Nutrition and Hydration
Fuel your trek
It's really important to fuel your body properly for Spring Trek Sydney in order to complete the event and to feel your best on the day. You absolutely must plan to bring food and water with you. This is not a morning stroll in the park, it's a challenging 18km or 30km trek that could take up to 10-12 hours to complete and it’s important to give yourself the energy to do this and to eat regularly. If you don't bring food and water then you're putting yourself in real danger given the remoteness of the track.
Before the event
Aim to eat a good quality breakfast 1-2 hours before the event. This should contain carbohydrates to help fuel your body and protein which protects against damage in the body and aids recovery after the event.
Stick to a breakfast that you're familiar with and that you know you can tolerate – you don’t want to experiment on the day as you won’t know how your body will react. A good breakfast choice may be something like porridge or bacon on sourdough toast.
During the event
During the event itself, aim to eat something around every hour and also to have some small meals – and again you want it to be mostly carbohydrates for fuel and a small amount of protein to help minimise damage and aid recovery.
In terms of what to have, our philosophy is very much to stick to natural whole foods, as we believe that nature provides you with everything you need – so you could eat fruit such as bananas and apples as your snack. Rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa and potatoes are good options for your meals.
Some people prefer to go down the path of having energy liquids or gels. Whatever you decide to choose, make sure that you are not trialling any new foods out on the day because you won’t know how your body will react.
Snacks will be provided at checkpoints and our host schools will be running food stalls - so make sure you bring some money with you on the day.
Hydration and electrolytes
It's important to drink lots of water during the event to stay properly hydrated. Drinking water is available at the start and at each checkpoint, so bring at least 2 x 1 litre bottles or a 2 litre bladder. As you will be walking for a long period of time, you will also need to replace electrolytes – especially if you sweat a lot. Losing electrolytes will decrease your performance and your recovery. It could also lead to hyponatremia, a condition in which the sodium levels in your blood become too low. Hyponatremia causes your muscles and heart to contract erratically, and can even lead to death. You can replace electrolytes by eating salty foods, or by adding a pinch of sea salt to each 1 litre of water or by drinking a sports drink – coconut water is a natural sports drink that isn’t full of artificial ingredients.
After the event
It's also important to eat carbohydrates and protein after your event to replenish your energy levels and to help repair your body. Aim to eat a snack around 15-30 minutes after the event. You should also focus on drinking plenty of fluids for 24 to 48 hours after the event to help with your recovery.
Finally, having a heap of alcohol straight after the event might seem like a great idea at the time but it will have a negative impact on your recovery - so go easy on the celebrations or save it for a later date!