Fuelling for Endurance- Kokoda Challenge

Fuelling Endurance

Fueling for Endurance – Kokoda Challenge

 by Delina Rahmate BHSc Nutritional Medicine www.delina.com.au

In recent years there have been several changes in the way that we see carbohydrates in everyday use and in our training diet which for most people is very confusing. Should we avoid carbohydrates, what type should we have and are they as fattening as what we are hearing? What should we be eating when we are fuelling for endurance in the Kokoda Challenge?

As athletes, beginners to advanced,  our carbohydrate needs are not static, in fact they change on a daily basis according to where we are in our training program. Therefore on heavy intense or long duration days our needs will be much greater than on days that we rest or do easy sessions.

Calculating your carbohydrate needs can get a little confusing and arduous so to make it easier I have given your examples of what you can eat out on course for both training and racing and approximately how much you may need.

Always practice your race day nutrition in training to make sure your plan works for you on the day!


Here are some guidelines to follow:

It is recommended to consume 200-300 calories 2-3 hours prior to training (this can be tricky as we all need sleep!), however if you find this hard, consume 50-100 calories immediately prior to your workout and 100 -150 calories/hr during workouts of 2+ hours (this can vary depending on your body size, weight and intensity of the effort). The following list of foods are suitable for endurance, are generally easy to digest and provide useable carbohydrates.

50 calories is approximately:

  • 1 small piece of fruit such as apple
  • 12 strawberries
  • 1 slice of pineapple
  • 10 grapes
  • 2 squares of dark chocolate
  • 1 small pack raisins

100 calories is approximately:

  • 14 almonds
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • 2 pieces of fresh fruit
  • 2 cups of watermelon
  • 1 small sweet potato (baked/steamed and salted)
  • 1 cup of white potato (baked/steamed and salted)
  • 1 gel (check your brand)
  • 1/ 2 sports bar (check your brand)
  • ½ cup of boiled pasta
  • ½ cup of boiled white rice
  • 20g of potato chips
  • 1 ½ slices of thin white bread
  • 1 slice white bread with vegemite
  • 1 Anzac biscuit (small)
  • 1 medium sized plain pancake
  • 10-12 jelly beans
  • 7 jelly lollies
  • 4 squares of dark chocolate
  • 1 heaped scoop of powdered sports drink (check your brand – this is what Hammer Heed and Tailwind Nutrition provide)

2 recipes to help you go the distance

Kokoda energy bars might be just what you and your team need to get you home.

Here are a couple of recipes that are very healthy, made from scratch and have anti-inflammatory properties.

Kokoda energy bars
Kokoda energy bars

Homemade Anti-inflammatory Energy Bar

1/2 cup sweet potato, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup raw cashews, pre-soaked for at least 8 hours*

1/2 cup raw almonds, pre-soaked for at least 8 hours

4 fresh Medjool dates, pitted

4 tablespoons goji berries

2 tablespoon real maple syrup

1 teaspoon pink Himilayan salt

2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

2 tablespoon raw cacao powder

30g fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

10g fresh turmeric, peeled and finely grated

Steam the sweet potato for 10 minutes, or until soft and cooked through. Allow to cool completely. Add the nuts into a food processor with the sweet potato, goji berries, maple syrup, salt, coconut oil and cacao. Pulse until just mixed through.

Add the ginger and turmeric and pulse again until well combined. The mixture should start to stick together in your machine. Transfer the mix into a shallow dish, lined with baking paper. Press down firmly with a spatula. If you’d like, at this point you can press coconut flakes, goji berries or cacao nibs into the top of the bars. Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours to set firmly. Slice into 12 even bars.

Nutrition per bar: 565 kilojoules (134 calories), 7g fat, 17g carbohydrate, 3g protein, 2g fibre.

*Ideally it’s important to soak nuts before using or eating them, as this reduces the phytic acid content – a protective mechanism within nuts and grains that reduces our ability to absorb nutrients in the gut.

Delina Rahmate - www.delina.com.au

Cashew Cocoa Bar


2 cups of pitted dates (soak for about 1 hour to help with processing if you have time)

1 cup of rolled oats

½ cup of chopped dried apricots

2 cups of cashew nuts

½ cup of cocoa powder

2 Tbsp. water
+ a dash of water for processing dates

¼ tsp. salt


Pulse oats until finely ground then put aside. Pulse dates in a food processor with a dash of water until they become a smooth paste. Add ground oats, apricots, cashew nuts, cocoa powder, water and salt and pulse until everything is combined. Line a 20cm x 20cm tray with glad wrap, leaving enough overhang on one side to wrap over the top of the mixture once in. Pour the mixture into the tray. Wrap the mixture with the glad wrap and firmly press into the tray and flatten with the back of a spatula. Put into the fridge overnight and then cut them up into 16 squares. These will keep in the fridge for approximately one week. Try adding 1 tsp of orange essence or orange oil to the mix to change up the flavour.


Nutrition per bar: 918 kilojoules (218 calories), 25g carbs, 4g fibre, 5g protein, 10g fat

Delina Rahmate - www.delina.com.au

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