Nutrition for a hot ultra marathon

Written By Renee McGregor

Renee is a leading Sports and Eating Disorder specialist dietitian with 20 years experience working in clinical and performance nutrition. She is also an Ultra X Ambassador.

22 September 2022

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ULTRA MARATHON FUELLING IN THE HEAT

Fuelling an ultra-marathon is one thing, but trying to do so in the heat, now that’s just a whole other ballgame. When we’re hot our appetite massively decreases, this is because our body is essentially trying to keep cool. All the body’s functions, including digestion create heat within the body. A body working hard to keep cool will suppress appetite to lessen its workload. Additionally, with heat comes perspiration. You do not only lose water when you perspire, you lose vitamins and minerals. The loss of vitamins and minerals can contribute to chemical imbalances within the body that can suppress appetite. Now, when running an ultra-marathon, you simply can’t afford to go too long without taking something on board. With every step comes more calories used up, so it’s essential you stay on top of taking fuel on board.

We spoke to our head of diet, Renee McGregor about her tips for staying topped up in the heat ahead of Jordan 250 race…

“The key areas to consider when running in heat is hydration, electrolyte losses but also carbohydrate intake.

In heat, your core temperature rises more which means you work harder at a given pace and deplete your glycogen stores quicker than at temperate or cooler climates.

Aiming to take on 60-90g of carbs per hour consistently is critical but also ensuring you replace your salts alongside to help with hydration and absorption of carbohydrate. In ultras we usually recommend a minimum of 700mg of sodium per 1 litre of fluid consumed but some individuals may have higher requirements than this. The amount per litre of fluid consumed is the important factor here.

Personally, I have found diluting the 2-3 Veloforte Riba gels in 500ml water really helpful to deliver carbs, electrolytes and fluid.”

 Our official nutrition partner Veloforte are our go-to recommendation when it comes to sports nutrition. Their versatile range of products offer something for everyone, across every race distance. From bars, to chews to gels, Veloforte offer an all-natural answer to your sports nutrition needs. Kind on the gut, easy to onboard, and absolutely delicious – we can’t think of a better way to top up your cals whilst you run! Bonus, their quick-release Energy Chews & Gels have electrolytes in them too. If you need an extra hit, give their hydration mixes a try – fruity in flavour and packing in both carbs and electrolytes. Their new hydration mix, Passo, offers an excellent and delicious way to ensure you keep beating the heat. Prefer something with caffeine? Fuel with Attivo, which has a 3-in-1 mix of energy, electrolytes and natural caffeine. Perfect to revive, refocus & rehydrate all day long.

So, if you’re heading to Jordan next week, or planning one of our warmer races next year head to the Veloforte website and use code ULTRA-X-JB75KL at checkout for 30% off.

Veloforte Products

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