomach (more curses then i care to mention). on the ocassion i need some settling down those little ginger chews are magic.

5. About how many calories do you consume per hour?
about 250


TD said...


An addition to the good advice you've given (from someone who DOESN'T have an iron gut- Keep the fluids as cold as possible. I keep my bottles on ice day or night. It helps the fluids drain faster from the stomach.

Cheto said...

I'm also a big fan of nuun, I use the big caps in my hand-held and still, apparently, don't drink enough; I average about 16oz per hour. Since I am a heavy sweater, difficult not to be in this humidity, I ought to ramp up to 1.5 bottles per hour. Very informative post. Thanks.

Mike L said...

Re. S Caps being garbage. Is this just a preference thing or do you have logical reasoning for this statement? I use them on my longer runs but was just curious on your reasoning.

Chippewa said...

spot on Matt. Hope you are feeling better and getting out there.


Hart said...

ty yes on hot days cold fluids do wonders and are well worth the effort. thanks for your input.

cheto - you gotta try the new banananuun and def the orange ginger which has become my new fav.

mile l - i have had a couple bad experiences with S caps. and i've read some internet flame from the guy who invented them that made me think very little of his opinion and therefore his product. i should have worded that different i think.. more p.c. perhaps?

SD100 said...

Yeah I was also a bit taken back by your unsupported S cap statement. You singlehandedly cured my asthma with your anti-dairy advocacy but it would seem that in the case of electrolytes you have a huge conflict of interest -- sponsorship by nuun. Like in any other serious industry, you should disclose all conflicts of interest before you make a statement like that or you risk coming off as a product pusher rather than the ultra expert that you are.

Hart said...

valid points all around. when i wrote the original it was in private. when i posted the responses i thought about S cap backlash but said, "screw it". i do have a bit more responsibility to the reader than that. so i've edited my comments as such.

i don't feel like i have to add comments to everything about my sponsor affiliation - it's all over the website already. it's pretty obvious.

thanks for being civil critics.