During trail runs of less than one hour you may not need any extra energy from carbohydrates, however for runs and races over an hour additional energy is needed. The general recommendation is 30-60g of high GI carbohydrates every hour of trail running. This can consumed via sports drinks or by eating sports foods like energy bars or regular food and sweets. Drinks are better tolerated at a carbohydrate concentration of up to 8%. Concentrations of 6-8% is high enough to easily reach carbohydrate ingestion rates and low enough not to cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

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Drinks that will provide 30-60g of carbohydrates

Energade 33g/500ml 6.5%
PVM Octane Energy Drink 42g/500ml 8.0%
Coke 55g/500ml 11.0%
Fruit juice 50g/500ml 8-12%
Powerade 30g/500ml 6.0%
Cytomax 33g/600ml 5.5%
Peptosport 32g/800ml (depending on mixing) 4.0% (depending on mixing)
Hammer Perpeteum 54g/600ml 9.0%


Sports foods and snacks that will provide 30-60g of carbohydrates

Product *
Serving to reach 30-60g
PVM Energy Bar 31g/bar 1-2 bars per hour
Hammer Energy Gel 21g/serving 2-3 servings per hour
Bananas 25g/banana 2 bananas per hour
Energy sweets e.g. jelly babies 55g/small packet (75g) 1 small packet
Powerbar Performance Energy Bar 45g/bar 1 bar per hour (Check hydration)
Gu Energy Gel 25g/serving 2 per hour (Take fluids)
*Remember that hydration needs separate attention when solid foods are consumed.

Always test any sports foods and drinks during training runs as every individual is different.

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