Organic / Natural Nutrition for Ironman race day
Patrick B Posts: 6
I have a 140.6 race in 14 weeks and looking to experiment with more natural (preferably organic) fueling in training now to use on race day end September. Currently use a combination of gels / carb drinks and bars with banana / oranges supplements at stations but looking to filter out the synthetic gels / drinks and bars as much as possible.
are you looking for specific products (organic/natural) or just normal food? do you know what the 140.6 race will have at the feed stations, or will you need to carry your own food for the day? some races have 'special needs' spots on the ride/run routes so that you can drop specific things off for collection mid-race.
i've had a few mule bars and they are edible enough. no idea about calorie density. they have some decent flavours as well (cinnamon, liquorice). clif bars are ok and i've taken trek bars on rides without probems (but this is me and you may find different). torq claim to be organic (soil association cert), and i'm sure i've had some in the past - again, another company with an interesting range of flavours.
i'd be interested to hear what you think - i did long distance last year on the usual range of refined sugarry crap probably supplemented with artificial flavouring. always good to hear other people's experiences!
If you have the time and inclination I recommend making your own booster bars. This is a good recipe: http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/chefs/hugh-fearnley-whittingstall/honey-and-peanut-butter-booster-bars
I experiment with different seeds and nuts etc and find them *much* tastier and more fuel-effective than the shop-bought ones. Cheaper too. For races I add two bananas to the mix and it makes the whole thing very moist and therefore super-easy to digest and chew at speed.
I also recommend you get hold of a copy of Rich Roll's book Finding Ultra (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-Ultra-Rejecting-Becoming-Discovering/dp/0307952207) Personally I can take or leave all his cobbled-together spiritual gubbins but his advice on natural nutrition is second to none.
Find myself with the same conundrum doing IM Frankfurt in two weeks - have opted with a combination of powerbar goodies (as this will be supplied) together with good old marmite sandwiches using the savoury to offset the gloop! Cut small and wrapped in foil these are actually easier to open and much more welcome than anything prepackaged (tried and tested!). Good luck with the race!
Thought I'd post an update and to say thanks again.
I've used my own homemade flapjacks with varying ingredients for a number of years but they disintegrated and melted (I added chocolate to them to make them a little easier on the palate) when I did the Mallorca 70.3 in May so packaging is an aspect that helps with store bought products. The other by-product of homemade is roughage which made running uncomfortable.
So I bought Trek, Mule and Cliff bars (mixtures of each including recovery, energy and gels where available) and trying each for a week roughly to try get a good feel for them through a full 7 days training cycle.
1st week down and I went through the Mule Energy Bars / Recovery Protein Bars and Gels. Taste is ok to good but sweeter than Id like, not the best mix of GI aspects - ie a quick spike and then a bit of a crash with a late onset surge again after roughly an hour. Would prefer a steadier calorie delivery curve. Lastly, the Mule Energy Bars reacted slightly badly with my stomach which produced a byproduct of slightly uncomfortable gas.
Start of 2nd week, cliff bars are proving great, a better more constant delivery and a better taste.
Will update once Ive tried the Trek bars as well.
Thanks again for your help.
Torq gels are 'all natural' I think and I like most of the flavours
otherwise I have used oatcakes before, stick 2 together with PB or honey and you have something quite natural and 'proper food' an oatcake has 49 calories so 2 with some honey or PB would be about the same as a typical gel.
Have you looked at these two great books?
The feed zone
Feed zone portables
The first is aimed more at pre/post nutrition but does have some of the portable recipes, while the portables book is as it says on the tin - lots of snacks you make yourself aimed at fueling you on long rides. The main point is it's food that you actually want to eat + it's well hydrated so you're not having to drink additional fluids as you do with the bars. I use the feed zone book all the time for evening meals/snacks/breakfast, can't recommend it enough.
I love this question. I am the owner if a new brand of energy gels so this is obviously one sided but accurate. There are two types of gel currently available, water based gels that have to contain chemical preservatives (torq, sis, high5 etc.) and natural gels which contain no preservatives as they are made up of syrups. Both have a downside, water based gels have preservatives that can cause GI problems and asthma, the natural gels are too sweet and thick and you have to consume with water.
we have patented a technique for manufacturing water based preservative free gels, they are the worlds first. These have a downside as well as they are expensive to make.
if you are interested see www.pushnutrition.eu
Have you looked at 9 bars or NAKD bars? Making your own is always an option.
Can I ask why you want to go down the natural route?