What To Eat During
Beginner to intermediate participants
- Eat meals and snacks that are high in carbohydrates, and drink appropriate fluids at regular intervals. Eating every three hours should keep you on track.
- Meals can include sandwiches, wraps, rolls, noodle soups, rice and pasta.
- Snacks can include fruit, pikelets, muesli bars, fruit loaf with jam, and pretzels.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Drinking water is particularly important when eating a salty meal or snack. Otherwise, sports drinks are a good way to stay well hydrated and they provide carbohydrates for your muscles.
Intermediate to advanced participants
- Every hour, try to eat one gram of carbohydrate per kilogram of bodyweight. The minimum amount is 60 grams per hour. So if you weigh 75 kilograms, that’s 75 grams of carbohydrates per hour.
- If you’re part of an advanced team and you’re aiming to finish the event in close to record time, your carbohydrates will primarily come from sports drinks and sports gels. This helps to avoid the discomfort of having bulky food in your stomach while travelling at high intensities.
- Try out sports drinks and gels while you’re training to ensure they work well with your body.
- Try to consume gels with water. Drinking gels with sports drinks often raises your carbohydrate levels too high and can cause indigestion.
- Plan when you’ll eat and drink. It’s often hard to replenish carbohydrates and/or rehydrate once you’ve ‘hit the wall’.
- Drinking water and eating carbohydrates and protein is important for recovery.
- Fifteen to thirty minutes after the event, have a snack that includes some carbohydrates and protein. This will help you recover effectively. During this time your muscles can easily absorb carbohydrate and protein.
- Make sure you drink plenty of fluids 24 to 48 hours after the event. Try sports drinks if you need to recover more quickly.
- Avoid drinking alcohol after the event. It has a negative impact on the recovery of nutrition and on soft-tissue injury caused by exercise.
- Maintaining the right level of hydration is essential for events like Oxfam Trailwalker. In extreme cases, over-hydration can result in a severe medical condition called hyponatremia. On the other hand, failing to hydrate sufficiently can lead to significant health consequences like dehydration.
- Have a drinking plan and stick to it — this will ensure you maintain a good level of hydration. Drink to your plan, not to your thirst. Know the distance between each checkpoint and what you will drink at each checkpoint. (Water and sports drinks are available at each checkpoint.)
- A general rule of thumb is to drink 250ml every 15 minutes. However it’s beneficial, particularly for advanced teams, to consult a health professional for a personal hydration strategy.