Food For Thought
To get you across the finish line at Oxfam Trailwalker, adequate nutrition and hydration are just as important as your fitness training. You may not be able to complete the 100 kilometres if you don’t provide your body with the fuel it needs. And, on a more serious note, if you don’t drink enough liquids — or not the right types — you may find yourself in hospital.
Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are all fuel for your body. Carbohydrates and fats are your primary energy source during exercise. Most people have a plentiful store of fats in their bodies – enough to last 100 kilometres and beyond – however the body’s store of carbohydrates is limited. That’s why it’s essential to replenish these stores during an endurance event like Oxfam Trailwalker.
- Carbohydrates are your main fuel source during high-intensity exercise.
- Your body only stores limited amounts of carbohydrates, so it’s essential to replace them to avoid ‘hitting the wall’.
- Foods that contains carbohydrates include bread, cereals, starchy vegetables, legumes (e.g. lentils), fruit and their juices, dairy products, sugars, honey, soft drinks, cordial and confectionary
- Scientifically-formulated sports foods (e.g. sports drinks and gels) will also provide carbohydrates (and electrolytes) and assist with hydration. Sports drinks will be provided along the trail, but remember to test them during training.
- Proteins are building blocks for your muscles.
- People who are in the early stages of an exercise program may require more protein than people who don’t regularly exercise but, in reality, most people already consume enough protein to meet this extra requirement.
- Foods that contains protein include meat (red, white and fish), dairy, eggs, nuts and legumes (e.g. lentils). Other foods provide small amounts of protein.
- Your body only needs a small amount of dietary fat, which provides fat-soluble vitamins and assists with other bodily functions.
- Your body will use fat as fuel during the event, but you probably don’t need to increase your fat intake during training or the event (unless you’re trying to prevent weight loss). Your body probably already has enough fat available for the event.
- Foods that contain fats include meat, dairy, eggs, margarine, oils, nuts, seeds, fried foods, takeaway foods, certain confectionary and bakery goods.