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In the refreshment points of some trail running races, taking place around the World, you sometimes find type of foods that could cause you several problems. Elite runners can count on their professional crew but the other athletes might be tempted to intake aliments not useful during a competition.

Here is a MINI-GUIDE on the 4 aliments “Better Not”.

  • COOKIES. The biscuits are obviously not all the same. The quality of the product depends on the quantity and quality of the ingredients, on the production process used and on the preservation methods. Many products contain an excess of fats, including hydrogenated fats and preservatives. These products are absolutely to be avoided, because they are difficult to digest and the body cannot easily convert them into ready-to-use energy. Since it will be impossible for you to understand what kind of biscuits you find on the tables of the aid stations and you will not have the time to read the labels, do not eat them!
  • CHEESE, SALAMI, HAM. If you are running an ultra trail of no more than 170km, the intake of protein in the race is much less useful than that of carbohydrates, vitamins and mineral salts. Indeed it is often counterproductive. It requires long digestion times, processing and transformation into more useful energy. During the digestive process, in fact, the ingestion of proteins “steals” liquids, blood and a part of energy useful to the cardio circulatory system and to the muscles of the lower limbs engaged in the athletic performance. In addition to proteins, cheeses and cured meats are rich in saturated fats which do not constitute a useful source of energy in the race. Leave them on the refreshment point table and reward yourself at the end of the race.
  • FRESH FRUIT. The fruit is certainly a precious ally in Sports. It is rich in water, minerals, vitamins and fiber. But in a trail running race? During a competition it can cause undesirable effects such as gastro-intestinal disorders that normally do not occur in everyday life, but appear or become acute when our body is under stress. We advise you not to take any fruit, including orange which can also cause acidity. And banana? It is an exception. It can be eaten, because it is tolerated by the majority of athletes. We suggest you to take it in small bites, a little at a time.

WOULD You like to know more about race and training nutrition? Visit the section:  TRAIL RUNNING NUTRITION

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Cristina Tasselli

Digital Strategic Marketing Director - certified Innovation Manager - in multinational companies, she is still today the only Italian female athlete to have ran 900 km and 55,000m D+ in the mountains in a single stage race (Transpyrenea 2016, 3rd women overall). She counts numerous Podiums and international Victories on races over 100k. She holds a SNaQ CONI certification as a Trail Running Coach, Athletic Trainer and in Nutrition and Sports Supplementation. Since 2014 she is President and sports executive of innovative technology startups and companies, including Trail Running Movement and Digital Sport 360. She trains elite trail running athletes and she teaches in trail running coach certification courses. She is an author of sports articles on training, nutrition and supplementation in trail running and running, both in Italian and in English and Spanish. She manages relationships and collaborations with Federations and Race Organizers.