Sports Medicine

, Volume 42, Issue 11, pp 915–927 | Cite as

Nutrition for Adventure Racing

  • Mayur K. Ranchordas
Review Article


Adventure racing requires competitors to perform various disciplines ranging from, but not limited to, mountain biking, running, kayaking, climbing, mountaineering, flat- and white-water boating and orienteering over a rugged, often remote and wilderness terrain. Races can vary from 6 hours to expedition-length events that can last up to 10-consecutive days or more. The purpose of this article is to provide evidence-based nutritional recommendations for adventure racing competitors. Energy expenditures of 365–750 kcal/hour have been reported with total energy expenditures of 18 000–80 000 kcal required to complete adventure races, and large negative energy balances during competitions have been reported. Nutrition, therefore, plays a major role in the successful completion of such ultra-endurance events. Conducting research in these events is challenging and the limited studies investigating dietary surveys and nutritional status of adventure racers indicate that competitors do not meet nutrition recommendations for ultra-endurance exercise. Carbohydrate intakes of 7–12g/kg are needed during periods of prolonged training to meet requirements and replenish glycogen stores. Protein intakes of 1.4–1.7g/kg are recommended to build and repair tissue. Adequate replacement of fluid and electrolytes are crucial, particularly during extreme temperatures; however, sweat rates can vary greatly between competitors. There is considerable evidence to support the use of sports drinks, gels and bars, as they are a convenient and portable source of carbohydrate that can be consumed during exercise, in training and in competition. Similarly, protein and amino acid supplements can be useful to help meet periods of increased protein requirements. Caffeine can be used as an ergogenic aid to help competitors stay awake during prolonged periods, enhance glycogen resynthesis and enhance endurance performance.


Caffeine Endurance Athlete Amino Acid Supplement Sport Drink Mountain Bike 
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The author has no conflicts of interest directly relevant to the content of this review. No sources of funding were provided in the preparation of this review.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Academy of Sport and Physical ActivitySheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK

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