What’s The Most Common Race-Day Fueling Mistake?

We were recently interview by LAVA Magazine.  They asked a number of great questions, with this one being the best:

LAVA: Despite all of the endurance fueling research out there today, what common fueling mistakes do you continue to see athletes making, and what is your number one piece of advice for athletes trying to figure out how to fuel for a half or full Ironman?

 I’ll tell you what, I have one piece of advice that will fix 95-percent of people’s fueling problems that lead to gut distress: You have to calculate all of the calories you consume and then you have to look at all of the fluids that you consume before you race and go from there. You want to consume 100 calories to every 12 ounces of fluid, minimum. Never any less than that. Obviously formulas differ, but if your concentrations are higher it’s likely that the osomlality will be too high and you won’t be emptying fluid from your gut but pulling it from your bloodstream and into your gut. And that is when all the gut problems start. And that can start simply by having a 200-calorie bar and not having enough fluid with it. Osmolality determines which way fluid travels. You want the water to flow from your gut, not into it.

This is a very common mistake that people make. They don’t pay attention when they are taking in fuel and fluid or they just focus on the fuel calories. So to give an example, if you plan on having 300 calories an hour on your bike, no matter in what form that comes in, gels, powders, bars, whatever; you then have to be planning to consume at least 36 ounces of fluid in that same hour. That should be far and away their number one priority when making a nutrition plan. It’s one of those things that I still have to counsel pro athletes on. Elite athletes who have been around a long time are still making this mistake. Every one of our athletes I work with very closely and that is one of the first things I have to work on with them, especially on the longer distances like 70.3 and Ironman. You can fake your way through shorter distances sometimes. The key is finding the right solution percentage. It’s as simple as that.

Read the full article.

2 responses to “What’s The Most Common Race-Day Fueling Mistake?”

  1. Gaby Fishpaw says:

    EFS Liquid shot squirts and gulps of water is all that you need for any long distance event. Just figure out how much of each and time them and you are set. Happy training!

  2. Peter says:

    The new trend is that people are consuming lots of calories these days.
    So if you’re one of them – here are few suggestions from my own racing (never have had any energy problems myself, and athletes I coach).
    IM racing – 1 bottle (24 oz) filled w/Liquid Shots – add little water for easier flow – can get 1600-2000 calories
    – 2 bottles of EFS drink – I make it about 200 calories in each bottle.
    – every time you use either one of the energy filled bottle – drink some water so it easier absorbed in your stomach.

    Try it first in your training so your can figure out the perfect consistency/solution that is easy for you to digest.

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