Spartan Race Nutrition

What Should You Eat And Drink For A Spartan Ultra Or Worlds Toughest Mudder?EndurElite Chief Endurance Officer Matt Mosman has your answer to keep you strong from start to finish

Nutrition Fast Facts For Spartan Beast And World's Toughest Mudder

  • 60-90 grams of carbs an hour.
  • 16-25 ounces of fluid an hour.
  • Carb load three days before.
  • Big breakfast day of the race.
  • Nutrition/hydration can come from water, sports drink, gels, chews, waffles, etc.
  • At some point, you're going to want to eat what your body craves...go for it!
  • Opt for amino acids instead of protein during the race.

Video Transcription:

Good morning, family of fast. Matt Mosman, the Chief Endurance Officer over at EndurElite. November 10th, Georgia. The World's Toughest Mudder 24-Hour Championship is going down. Five-mile laps, 20 to 25 obstacle per lap of pure fun and pure hell. So, you've done the training, you're feeling prepared, but what about your nutrition and hydration during the race? Now, during that 24-hour period, if you get 25 miles, if you get 50 miles, if you get 75 miles, if you get over 100 miles, nutrition and hydration are gonna be of vital importance to help you feeling strong from start to finish. So, that's what we're really gonna talk about today. How to eat and drink, whether you're doing it solo or as part of a relay team.

Nutrition Leading Up To Your Obstacle Course Race

So, let's just jump right into this. Your nutrition is actually gonna start about three days before the race. So, the three days leading up to the race, you are gonna wanna increase your carbohydrate consumption to about 8 to 12 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram body weight daily. And what this is gonna do is it's going to supersaturate muscle glycogen stores. So, the simplest way to think about it is your fuel tank is topped off and ready to go. So, that's three days before the race whether you're doing it solo or as part of a relay,

Race Day Spartan Race Nutrition

Now, race day, the race is going off at 12 p.m. So, you're gonna wake up as usual, you're gonna eat a breakfast high in carbohydrates with a little bit of protein and a little bit of fat. And what you're gonna shoot for here is about 200 to 300 grams of carbohydrate. So, you finish up your breakfast, between breakfast and the time the race starts, you're gonna wanna keep on consuming a little bit of carbohydrate here and there. And then about an hour before the start of the race, you're gonna wanna do a quick carbohydrate source like a gel, a sports drink like SustainElite, etc., just basically to get blood glucose levels elevated and to top off muscle glycogen stores.

Nutrition 60 Minutes Before Your Tough Mudder

Now, this is also the point where you could take PerformElite, 30 minutes before the start of the race or 30 minutes before you start your portion of the relay leg. Now, with PerformElite during the 24 hours, you wanna take your initial dose 30 minutes before and then you can take it every 4 to 6 hours thereafter as needed. So, that's right before the race starts.

Nutrition During Your Obstacle Course Race

Now, let's talk about during the race if you're running solo first. Now, for the first, I would say two and a half to three hours, you're gonna wanna consume about 60 grams of carbohydrate per hour. Now, you can get this in the form of a sports drink like SustainElite, you can do it with a gel, one of my favorite gels, Spring Energy. You can do it as a combination of those two things. You can do waffles, you can choose whatever you wanna do there, it really doesn't matter the combination during those first two and a half to three hours just as long as you're getting the carbohydrate to keep blood glucose levels elevated, that's key.

Now, as you go over the two and a half to three-hour mark, you're gonna wanna bump your carbohydrate up to about 90 grams an hour or about 360 calories from carbohydrate per hour. And there's a reason for this. Once you get above that 60 grams of carbohydrate, your body can utilize more, but of key importance here is with the 90 grams of carbs, you have to get it from different sources. So, you can't just get a carbohydrate, say, like dextrose and use it solely and expect your body to absorb it. You want a combination of carbohydrates once you get above that 60 grams an hour. That's why we include the different carbohydrates in SustainElite. Like, ideally, you could use SustainElite as your sole source of nutrition and hydration during the World's Toughest Mudder 24-Hour Championship. But, that may not be too practical for some people because sometimes you just gotta eat what you crave, which I was reminded by Ryan Woods today, he's like, "I like eating cheese pizza during these 24-hour races." And that is perfectly fine.

So, in a nutshell, again, during the first two and a half to three hours of the race, consume about 60 grams of carbs per hour and after that, and if you can stomach it, you bump that up to 90 grams of carbs an hour. Now, you wanna be able to train your gut to utilize this amount and I'm gonna go off on a little tangent here. So, leading up to your race if you haven't done so already in training, you wanna train your gut to basically utilize that 90 grams of carbohydrates. So, during your long training runs, you're gonna wanna consume about 1.5 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram body weight during training to get your gut used to that bolus amount of carbs to the 90 grams of carbs an hour. So, that's for a person running solo for the 24 hours.

Now, if you're running a relay race, you know, a lot of the stuff as far as preparation beforehand, nutrition is gonna apply. But as far as what you need to consume, like during your running portion, like if you're out there for underneath an hour on your portion of the lap, you're really not gonna need to bring anything with you, honestly. I mean, if you're out there for an hour last, you have enough glycogen to last you and then you come back in and you can rest and you can refuel with carbs, a little bit of protein or a good choice would be like RecoverElite, for you relay racers between your laps, you could do a scoop or two of this. Or even for you, though, you of those people who are doing the solo race if you're resting in the transition area between your laps. So, again, for the relay portion, I mean, you're prepping beforehand with your breakfast, your carbs leading up 60 minutes before you run your lap. And you're gonna wanna get back in and you're going to wanna eat and drink and get basically fueled up for your next lap.

Hydration During Your Spartan Or Tough Mudder Race

So, that is fueling in a nutshell in terms of getting the right amount of calories, again, to keep blood glucose levels elevated. Now, what about hydration? This is a tricky one because, you know, it can depend on the weather, it can depend on how heavy you sweat, etc., etc. But as a point of reference, your body can absorb about 50 milliliters of any kind of fluid per minute. But you really don't wanna go with that because it can cause sloshy gut. So, ideally, you wanna consume about 750 milliliters of fluid per hour or about 25 ounces. Now, you don't wanna chug it all at once, you wanna sip on it during the race and this will keep you well-hydrated. Now, in theory, 25 ounces sound great, but I know a lot of you can't stomach that. So, I would just say drink to thirst. I mean, that's a pretty good way to do it.

How To Carry Your Fuel And Hydration During An Obstacle Course Race

Now, what about how the heck are you gonna carry, like, all this hydration during the race? Well, I mean, you can go with a handheld. I would suggest like a little CamelBak or as a soft flask that you can carry. You can fill that with something like your SustainElite, so you get both calories and hydration, or you can just do water if you're carrying other sources of nutrition with you like the gels or the waffles, etc. It's really a personal preference, like for me, I would rather get my nutrition and hydration out on the race course in one easy-to-drink bottle and then I could eat whole foods in the transition area if I wanted to, to get more calories if needed. So, just think of it this way, if you're running the solo 24-hour race, maybe carry a CamelBak with you filled with SustainElite, like I would probably go at least two scoops of SustainElite in your CamelBak. There's gonna be a water aid station out there from what I understand, you could drink water if you need a little bit extra fluid and then you can also stash a couple gels.

So, you're out there running, you're consuming, you know, getting your hydration, you're getting some calories from SustainElite. You can pop a gel, you can pop a waffle, and you come in the transition area, and especially later in the race, again, your body is gonna crave different things, right? But when you go in the transition area, you just wanna make sure that what you're eating is basically quick digesting carbohydrates, maybe a little bit of fat and a little bit of protein. But, again, personal experience will guide you on this, too, as far as what works and what doesn't. I'm always just a little leery about, you know, eating things with a high amount of fat or a high amount of protein with the potential to cause gut distress later on in the race or if it kind of sits heavy. So, hydration, again, in a nutshell, you want to shoot, I would say, for about 16 to 25 ounces of fluid per hour whether it's water or a sports drink to make it easy to get the calories and the hydration, and that should get you basically so you don't get, you know, too dehydrated during the race. It's probably gonna happen either way, but you don't want it to happen to a really great extent where it's gonna have a huge negative impact on your performance or possibly cramping up.

Opt For BCAAs Over Whole Protein During Your OCR Race

Now, a couple other things during the race outside of carbohydrates, I know a lot of you like to take in protein during the race and that's fine. Again, if personal experience tells you, like, "I want to take a protein shake during a race," that's fine or other sources of protein. But I would be more inclined to tell you that I would rather have you consume amino acids during the race for a few different reasons. They're more easily digested, they can blunt muscle fatigue, they can reduce muscle protein breakdown, and they can serve as a source of energy in the circumstance that carbohydrate or glucose is getting low. And again, this is why we included the amino acids in our SustainElite sports drink. So, you have all those carbs that can be absorbed, up to 90 grams an hour of carbs, and then you have the amino acids, too, to take care of those things that I just mentioned in comparison to, like, a protein that could cause GI distress.

So, we've covered pre-race nutrition, during-race nutrition, hydration during the race, and I think that is about it. So, if you follow those guidelines and use a little bit of your personal experience and you've done the training, you should feel at least halfway decent from start to finish and hopefully walk away with a PR. Now, we haven't addressed post-workout nutrition. So, once you finish, here's what I want you to do. I want you to find your closest buddy, give him a huge fricking high five, find the closest can of beer, you chug that son of a bitch and give yourself a pat on the back. So, that is all I have for nutrition on the World's Toughest Mudder 24-Hour Championship. Good luck to you all.

If anybody has any questions, or comments, or needs clarification on any of the points I made during this video, just comment below. I'll address those questions as they come in and we'll get you all dialed in. So, if you watch other videos like this, subscribe to the EndurElite YouTube channel or head on over to the EndurElite blog at Get social with us with the coolest group on Facebook, the EndurElite Family of FAST, and until next time, my endurance friends stay fueled, stay focused, stay fast, and stay informed.