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Protein or Carbs?

mdhurleymdhurley Posts: 10
edited September 2019 in Health, fitness & training
Bit of a specific one that I am struggling to find an answer for anywhere; and technically its not cycling but hoping someone can help.

Undertaking a hiking event, where I am likely to be 6 hours on, 2-3 hours sleeping for three cycles for 24 hours in total. At the end of each stint, would I be advised to take protein to recover the muscles (usually SIS shake)? Concerned that the gut won't cope and it wouldn't digest in time, making the next stint sluggish, and if I do that in the first break it could knacker the next 16 hours. Or are replenishing carbs the way forward?

I know there's a bit of trial and error involved to get the right strategy, but wondering if anyone has any advice.



  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 833
    I used to do a lot of walking and although not done a 24 hour walk/sleep/walk event, the principles of fuelling that worked for me were a combination of staying well hydrated (seriously underated at times!) and carbs/protein at regular times.

    For long MTB events I use these: ... -24-x-60g/

    They are energy bars with some protein. I use them for energy mainly with the benefit of some protein. That way you get some on board during you exercise. Like you, I will have a protein shake after, but I have 24 hours to recover. Never felt it was heavy or stodgy so you might be okay with it?

    You can can also get more protein specific bars with a bigger protein content to help with that recovery.

    Not sure about how much you will absorb/benefit with c.3 hours sleep but your body will benefit from it in some way and it will aid muscle recovery etc. I sweat bucket loads and loose lots of electrolytes, so I eat bananas and take electrolyte drinks as well.

    No idea if you'll feel sluggish to be honest. I prefer to eat little and often and then maybe have a bit more at the end of each section before snooze time.

    A backup plan would be energy gels - I've used them to dig me out of a hole at times. The caffeine ones can be quite good if used appropriately (not before bedtime).I agree with some better than others.

    Not sure what else to suggest - but stay well hydrated and drink a bit more! I'd make sure you stretch out calfs and hamstrings as well.

    Have fun with it.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Do you have to sleep every 6 hours? Sounds horrendous. I'd rather do 18 hours straight with occasional breathers / snack stops.

    And probably rely on proper food / drink, but with some energy gels for emergency use.

    Ham and egg sandwiches, cornish pasties etc have a good mix of carbs and protein, won't censored up your insides and taste delicious.
  • mamil314mamil314 Posts: 1,103
    We do sometimes forget that normal food like sandwiches or pasta with tuna or whatever also is carbohydrates and protein.
  • mdhurleymdhurley Posts: 10
    keef66 wrote:
    Do you have to sleep every 6 hours? Sounds horrendous.

    Me and my daughter are climbing up and down the same mountain a total of ten times (avg. 17% for 1.5 miles, 2 miles total) in 24 hours for charity. Believe me, it is as horrendous as it sounds, and it's her who signed me up! Would like to think we could keep going, but don't think it's feasible, hence the planning of longer stops.

    Thank you all for you considered responses. We try to eat little and often; same with fluids. But always find it counter-intuitive to eat/drink because I need to, not because i'm hungry/thirsty. Little bits of hidden protein here and there will certainly help I think in place of just a spadeload at certain points.
    BillyCool wrote:
    I sweat bucket loads and loose lots of electrolytes

    Same here. Yesterday was our first session in the heat, and feel much worse after 3 reps than 4 in the cold the week before. Still feel warm now as well. Going to certainly have a plan B to push harder overnight and get the bulk of it done between dusk and dawn.
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 833
    Sounds like an interesting adventure.

    Don't forget - if you wait until you are thirsty, it's too late. Same with food. Just keep drinking regularly and schedule snack stops and/or have a target of what needs to be eaten.

    Personally - I'd probably live off flapjacks, protein/energy bars and bananas. Not ideal though. If I had time I'd have some tuna bake/wrap or something more sunstantial once in a while.

    Fuel and fluids will win the day.

    Have fun.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • I think you should go with Protein powders as it is necessary to build up muscle mass.
    The experts of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American College of Sports Medicine recommends the following daily requirement of protein per kilogram of the body weights;

    Athletes required 1.1 -1.4 grams.
    Competitive athletes need 1.2 -1.4 grams.
    Athletes building muscle mass need 1.5 -2.0 grams.
    Protein is also essential for young athletes. The average teen needs 0.4-0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight every day.

    If you are taking the right amount of protein from different protein-rich foods then you don't need to take protein powders. Remember that excessive protein can contribute to dehydration.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    If you drink High5 4:1 then you get protein with your carbs continually.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,850
    I'm not underestimating the challenge but it's not high intensity exercise so I'd have thought you could rely mainly on normal foodstuffs like sandwiches - maybe using flapjack as it's high carb with a mix of simple and more complex carbs to supplement to make sure you get sufficient carbs in there to fuel the abnormally high exercise requirements.

    I wouldn't go down the route of too many gels and energy drinks simply because it might leave me feeling unwell after a while - not to say I wouldn't carry a few gels to give me a boost if needed.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • tlw1tlw1 Posts: 19,467
    Whatever you do, you need to simulate the actual day to see if your guts can take it. I’ve done a few ultra marathons and yet to find the most right balance :(
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,259
    edited January 2020
    This thread has died (twice!). The OP hadn't posted since Apr'19. Then it was revived in Sep'19 and then again today.

    If you don't look at the dates, it is easily done. I've done it myself from time to time.
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