How to fuel and hydrate for a virtual event

Making sure you’re fuelled for any event is important, whether it’s on the road or on the rollers! Find out how to fuel and hydrate for a virtual event below.

While it can be disappointing that many events have been postponed or cancelled, many virtual events have taken their place! And just like you would for a regular event, it’s important to take into consideration your nutrition.

There are three key nutritional demands during sports:

  1. Carbohydrate to fuel your muscles
  2. Fluids and electrolytes to keep you hydrated
  3. Protein for muscle growth and repair after exercise

This is the same whether you’re taking part virtually or heading somewhere for race day – so make sure your body gets what it needs!

Virtual events – whether they’re running, cycling, or any kind of challenge – can present different challenges to regular events. For example, there’s no on course nutrition or water stations if you’re just running loops around the neighbourhood, so you need factor this in before you compete.

You might also be completing a virtual challenge in sections as you train, which might mean you’re pushing yourself harder than normal – making nutrition even more important.

Virtual events have become more popular this year


It’s important to remember that wherever you are, your muscles need fuelling to compete at their best.

During, for example, a marathon, more than two thirds of your energy can come from carbohydrate. However, as your body is only able to store a limited amount of carbohydrate, you need to keep topping up that store as you clock in the miles. As your carb levels fall, so does your energy, and you’ll find it harder to maintain your pace.

Your body absorbs a maximum of 60g-90g of carbohydrate per hour depending on the source, so taking on product every hour from the very start of your event is optimum and will mean that you’ll still have enough carbohydrate left towards the end for a strong finish. This could be 1-2 Energy Gels or 500ml of Energy Drink and half an Energy Bar depending on your preference.

The key challenge with fuelling in a virtual event, particularly a virtual marathon or half marathon, is carrying your nutrition with you. Whilst in a normal race you can easily rely on the on-course nutrition, with a virtual running event you will need to use a gel belt or similar.

in a virtual event you'll need a gel belt to hold nutrition


While fuelling might look quite similar to a regular event, hydration might be more important!

When you’re inside your living room you might get hotter than you would outside, especially as we head towards summer. Hydrating for a virtual event indoors might look more like competing in hot weather than how you would normally hydrate.

Depending on how much you sweat, ensure you’re taking on water regularly, especially if you’re competing for more than 90 minutes. You may also need additional electrolytes in hotter conditions, in which case HIGH5 ZERO can be added to a water bottle to keep you hydrated.

If you’re competing outside, a key challenge for runners in particular is again carrying your hydration with you. Replacing fluids is important as you lose a lot when exercising, so either getting used to carrying a run bottle with you or making sure you run past your home to refill will be key in avoiding dehydration.

Make sure you stay hydrated in a virtual race


It can be tempting to immediately flop onto the sofa if it’s close by, but make sure you cool down appropriately.

Drink 400ml of HIGH5 Recovery Drink as soon as you finish and eat a balanced meal one to two hours later, to replenish your muscle’s carb stores.

Recovery Drink

While there are unique challenges to virtual events, they’re great to maintain your focus and motivation during the summer months. Read our Nutrition Guides for more detailed advice about your particular sport.

Good luck!

HIGH5 Starter Nutrition Pack

The HIGH5 Starter Nutrition Pack is a great place to start if you want to test our award winning products. It contains the most popular Energy, Hydration and Recovery products to help you get the most from your sport. Get yours here.

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