Race Day Nutrition Strategy
The Etape Royale is almost here so it is time to think about your race day fuelling strategy.
Where can I refuel?
There will be 6 feed stations on the 100 mile route as follows
Tarland -13 Miles
Tullynessie - 28 Miles
Rhynie - 37.5 Miles
Dufftown - 56 Miles
Tomintoul - 75.5 Miles
Lecht - 81 Miles
What is available for refuelling?
will be water available at every stop so if you are carrying drink
powders you will be able to mix them at any of the feed stations
addition there will be 3 sports nutrition products available. Wildfox
Events will be providing High 5 EnergySource 2:1 and this will also be
available at every feed station.
If you read my article on carb loading you will have seen the following passage
getting into the technicalities of specific carbohydrate blends and
formulations it is generally accepted that the maximum amount of
carbohydrate which can be absorbed and then utilised by the body is 60g
per hour – which equates to 240 Kcal of energy available to be used each
The 2:1 in the name ‘EnergySource 2:1’ refers to a
specific carbohydrate blend including fructose and this is what High 5
have to say about their product….
“EnergySource is a
scientifically formulated carbohydrate and electrolyte sports drink for
use during exercise. Research on traditional sports drinks suggests that
you can only consume 60g carbohydrate per hour. Using EnergySource with
2:1 fructose, you can consume substantially more carbohydrates – up to
90g per hour. That means you get 50% more energy!”
helps you to sustain your performance during endurance events and keeps
you hydrated by enhancing the absorption of water. “
electrolyte level in EnergySource should be adequate for most race
conditions. However, when sweat rates are very high, we recommend adding
a HIGH5 ZERO Neutral tab to EnergySource to boost the electrolyte
A 500ml bottle full of High 5 EnergySource
contains 176Kcal of energy, all of which comes from the 44g of
carbohydrate it contains. 104Kcal from the 26g of complex carb and
72Kcal from the 18g of simple carb
Also available at the Rhynie,
Dufftown and Tomintoul feed stations there will be CNP Professional
Endurance Gels and Pro Flapjack Bars.
CNP Endurance Gels are
multisource carbohydrate which (in the same way as the High 5 drink) is a
specific blend which extends your carbohydrate utilisation headroom up
towards the 90g per hour region.
Each gel provides 24g of Carbs
in total. This is made up of 8g of simple carb giving you a fast energy
delivery and 16g of complex carbs which release their energy more slowly
coming into play after the simple carbs have been used up which
provides a sustained and smooth energy delivery curve.
The CNP Endurance gels also contain a dose of Vitamin B3 B6 and B12 as well as some potassium and salt
Pro Flapjack Bars might seem an unusual product to include because
almost all of the 39g of carbohydrate they deliver is complex and
therefore slower releasing. Depending on flavour just 2.2g - 2.6g is the
more quickly available simple carb.
But I have chosen them for
good reason reason. The Pro Flapjack Bars have been selected to
compliment the other sports nutrition products available at this event.
Yes they give you a nice supply of sustained release energy but
crucially they also provide 18g of protein. Protein is so often
overlooked as part of an endurance fuelling strategy but it has a really
important role to play.
My carb loading article explained your
limits of carbohydrate absorption and utilisation and how in an event
like the Etape Royale your body will be looking for energy from other
At the effort levels involved in this event the most
likely alternative source will come from your lean muscle - metabolised
by the body to provide energy. This is the last thing you want:
sacrificing your hard won lean muscle in order to have the energy to
complete the event.
If you consume protein during the event it
means there is protein available in your system to be used for energy.
This will get used up before your body starts to scavenge your muscles.
The protein you are eating provides a safety blanket around your muscles
to protect them from being ‘eaten’ for energy.
The Pro Flapjack Bars will be available in Lemon Meringue, Chocolate Orange and Cookie Dough flavours.
The weather has an important part to play in your fuelling strategy
High 5 EnergySource drink and the CNP Endurance Gels can be thought of
as providing energy in a similar way just in a different form and this
becomes important depending on how hot it is and therefore how much you
are likely to sweat.
If it is hot, you will lose more fluids
through sweat and therefore the balance of your nutrition plan should
lean more towards the use of a hydrating drink.
If it is cooler
you will want to take more of your energy in from the gels otherwise you
may become over hydrated and have to keep stopping to let some of that
How Much / How Often…?
Now you have all
the information about the sports nutrition products, you can think
about creating a basic plan of which products you might use and how
often you would ingest them whilst trying to get close to but not over
90g of Carbs per hour
Little and often is the best way to go.
you have one, use the timer on your bike computer to set a reminder
alarm so you eat and drink regularly. It is surprisingly easy to forget
especially in the crucial early stages
The CNP Pro Flapjacks are quite substantial bars which take a good bit to chew up. Small bites work best. Little and often
addition to the sports nutrition there will be brownies and flapjacks
at many of the feedstations. These will be very high in simple carbs so
you need to use them sparingly to avoid a sugar rush which will cost you
later on. Small bites over a long period with these.
Lecht there will be savoury rolls, hot pies and soup available giving
you some nice wholefood options to enjoy after the battle up the hill –
just remember there is still one big climb between here and the finish!
you do reach the finish there will be sweet goodies available. Eating
or drinking something high in simple sugars soon after completing the
event will kick start your recovery process.
Ben Allum – Forensic Nutritionist
CORNERSTONE Tailored Performance Analysis