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Nutrition for Ultra Marathons

Nutrition for Ultra Marathons

Ultra Running Nutrition

Ensuring you're adequately fueled for your ultra marathon is paramount to maintaining energy levels and maximising performance, especially during endurance endeavours lasting 60 minutes or more. While traversing challenging terrain, your body utilises its glycogen stores as its primary energy source. Failing to replenish glycogen levels sufficiently can lead to fatigue, reduced concentration, and a decrease in pace.

Energy gels and drinks are indispensable for refueling during ultra marathons. Gels provide concentrated doses of carbohydrates in a convenient, easily digestible form, perfect for rapid energy boosts whilst on the move. Conversely, energy drinks offer carbohydrates in a more diluted form, ensuring a steady supply of fuel with every sip. Aim to consume between 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour from gels and/or drinks when undertaking ultra marathons lasting over 60 to 90 minutes. This refueling strategy will help maintain your endurance and keep you performing optimally amidst the demanding conditions of the trail.

Energy Nutrition


Recovery Nutrition




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To excel in ultra marathons, hydration is key both before and during your runs to maintain optimal performance and prevent dehydration. Prioritise consuming up to 500ml of fluids 2-3 hours before your run to ensure you're adequately hydrated. During lengthier ultra runs, aim for hydration intervals of 100 to 200ml every 20 to 30 minutes to replace fluids lost through sweat. While water may suffice for shorter outings, opt for hydration drinks during runs lasting over 60 minutes to replenish essential electrolytes lost through perspiration.

For effective recovery post-run, it's crucial to replenish both carbohydrates and protein, using a recovery drink within 30 to 60 minutes. Aim for a protein intake of 0.3-0.5 grams per kilogram of body weight to support muscle repair and growth. Convenient options such as recovery bars or drinks offer a swift and efficient means of refueling. By promptly replenishing your body's nutrients, you'll alleviate muscle soreness and pave the way for future ultra marathon achievements, bolstering your strength and endurance.

Ultra Marathon Nutrition: Insights

Nutrition for Ultra Marathons: FAQs

How should I fuel during an ultra marathon?

It's crucial to consume a balanced mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to sustain energy levels. Energy gels, bars, and drinks are popular options for quick and convenient fueling on the go. You could pick up a Monthly Nutrition Box from us, which gives you a new selection of products every month!

How often should I eat and drink during an ultra marathon?

Aim to eat small, frequent snacks every 30-60 minutes and drink fluids every 20-30 minutes to replenish lost electrolytes and maintain hydration levels.

What should I eat before an ultra marathon?

Prioritize easily digestible carbohydrates like oatmeal, bananas, or toast with peanut butter. Avoid heavy or greasy foods that may cause stomach discomfort during your run.

How can I prevent stomach issues during an ultra marathon?

Experiment with different foods and hydration strategies during your training runs to determine what works best for your body. Avoid trying new foods or drinks on race day to minimize the risk of digestive problems.

What should I do if I start feeling fatigued during an ultra marathon?

Slow down your pace, take regular walk breaks, and focus on staying hydrated and refueling with snacks. Listen to your body and adjust your strategy accordingly to avoid hitting the wall.

Are there any specific nutrition tips for running in hot weather?

In hot conditions, it's essential to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and replenish electrolytes lost through sweat. Consider using electrolyte tablets or sports drinks to maintain hydration levels.

How can I recover effectively after completing an ultra marathon?

Refuel with a combination of carbohydrates and protein within 30-60 minutes post-race to support muscle repair and recovery. Rest, hydrate, and engage in light stretching or foam rolling to aid recovery.

What are some general tips for successfully completing an ultra marathon?

Pace yourself conservatively, break the race into manageable segments, and stay mentally focused by setting short-term goals. Listen to your body, adapt to changing conditions, and draw motivation from the camaraderie of fellow runners.

Choosing the Best Ultra Marathons Fuel

You can utilise our complimentary nutrition calculator to determine the precise amount of fuel required for your upcoming. Our free tool is designed to assist you in planning your nutritional intake, ensuring that you have the optimal energy levels to perform at your best during the event.

By inputting relevant details such as your training intensity, body weight, and the duration of your run, our calculator will generate a personalised nutrition plan tailored to your specific needs.

Take the guesswork out of your fuelling strategy and enhance your performance with our user-friendly nutrition calculator.