Ultra marathon nutrition: The brands you need to know about
You typically need to eat some gels or bananas to get yourself comfortably round a marathon circuit – but what are the best ultra marathon nutrition food types that you need if you’re running two or four times that distance? And what’s best to eat in the run-up to events like these?
BlueJam’s co-founder Kieran Alger is a veteran of ultra-running, having completed events such as the Marathon des Sables (running what’s essentially a marathon every day for a week through the Sahara Desert) and The Thames Path 100 (going 100 miles in one go along the River Thames). Here he talks to performance nutritionist Matt Gardner in an episode of Matt’s Big Feed Up HQ podcast to explain the foods and specific brands that can get you round these gruelling circuits.
The key ultra marathon nutrition food types
In the podcast, Kieran explains that natural foods work best for him in the build-up to a run, with good fats, high-quality protein and nutrient-rich veg in, and alcohol, sugar and grains out, as he trains this year to beat all of his running-distance personal bests.
As hard as this sounds to most people, Kieran ditched cereal, toast and croissants for breakfast, but instead would have a plate of things like smoked salad, avocado, nuts, olives, artichokes, cherry tomatoes. In conjunction with a targeted training programme, this helps get reduce body fat and build lean muscle over time. It also stabilises your blood sugar for the day, so you don’t suffer those energy slumps during the day.
For an ultra-run day itself, these are some of Kieran’s recommended go-to foods and brands:
- Generation UCAN: A sports nutrition drink you can sip every 10-15mins
- Handfuls of dates: Natural fruits with a sweet taste and good energy
- Watermelon: Kieran’s go-to fruit, providing to him by his support team at aid stations – it’s sweet and refreshing
- 33 Shake gels: These contain natural ingredients like chia seeds and Himalayan pink salt
- 33 Shake pre- and post-workout shakes: These have nuts and seeds in them, also very natural
- ProVeg pea protein powder: Mix this with 33 Shake shakes to help you keep moving during a 100-miler
- Pureed veg and fruit pouches: Inspired by Kieran’s 2-year-old son, this slightly eccentric idea helps to vary the taste of race food
Listen to the full podcast here:
In this series on our blog, Pulse, BlueJam gives you tips and insights that help you take action for your health and fitness, using the best brands’ products and services in this space.