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The nutritional and supplementation plan for a competition or training must be developed considering various aspects, including the profile of the track, the weather conditions, and the time of day.

The 3 main energy sources used by trail runners are gels, bars and energy drinks. They have pros and cons but taken alternately and with a precise sequence they perform an excellent synergistic job.

Tab. 1 Pros / Cons

The 4 fundamental rules to always keep in mind are:

  1. It is necessary to develop a nutritional and supplementation plan for the competition or training when the duration exceeds 3 hours, below it is sufficient to have eaten an adequate meal
  2. The energy sources used perform a complementary and different function for which it is necessary to carefully evaluate their content and digestion time
  3. In the choice of gels it is preferable to focus on those with a high content of carbohydrates immediately available; for bars it is better to opt for mixes in terms of type of sugars
  4. Energy drinks also contribute to water intake, as well as maintaining constant blood sugar levels (if taken regularly, every 20-25min in small sips). They do not replace pure water

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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.