The Best Nutrition for Ultra Endurance Sports

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The Best Nutrition for Ultra Endurance Sports

Man Running on Side of Road

Keeping your diet balanced and healthy is important for every day people leading a normal life. However, if you participate in ultra-endurance sports it is even more essential that you are eating a nutritious diet which will go far in benefiting your every day life and your sport. When it comes to food it can be hard to know where to start as there are so many different articles saying different things – That’s where we come in. We have gathered information from sport enthusiasts and nutritionists to give you the information that you need. This article is split into the categories: Motorcross, Cycling and Running. However, each section is extremely helpful no matter what your sport is.

The Best Nutrition for Motocross


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Contributor: Jessica Steele

Organisation: Color More Lines



Three Red Apples on Wooden Surface

Apples are perfect for long motocross competitions since they are a great source of both long-term and short-term energy. In addition to their antioxidant-rich composition, apples are packed with natural vitamins and sugars which are slowly released throughout the body. In fact, an apple can do way more for your energy levels than any coffee in the world and won’t cause any crash afterward.

Contributor: Samantha Morrison

Organisation: Glacier Wellness


The Best Nutrition for Long Distance Cycling


Selective Focus Photo of Rotini Pasta

Carbohydrates are needed during any exercise greater than 60-90 minutes in duration to avoid a decline in performance. This also helps to avoid the use of protein from your muscle or from the protein you eat. For exercise 1-2.5 hours in duration, 30-60 grams of carbohydrate should be eaten per hour. For exercise longer than 2.5-3 hours, 90 grams of carb per hour should be consumed, coming from multiple transportable carbohydrates (i.e. glucose and fructose) for maximal absorption. Electrolyte replacement is also essential, especially with the added heat from the safety gear and helmet, or for those riders who are heavy sweaters. A sports drink that provides a combination of carbohydrates and electrolytes is a great option during exercise and can help counter any electrolyte losses from sweat to maximize performance. Easy fueling sources during a training session or competition day include gels, chews, bars, and electrolyte drinks. Many riders like food with different consistencies and flavors, so a combination of these sources is most desirable and can help to make sure you’re meeting your needs.

Contributor: Melissa Halas

Organisation: Melissas’ Healthy Living



Image result for pro bar

This brand provides nutrition and energy bars, energy chews and nut butters to some of the country’s most elite athletes. The brand provides healthy meal replacement and snack options that aim to make healthy eating simple regardless of what the day may throw at you. The newest product innovation form the brand is packed with 10g of plant-based protein, teeming with over one billion CFUs of live probiotics contains zero added sugar, preservatives or emulsifiers, and is USDA Certified Organic.

Contributor: Abby Wells

Organisation: Rachel Kay Public Relations


Best Nutrition for Ultra Endurance Running

Protein and Carbs

Raw Meat on Brown Wooden Surface

Since most of the training for ultras is a combination of tempo runs, intervals, and endurance, it’s important to fuel accordingly. This is not necessarily a good time to attempt to lose a bunch of weight fast, because your body needs the fuel to recover from these runs. For your shorter runs, simple carbs, such as bananas, pastries (lower fat), give you the energy you need. Alongside adequate protein and fats, those quick carbs before your workouts on those days will benefit you the best. For your longer runs, you want a bit more slowly digesting carbs, like oatmeal, and a bit of protein, such as whey casein mix, to make sure your blood glucose levels are stable throughout the run.

Contributor: Paige Johnson

Organisation: The Diet Doc Kirksville


Staying Hydrated

Fluid Pouring in Pint Glass

Adequate hydration starts in the days leading up to your event, not just race morning. You want to be waking up well hydrated, particularly as Ultras often start early morning. This may include the usual water over the day, along with electrolytes &/or sports drink to improve absorption of fluid while also bumping up carbs.

The use of glycerol for hyper hydration is now off the WADA banned list, so can be used to further maximize hydration particularly for warm/humid events.

Contributor: Alicia Edge

Organisation: Compeat Nutrition



Written by Chloe Molineux

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