running guide

Trail Running Nutrition Guide

Trail running events are the ultimate running challenge. Signing up and being up for the challenge is a huge achievement so already a big HIGH5 to you! Now, all you need to do is train and complete it! Here’s where we can help…

What you need to know about nutrition for your trail run

Carbohydrate is your petrol – it’s the fuel that will keep your muscles going. However, your body can only store enough carbohydrate for around 90 minutes of exercise. So as the time and miles tick by your carb reserves will deplete and so will your energy. It’s really important to keep your muscles topped up with carbohydrate so that you have sufficient energy to keep going, reach the finish line and have an enjoyable run. While food can provide you with the carbs you need, sports nutrition is another option – it’s convenient and designed for this purpose and can also be quite tasty too!

Hydration is another nutrition factor to consider on your trail run. With the amount of sweating you’ll be doing, you will want to ensure you’re replenishing the electrolytes, as well as the water, you’re losing through sweat.

Post-run, your muscles will need to recover and repair so you can get back to it as quickly as possible! Protein and carbohydrates are two macronutrients that kickstart your muscle recovery process and a Recovery Drink is one way to get them into your body quickly.

trail run breakfast

Pre Trail Run Breakfast

Breakfast should be light and high in carbs.

There are a number of options for a 'good' breakfast. Porridge, peanut butter toast or cereal are popular choices that give you carbs without being too heavy.

Drink 500ml of Energy Drink for additional carbs and to stay hydrated. And, take an Energy Bar to eat on the way to the start.

during trail run

During your trail run

Depending on which drink you use and how much you drink, you also need to take on carbohydrates.

You should be aiming for 60-90g of carbohydrate per hour. If you are drinking ZERO then one Energy Bar and a gel per hour will provide you with just over 60g of carbohydrate.

If you are drinking Energy Drink, you can take the following number of gels or bars shown in the image per hour to provide you with 80-90g of carbohydrate per hour.

For gel intake you can use either Energy Gel or Energy Gel Aqua depending on personal preference. Or, if you prefer something closer to food then swap the gel for a bar or a pack of Energy Gummies.


Caffeine gives you both a physical and mental boost. When taking part in tough sport events like a trial run, it helps to increase your performance. This means you can go for longer and enjoy your run more.

If you want to take on caffeine during your run, gels with caffeine or energy drinks with caffeine can be an easy way to do so. It’s not so easy to run with a hot coffee! It’s recommended to consume caffeine 60-90 minutes before the start of your run. However, some runners prefer to take this later on, just before it starts to get tougher and fatigue kicks in.

Your body removes caffeine from your bloodstream over time. Once you have loaded up with caffeine, you should top up with 30mg every hour. Energy Gel Caffeine and Energy Gel Aqua Caffeine each contain 30mg caffeine per sachet.

Are you sensitive to caffeine? If you have a medical condition or do not wish to use caffeine for another reason, then you can simply switch each of the caffeine products with the non-caffeine equivalent from HIGH5.

end of trail run

After your trail run

Drink 400ml of Recovery Drink as soon as you finish. Drink another 400ml one to two hours later and eat a balanced meal as soon as possible. This will ensure you’re giving your muscles the carbohydrates and protein it needs to effectively repair and recover.

Race Day guidance

If you’re taking part in a race, make sure you incorporate any nutrition you plan to take on the day into your training. After all, practice makes perfect!

HIGH5 Run Pack 

The HIGH5 Run Pack contains the nutrition essentials to support your next run or race with a combination of our most popular Energy, Hydration and Recovery products for runners. Get yours here.

 run pack

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