Ultrarunning Nutritional & Hydration Research
This past July another edition of the Al Andalus Ultra-Trail was held in South Spain under an extremely hot environment. This is a highly demanding multi-stage race with a total of 219Km to be run in 5 days in a semi-supported fashion. This year the race was won by Lahcen Ahansal in 18h11m with Joe Symonds and Widy Grego second and third respectively. But the race had an unusual scientific side which has been recently made public.
The Coventry University conducted a research during the entire race with the self-explanatory title “Assessment of Nutritional & Hydration Habits of Ultra-Marathon Runners During a Semi Self-Sufficient Ultra-Marathon Competition in a hot Ambient Environment: 2010 Al Andalus Ultra-trail”. So now, with the goal of making the information available to all ultra runners in the world, a couple of documents have been published on the race website:
Assessment of Nutritional & Hydration Habits of Ultra-Marathon Runners (PDF): the overall results and recommendations extracted from the study as well as a summary of the data collected form the 40 runners.
General Sports Nutrition & Dietary Guidelines & Recommendations (PDF): general recommendations for multi-stage ultra runners in terms of energy intake, fiber, vitamin and protein necessities, electrolyte and hydration requirements and even urine color guide.
The general recommendations go from the obvious carbo-loading prior the start of the competition to modifying fat profile by focusing on predominantly monounsaturated based fats or the aim of achieving
intakes of ~60g/hr of carbohydrates during the effort. But for those interested in the subject, I totally recommend reading the research documentation for the details and figures.