Switching Was the Easy Part

by klassman

I made the switch.  For nearly two years, I’ve been using Clif products almost exclusively.  Early this year, I added Nuun to my nutritional arsenal.  Before the Nation’s Triathlon I stopped buying Clif bars and shots in order to run down my inventory.  I also bought a massive two pound container of Ironman Perform by Powerbar and a box of Powerbars to eat during long rides.

Don’t try anything new on raceday.  Powerbar will be on the course.  I’ll probably want or need more nutrition than I can carry during the Ironman.  The decision to switch was easy.

But now, I’m thinking about nutritional needs much more than I have ever done for a HIM race.  According to this site, I should try to replace .5 grams of carbohydrates for every pound of body weight, each hour, for events that last more than two to three hours.  That is 95 grams per hour.

A peanut butter Powerbar has 44 grams of carbs.  A standard bottle filled with Ironman Perform (20 oz. bottle with a portion of powder for a 16 oz. serving) has an additional 34 grams of carbs.  Powerbar gels have approximately 27 grams of carbs.  One bottle per hour plus a bar and a gel would put me at about 10 percent above (105 grams) the recommended consumption rate.  It would also mean putting down five bars — something I cannot imagine.

The “liquid Powerbar” chocolate drinks that I like come in at 40 grams of carbs for every eight oz.  Two of those plus half a bottle of the standard Performance drink would be just about right.  In theory, I could do the entire bike on a liquid diet.

What about protein, salts and various other goodies like caffeine that are in the shots, gels and bars which have been my staple?  And, do I want to go from all-liquid on the bike to having to eat semi-solid gels on the run?