Feeding Strategies of a Female Athlete During an Ultraendurance Running Event

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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The aim of this case study was to describe the race nutrition practices of a female runner who completed her first 100-km off-road ultraendurance running event in 12 hr 48 min 55 s. Food and fluid intake during the race provided 10,890 kJ (736 kJ/hr) and 6,150 ml (415 ml/hr) of fluid. Hourly reported carbohydrate intake was 44 g, with 34% provided by sports drink. Hourly carbohydrate intake increased in the second half (53 g/hr) compared with the first half (34 g/h) of the race, as the athlete did not have access to individualized food and fluid choices at the early checkpoints and felt satiated in the early stages of the race after consuming a prerace breakfast. Mean sodium intake was 500 mg/hr (52 mmol/L), with a homemade savory broth and sports drink (Gatorade Endurance) being the major contributors. The athlete consumed a variety of foods of varying textures and tastes with no complaints of gastrointestinal discomfort. Despite thinking she would consume sweet foods exclusively, as she had done in training, the athlete preferred savory foods and fluids at checkpoints during the latter stages of the race. This case study highlights the importance of the sports nutrition team in educating athletes about race-day nutrition strategies and devising a simple yet effective system to allow them to manipulate their race-day food and fluid intake to meet their nutritional goals.

The authors are with Sports Nutrition, Australian Institute of Sport, Belconnen, ACT, Australia.