Even adhering to all our Tough Mudder tips, our military obstacle course is excruciating enough. There’s no reason to let additional obstacles like cramps, dehydration, nausea and unnecessary fatigue get between you and the finish line. But like deciphering workout fact from myth, navigating the net of nutritional knowledge can be as daunting as maneuvering your way through Mud Mile in a blindfold.
So to keep you focused on training, we’ve created an easy-to-digest nutrition roadmap to help you eat wisely at five pivotal points in your mud run journey.
POINT ONE: TWO DAYS BEFORE TOUGH MUDDER
If you’re into endurance events, you’ve probably heard of “carbo-loading.” If you haven’t, the term doesn’t leave much to the imagination–and now’s the time to start. Two days before Tough Mudder, 70 to 90-percent of your calories should come from carbohydrates. Why? During digestion, carbs are broken down into sugars that the body absorbs, stores and uses as energy–something you’re gonna need a whole lot of on event day.
POINT TWO: THE NIGHT BEFORE TOUGH MUDDER
Remember that the term is “carbo-load” not “carbo-overload.” Keep your dinner small but carb-heavy and eat earlier than you normally would. You’re better off waking up hungry on event day than full and bloated from the night before. Some digestion-friendly dinner choices include white bread, pancakes, pasta, bagels, pitas, tortillas, oatmeal, skinless potatoes, brown rice, and...well, you get the point.
POINT THREE: THE MORNING OF TOUGH MUDDER
On event day, the timing of your breakfast is just as important as what you eat. Aim to finish your breakfast about three hours before the start gun and be sure it consists of some easy-to-digest carbs (around 160-grams worth) and some light protein. Additionally, don’t introduce foods that you haven’t experimented with during training on event day–save the risk-taking for the course.
POINT FOUR: DURING TOUGH MUDDER
We sat down and discussed not only what Mudders need to finish strong, but where they’ll need it most. At mile four, you’ll find electrolyte gummies, formulated to give your body the sugar, sodium and potassium boost it needs to forge on. At mile eight, Prime Bars come to the rescue to restore lost protein. Water and banana stations are also scattered throughout the course, so chill–we got you covered.
POINT FIVE: AFTER TOUGH MUDDER
So you’ve gallantly crossed the finish line and earned, not only that coveted Shock Top beer, but the right to call yourself a Tough Mudder. Knowing that your spirits are as high as your calorie count is low, the trifecta of on-course offerings is completed with a Big 100, a bar packed with protein and nutrients essential for post-event recovery. Once you’ve downed the beer and bar, there’s only one thing left to take in–the awesome vibes of the after party.
While we can hook your beautiful bod up with exactly what it needs during and after (yeah, we just called beer a necessity) Tough Mudder, it’s up to you to get into a healthy and informed habit of eating, not just two days before Tough Mudder, but throughout your entire Mudder journey–from team building to training and preparation.