An Endurance Athlete’s Survival Foods

I wrote this article for the Bulk Powders Blog.

I started obstacle racing in 2014 after wanting to be like Lara Croft, show reeling an impressive collection of action moves and having a body good enough to wear shorts as tiny as hers……. 2 years on, I still cannot pull stunts like her, nor do I wear short shorts, there’s far too much flesh going on in that department. (Also, my boobs aren’t big enough and my hair is short and blonde. Oh well, it was worth a try.)
I am, however, fitter, faster, slimmer, leaner and more healthy than I have ever been.

As I push my mind and body to the limit with each race and adventure, I am constantly searching for the next event to push me even further.  My first race was 5k and now I take part in ‘death race’ style events that last over 50 hours, running through the countryside, sleep deprived and carrying everything I need for the full 50 hours; food water and equipment.

I am a sucker for research and stats, and when doing my 12+ hour events, I am on the hunt for foods that provide the most amount of clean calories versus weight and space, that are convenient to carry, easy to eat and tasty.

Here are my Bulk Powders Superhero Survival products, whether you are climbing a mountain, running an ultra-marathon, trekking or even stuck in the car or at your desk all day for work.  If these products are nearby, you won’t go hungry and you will stay fuelled up with clean goodness.

 

NUT BUTTERS
Bulk Powders offer 9 types of Nut Butter!!! This is my idea of heaven!
Peanut Butter (both Smooth and Crunchy), Cashew Butter, Triple Nut Butter and Pistachio Butter are all 100% natural with no additives.  That’s 100% nuts for your money, unlike the nut butters available in the supermarkets which have added salt, sugar, palm oil and other nasty naughties.

Stats Per 100g
46 – 56g of fat
19 – 29g of protein
564 – 616 calories

These pots of delights can be eaten on anything, with anything and even eaten straight out the tub. Favourite companions are oat cakes, apple, porridge and I have even encountered peanut butter and gherkins – I’ve got to admit, it worked for me!

5 more options of Nut Butters are:
Cinnamon Hazelnut Butter
Cinnamon Almond Butter
Vanilla Almond Butter
Dark Chocolate Almond Butter
Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Butter.

These are great for on the move as they contain ingredients that add flavour and interest and once again can be eaten from the pot – ESPECIALLY the Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Butter!!!! – think Nutella but healthier.

Suggestion
During my events, I spread a thick layer of nut butter on dried apple slices and pack them into small zip top food bags.  The bags are waterproof (ish) and when you are in need, you can just squeeze the apple slice into your mouth, with no need to touch the food if you have dirty hands – voila!

NUTS & SEEDS
Nuts and seeds provide an extraordinary amount of calories in comparison to the amount of space they take up.
I use Bulk Powders Whole Almonds, Whole Cashew Nuts, Whole Brazil Nuts, Walnut Halves, Whole Macadamia Nuts and Sunflower Seeds as a mid morning snack. I also grind them down and add to them porridge and smoothies for extra calories, fat and protein.

Stats Per 100g
48 – 74g of fat
9 – 21g of protein
An astonishing 573 – 736 calories per 100g.

Suggestion
Pack these in a small zip top food bag during an event or adventure.  This way, once you have eaten them, you only have to carry the empty bag. I measure my bags into 60g portions so I know how much nutrition I am getting with each portion.

To add even more excitement to your nuts and seeds, add Bulk Powders NEW Active Seasoning!!
Pop the nuts and seeds in a food bag + a pinch or two of Active Seasoning + fasten bag + shake = Have a party in your mouth!

Active Seasoning is available in Lemon & Herb, Garlic & Herb, Mixed Seasoning, Peri Peri, Tandoori and Smoke & Spice.

FRUITS
I meet quite a few people that fuel their endurance events with energy gels, energy drinks and bars. After 12+ hours of fuelling this way, the tummy can become sensitive to high volumes of sugar and the tastebuds can dread the next sugary processed snack.
I find that by fuelling with whole foods, my blood sugar remains stable and I can enjoy my food (I alternate 2 savoury snacks with 1 sweet snack every 2/3 hours).

Dried Whole Apricots, Dried Cranberries and Dried Goji Berries are great as they are calorie and carbohydrate rich providing you with instant energy and a moral boost.

Stats Per 100g
51 – 82g of carbohydrates
217 – 330 calories

Suggestion
Eat dried fruit with a handful of nuts to stabilise blood sugar and sustain the fruit’s energy release for longer.

FOODS
As a vegetarian, I have not tried these products, however I didn’t want to miss out those who would prefer to gnaw down on some meat.  Plus, having something savoury in your food survival kit will give you a much needed morale boost with an intake of salt.

The beauty of High Protein Biltong, Beef Jerky and Fish Jerky is that they are dehydrated and vacuum packed, which makes them easy and light to carry and being dried means they are preserved to ensure a long shelf life.

Stats Per 100g
A whopping 58 – 80g of protein.

Suggestion
Rip that packet open and get eating!
These are also great for camping, added into scrambled eggs to add flavour and diversity.

EXTRA BACKUP SUPPLEMENTS
A small bag or tub of Green Tea Extract Powder and Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is never far away from me.

I use Green Tea Extract Powder every morning in hot water with lemon to kick start my day and my metabolism.  Being a powder, it gets straight into my system and also makes it easy to travel with.  In situations with no hot water, I have drunk it with cold water to give me a quick energy and antioxidant boost.

Organic Virgin Coconut Oil has the highest calorie and fat content of most foods!!  I have heard that some endurance athletes eat coconut oil straight from the tub with a spoon! I have yet to do this on an adventure, however I have done so at home.  (I now eat from the pot during races) . Admittedly, it’s not the culinary delight you might hope for, but it does provide instant sustainable energy, enormous health benefits and is great in an ‘emergency’ to keep cravings and hunger at bay.

Coconut Oil is rich in lauric acid which is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral and can be used in many ways.

Stats Per 100g
900 calories per 100g
100g of fat!!!

Suggestion
Pop the coconut oil in a small zip top bag and use in emergencies if you run out of food or are in need of instant energy to see you through the next leg of your event.  Using a food bag means it can be squeezed into your mouth with no spoon required.
It’s not quite the same as a delicious energy bar or energy drink but provides way more fuel and health benefits than anything else!

 

Whether you are a world adventurer or a 9 – 5 office worker, these foods will fuel your busy day, keep your body full of vitamins and minerals and provide you with enough energy to tackle any task thrown at you – whether it be climbing Mont Blanc or whizzing around on your office chair making your latest comedy Instagram video ; )

As a cheeky after thought, check out my recipe for Coconut Bars and ROOTS Bars to add to your lunchbox of survival goodies : )