How to Fuel for the Kokoda Challenge

PREPARATION is the KEY to a Successful Kokoda The Kokoda Challenge is a challenge in a lifetime for most of us. The KEY to success is detailed preparation in all areas including physical, mental, and NUTRITIONALLY.

The Kokoda Challenge is a challenge in a lifetime for most of us. The KEY to success is detailed preparation in all areas including physical, mental, and NUTRITIONALLY.
Failure to address each area will lead to a possible DNF for the Team.
One of the most important aspects often overlooked by participants is NUTRITION. Wild Earth supports Hammer Nutrition is a Company which specialises in Endurance Nutrition products and knowledge. The NIKE/HAMMER team have successfully won the Kokoda Challenge 4 times and have been course record holders.
Our friends at Hammer has detailed below guidelines and a nutritional plan for your teams successful completion of the KOKODA CHALLENGE.
How to fuel for the Kokoda Challenge
4 main things to consider:
Amount of fuel (Kilojoules/calories) required for an hour
Hydration and electrolytes
Things you don’t want to do
Fuelling Choices
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1. Amount of Fuel
Consumption should be limited to between 250 calories and a maximum of 400 calories / hour (1025 – 1640 Kj Approx.) The amount will depend on individual differences in size, weight etc. This is the amount of calories you can comfortably digest when your body is under stress. Any more than this amount can cause stomach distress.
2. Hydration and electrolytes
Proper Hydration is essential for successful completion of the event.
We consider around 590-750 ml / hour to be approx. the right amount.
Both under and over hydration can cause serious problems. Do not count the water contained in a Perpetuem bottle as part of your hydration.
Electrolytes are to the body as like “oil is to car”. Over this sort of distance it is crucial to take on extra electrolytes in the right format.
Hammer has 2 ways of providing Electrolytes in the form of Endurolytes or Endurolytes FIZZ. Both are formulated to provide an excellent cross section of Electrolytes. Salt Tablets only contain sodium and Potassium; you will need a full cross section of Electrolytes (Vitamin B6, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Chloride, Sodium, Potassium, and Tyrosine).
Many variables—body weight, level of fitness, weather conditions, acclimatization level, and biological predisposition—come into play in regards to optimally fulfilling one’s personal electrolyte requirements. It is vital that you experiment with a dosage that is suitable to you.
Generally taking approx. 1-3 Endurolytes or 1-3 Endurolytes FIZZ / hour would be sufficient for most.
3. Things you don’t want to do
Make bad fuel choices. i.e. take products with simple sugars, take caffeine all day long.
Over consume calories.
Under or over hydrate.
Not make a fuelling plan and practice it.

4. Fuelling Choices
General rules regarding consumption of fuel
A complete liquid fuel is possible to complete the event, however most will feel the need to eat solids – Make solid food consumption the exception, not the rule
Ensure the solid fuel is kept below 350 calories per hour. I.e. eat small amounts of solids at one time
Avoid foods which are hard to digest, high in saturated fats, refined sugars etc. –Remember garbage in, garbage out.
We strongly recommend that you avoid simple sugars, i.e. lollies, chocolates – What pushes your blood sugars up quickly, will also drop quickly and usually lower than original starting point.
Avoid consuming solid foods while going uphill.
Seriously think about your usage of caffeine, regards amount and timing. We strongly recommend that if you use caffeine, to lower your caffeine intake (25 -50 mg max.) and use it towards the end of the course, rather than the beginning.

Content courtesy of Dave from Hammer Nutrition