Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Hydration and nutrition systems/strategies

OK. Although there are many things I will do differently when I do a race like Ouachita again, but one particular issue is hydration and nutrition. I had a difficult time drinking on schedule using bottles. There seemed to be few good times to take a hand off the bars and manage a bottle. The same problem applied to the Gu packs.

I'd really like to hear what you use, why you chose that approach, and how you manage it.


Jeff Kerkove said...

Having done this race last year....I knew where and when I could eat/drink. Most of my eating and drinking took place on the open road sections.

As far as what I used....
- 60 oz hydro pack with ELETE and water
24 oz bottle of Hammer Perpetum
2 Power Bars
1 Hammer Gel Flask

This got me through the entire race with some nutrition left over. Plus, I did not use any of the aide stations.

Jason said...

I've been goign with water or Heed in my pack and bottles of high powered double strength Perpetuem/Gel mix.

That way a quick sip from my bottle gets me calories etc., and the pack is keeping me hdrated. I don't eat solids to well on the bike, Usually results in me crashing or choking it back up ;)

Good luck.


bryan said...

Jeff's mention of the gel flask is key. I don't do well with a mouthful of GU or Power Gel or anything like that. Yuck. The flask allows you to mix the gel and an equal amount of water so you can drink it, rather than slurping a mouthful of gunk.

In my marathon preparations and my only bike race, that was a big part of keeping the legs turning. I had it in my back pocket. No sweat.

Danielle said...


I used a 50 ounce Wingnut (it sits lower on the back so your shoulders don't get sore) and I filled up a water bottle with 7 scoops of sustained energy. My water bottle was used just for the calories. It normally works great!

Anonymous said...

Use a Camelbak on the long, technical races. It hold plenty of water, allows you to drink with both hands on the bars, and doubles as a good spine protector in case you crash. Slip your eGel or GU packs under your shorts on top of your legs, they stay put, and you can get to them easily. An empty water bottle is good to have on the bike, a quick stop at the water breaks, fill it up, chug it, and off you go. I like eGel, it has more sodium. Carboom seems to give a quicker fix...but eGel lasts longer. Mix that with eCaps. And pound a Powerbar right before the start, you'll fell better an hour into the race than if you don't eat one.
-Bob from Kansas City...the guy you passed right before the finish at Landahl...doh!

sydney_b said...

Danielle, that's the pack I was trying to remember the name of. I was thinking that something that sat a little lower would be easier to ride with. I'm going to check that out.

Really appreciate the calorie tips from the rest of you. I was running short and not getting that ~250/hr back into my system.

I'm gonna practice with some of your suggestions and figure out what works best for me for the next long race. Whoa. Did I just say I was going to do another one of these things? Criminey. I must be getting a twisted view of fun.

Or the company is pretty darn great. (I think it's the latter)


Chris said...

Syd - I haven't taken up mtb again as you probably know. However, I used to ride with a 70oz Camel Back Packster which is basically just big enough to fit the bladder in with a little room for a tube and tools. That thing was fantastic. Some of these new ones look like frame packs for hiking if you ask me. I went to the Packster because I kept dropping bottles, etc.

As for the food this may sound wierd. I have tried most of the gels and bars and drinks. I still think that Rice Crispie treats and Red Bull work best for me. Kinda wierd but for me it works.

VeloCC said...

Syd, I have different types of hydration packs. I myself don't take the time to stop and drink during longer races. You are more than welcome to try one of them out before you invest money into them.

Marc said...

what ever u do write it down in the athlete comment section so as to have a recall for the next race.

Lot's of choices. Maybe what works best for you is the best. Experiment. You've got lots of training time to do that.

I'll give you a sound scientific basis. Give me some input on the races, time of year, what you do now ect... Nutrition timing is a cool process when done right.

Marc said...

As your coach that's what you're paying me for :)

3p0 said...

I go with water bottles, a few with water, a few with gatorade,

and tigermilk bars in my pockets..

I can usualy ride well enough in places to ride no handed and open a bar, or one handed and deal with a bottle, and when it gets harry I just grab back onto the bars and let the bottle dangle in my mouth...heck, sometimes I just stop and drink...

but then again. I'm not in the fast elete catagory, so my advice is probably nul and void for the fast podium seekers....

sydney_b said...

cvo, ur info is never null and void. :) I'm looking for a full run-down on how folks who survived this sort of thing in good fashion approached the hydration/nutrition issue. Thx for lettin' me know what u did.

dale said...

I've recently switched from GU to the Cliff Bloks. Like the consistancy and taste. Remove from the bag and put in my back jersey pocket. Quick, easy to reach back and pull one or two out. No slime on the gloves, no wrapper pollution or slimed jersey pocket. Haven't tried in hot weather yet.

Camelbak with Accerade. Water bottle for drink, cooling head, flushing out eyes, etc.

Belated congrats on your Ouachita win!

Neve_r_est said...

2 bottles of Hammer Nutrition's Heed/Sustained Energy mix(2scoops of each per bottle), 50oz water in the pack, 1 flask Hammer gel expresso flavor. Nature Valley Nut bars in case I run completely out of fuels, or I need something solid.

Packs can allow for safer hydration in the hairier trails. You can position the bitevalve so you don't have to reach for it, just turn your head slightly, bite, and drink.

Gel flask for gels so you don't have to fiddle with packets or their waste. I keep my flask on my pack strap so it's readily available. Also tape the screw on cap to the flask to keep it from unscrewing during the ride.

I'm currently using a Camelback Mule, but I let it ride low on my back. I'll prolly look into the Wingnut soon, as the accessable wing pockets would be handy for the ultradistance stuff. Those wings might cause trouble on super tight trails, but thats why I have more than one pack.

Expandable packs that can be cinched down when empty are great when carrying gear for changing weather conditions. Waist and sternum straps are highly recommended to keep the pack from swinging around on the trail. Hydrapack bladders are nice for their large opening and ability to turn them inside out for cleaning.

Nutrition needs vary greatly person to person, you'll have to experiment to figure out what works for you. Having your daily diet mapped out puts you many steps ahead of the game.