Great feedback Flo! First off, congratulations on your first ultra! You are a rockstar!
A few notes given your feedback.
- Almonds – Almonds are high in protein and your body really can’t digest nor absorb too much protein while exercising. Thus I would recommend that you shy away from nuts as an option. A small amount on a PB&J is fine. But nuts as the actual nutrition is likely to cause GI issues (or your stomach to shut down).
- There are several reasons why athletes stomachs won’t accept real food. First and foremost, it must be trained! It’s not a natural process. Thus it must be trained, which is why we recommend starting now 🙂
How do you train your stomach? We recommend small bites on regular intervals. For example: 2-3 bites every 10-15 minutes and drinking every 5-10 minutes. What you do not want to do is eat (or drink) any large amount at one time. You need a small amount in your stomach for digestion at any one time. This will ‘teach’ your brain to send some bloodflow to your stomach for digestion since otherwise the blood flow goes to your working muscles.
If you put too much in your stomach at any one time, real food and/or hydration, it will essentially shut down your stomach because it’s just too large a volume to actually try to digest. Thus it shuts down completely.
In addition, Rebecca shared that too high of a concentration can also shut down your stomach. This would be something like Infinit, which is highly concentrated in calories, as well as a gel NOT washed down with water.
Thus start small on frequent intervals and see how it goes. Great feedback! Thank you Flo! And congrats on your achievement!