STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO PLANNING YOUR RACE DAY NUTRITION STRATEGY
- Estimate your time on course
Look at the course map (distance, elevation, terrain), look up previous years winning times, and ask racers their previous times to compare. Make sure to also factor in stopping time for aid stations and hike-a-bikes.
2. Figure out your fluid & electrolyte needs
Drinking enough fluid is often the deciding factor for many athletes in long events like BWR — It can make or break the fun factor, the safety factor, and the performance factor.
Taking in adequate amounts of both fluid and electrolytes allows your body to absorb and replace what you’re losing through sweat so you can avoid dehydration. When the body is dehydrated, muscles start to cramp, the brain becomes foggy, and nausea and vomiting may ensue making for an unnecessarily challenging day.
Your sweat rate is the main determining factor for figuring a fluid replacement goal. Sweat rates vary based on genetics, weather conditions, clothing choice, etc. You can perform a sweat rate test to really dial in your hourly fluid intake goal, but as a general rule of thumb plan to drink 16-20oz/hr for 0-50°F, 20-30oz/hr for 50-70°F, 30-45+oz/hr for 70-120°F.
3. Determine fuel needs during the race
Plan to consume at least 60-90g of carbohydrate/hr.
When the body is deprived of carbohydrates glycogen stores run out (fuel for the muscles and brain) and that terrible ‘bonking’ feeling sets in — Fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, muscles not working as efficiently, and muscle pain.
Eating can be difficult during these races. Reaching for food out of a jersey pocket, ripping open wrappers, and chewing without choking can be challenging for many athletes. Liquid nutrition in easy-squeeze bottles or a hydration pack is a simpler alternative.
For best results start fueling early in the race and on regular intervals. It may not be intuitive to fuel in the first few hours as fuel from the pre-race meal is still doing its job, but it takes time for the body to absorb and metabolize nutrients. If you wait too long to start fueling, the muscles and brain begin to run low and there is not enough time to absorb and metabolize the carbohydrates to prevent low energy and performance losses.
4. Plan out your feed zones
The BWR is always very well supported and stocked with stations every 20-miles.
This year, we teamed up with INFINIT Nutrition to create a complete liquid endurance fuel formulated with all the calories and electrolytes you need for race day, which will be available for bottle fills at each aid station: The BWR Belgian Berry Endurance Blend.
5. Stock your bike
Start with at least 2x20-24oz bottles on the bike.
Having more than what is estimated to be needed will ensure that if anything bad happens (mechanical, injury, bottle flies out of bottle cage) there will be enough fuel to tide you over until help arrives.
6. Practice in training
It can be challenging to fuel during races as the terrain constantly changes, technical features require bike handling, and racers are close to one another requiring sharp mental focus. Practice drinking during training rides with groups of people on difficult terrain to become familiar with fueling in adverse conditions.
7. Consider potential issues
- Flying bottle: Start with tight bottle cages and know where the aid stations are. Or, use the FidlockWater Bottle system.
- Crash: Know where the aid stations are and pack more fuel than what is needed just in case of stranding and needing to wait for support.
- Bonking friend: If racing with partners or teammates bring an extra bottle or two in case something happens, or they forget to bring enough for themselves. Save a life!
8. Have fun and race your best race!
WHAT’S ON COURSE
INFINIT Nutrition is proud to be the Official Nutrition and Recovery partner of the Belgian Waffle Series – The new BWR Belgian Berry Endurance Blend will be on course at all Belgian Waffle Rides in 2023
OFFICIAL BWR NUTRITION & RECOVERY BLENDS
BWR Belgian Berry Endurance Blend
The BWR Belgian Berry Endurance Blend will be on course at all Belgian Waffle Ride races, this complete liquid endurance fuel is formulated with all the calories and electrolytes you need.
- Designed for training rides and racing of 3+ hours
- Protein to curb hunger & keep blood sugar steady.
- Eliminates the need for gels, chews, bars, and even food.
One serving (20oz) per hour contains everything you need to keep you going strong all day long. Made with 100% natural ingredients — No artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners.
Practice makes perfect:Practicing your race day nutrition ahead of time is one of the best ways to ensure a successful race day. It’s recommended to start training with the BWR Belgian Berry Endurance Blend now to make sure you are getting the most out of your training and so there are no surprises on race day when you grab a bottle of the BWR Belgian Berry Endurance Blend on course.
BWR SPEED Mix
A lighter fuel and hydration formula designed for 1-3 hour training rides.
This refreshing lemon-lime drink mix eliminates the need for gels, chews or salt tabs, and is made with 100% natural ingredients — No artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners.
BWR Recovery Mix
A light protein recovery mix to promote faster recovery times after training and racing.
Designed to be taken 30-60 minutes after workouts and races to optimize the recovery window. Made with 100% natural ingredients — No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or thickeners.
They’re made for this.
INFINIT’s complete liquid fueling approach helps to simplify your training and race day fueling so you can focus on anything BUT tallying up energy bars and stashing away gel wrappers. No need to pop salt tablets, gels, or chews. No need to keep track of how much of this or how much of that you took in the last hour or ten miles.
Simply drink your INFINIT and go strong all day long.
Longtime INFINIT athlete and 2021 Unbound XL champion Taylor Lideen explains the benefits of going with the all-liquid approach:
“I have been using Infinit for years, and it has helped me out in so many ways. I am confident my caloric needs are covered, and I can eliminate any external stressors because everything is in a bottle rather than counting individual gels/bars/etc.”
Not sure how to carry your nutrition for a long gravel race? INFINIT’s Chief Powder Maker breaks down some strategies for carrying INFINIT for gravel riding.
INFINIT was started in 2003, by a group of endurance athletes with one goal: To create a better way to fuel & hydrate.
The solution had to provide enough calories and electrolytes to stay fueled and hydrated while being easy on the gut and taste good. Plus, it had to be simple and easy to replicate, eliminating guesswork.
After months of research and playing “mad scientist” in his kitchen, INFINIT’s founder and “Chief Powder Maker,” Michael Folan, created the first mix of what would become INFINIT Nutrition. After he had honed his personal mix, he began working on how to make this system work for others.
The result — Their patented Osmo-FIT™ system. A proprietary technology that allows you to create all-in-one sports nutrition formulas, designed to be all-in-one and easy-to-digest even in extreme conditions.
INFINIT does the thinking for you, so all you have to do is drink your stuff and go. The all-in-one formulas provide you everything you need to go all day — No bars, no gels, and no food needed.
INFINIT blends are designed to be “isotonic” and easy to digest and absorb into your system. Giving your muscles everything they need to keep cranking, without causing any stomach distress.
Simple, all-natural ingredients, with absolutely no artificial colors, preservatives, or sweeteners:
Carbs are your body’s main energy source during activity. Supplementing carbs while biking ensures your muscles have the fuel they need to keep going strong, all day long. INFINIT formulas contain three different carbohydrate sources (maltodextrin, glucose and sucrose), which enables your body to process calories up to 30% more efficiently than the majority of other products on the market.
- Protein in INFINIT’s endurance formulas keeps you from getting hungry even on the longest rides. The official BWR Belgian Berry Endurance Blend is made with a premium whey protein isolate.
- Carbs are your body’s main energy source during activity. Supplementing carbs while biking ensures your muscles have the fuel they need to keep going strong, all day long. INFINIT formulas contain three different carbohydrate sources (maltodextrin, glucose and sucrose), which enables your body to process calories up to 30% more efficiently than the majority of other products on the market.
INFINIT also offers a vegan-friendly plant-based protein alternative for custom blends.
- INFINIT’s exclusive electrolyte blend matches the average athlete’s sweat composition — Using a blend of sea salt, potassium, magnesium and calcium — Essential salts that eliminate muscle cramping by rehydrating the body gently and replenishing the minerals lost through sweat.
The information on this page is intended for educational and informative purposes only and is not intended or implied to serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should consult your physician or other health care provider before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for your unique needs.