Nutrition & Weight Loss

Looking for Something a Little Different?

Looking for Something a Little Different?

Ultra-endurance athletes, even those looking for more natural alternatives, often look for something a little different. Over the course of a 6+ hour race flavor fatigue can easily set in. Aside from flavor fatigue, not everyone wants to rely on gels, chomps, sports drink, and beans. Here are a couple alternatives you could test in training as fueling alternatives.

Jam Sandwich

This jam sandwich is made with a basic slice of potato bread cut in half and stuffed with a tablespoon layer of strawberry preserves. One out on the trails might want to consider eating a half sandwich at a time with water or electrolyte only beverage. This half sandwich offers as a source of 27 grams of carbohydrate, 160 mg of sodium, 3 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fat. Compare this to my favorite PowerBar gel, which has 27 grams of carbohydrate, 200 mg of sodium, 0 grams of protein, and 0 grams of fat.

Honey Sandwich

Ultra marathon food alternativeA honey sandwich also works great. This honey sandwich is one slice of basic potato bread and a tablespoon of honey. It makes for a super moist carb-rich fueling option. I suggest eating half of a half, another wards, eat each sandwich made with 2 slices of bread and 2 tablespoons of honey in fourths. Each fourth of the sandwich offers about 75 calories, 17.5 grams of carbohydrate, 75 mg of sodium, 1.5 grams of protein, and 0.5 grams of fat. Let’s compare this to one of my favorite sports drinks PowerBar Ironman Perform. Ironman Perform contains 70 calories, 17 grams of carbohydrate, 190 mg sodium, 0 grams of protein, and 0 grams of fat. Consider adding a dash or two from the salt shaker for a little extra boost of sodium if additional electrolytes are needed.

The key with taking any of these solids is to consume them with water or an electrolyte only beverage. Eating them without sufficient fluids or with carbohydrate-rich fluids can contribute to risk of gastrointestinal upset.

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This post was written by:

- who has written 10 posts on Trail Running Club.

Jackie Dikos is a Registered Dietitian with board certification as a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. As the owner of the nutrition consulting business, Nutrition Success, Jackie counsels both athletes and non-athletes alike. She speaks on nutrition, health, wellness, and exercise in a variety of settings including clubs, expos, conferences, and the corporate environment. She maintains a blog that is dedicated to the promotion of health, wellness, and the education of endurance athletes at She is a contributor to Running Times Magazine with her monthly column “Fueling the Runner.” She has also been cited as a source in other popular magazines including Runner’s World, Women’s Running, and Shape.

In addition to her professional background Jackie is an accomplished runner. She competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Team Trials in the marathon. She earned her 2012 Olympic Trials qualification as the winner of the 2010 Monumental Marathon with a personal best of 2:45:25. Jackie doesn’t limit her athletic endeavors to simply running. She can include summiting Mt. Rainier to her list of accomplishments. Although she is a member of PowerBar Team Elite, Personal Best Training, and the Athletic Annex Running Club, her favorite training partners are her two little boys.

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