Tuesday, October 11, 2016

MAIL Caloric Burn vs Intake

Mount Adams Infinity Loop
photo by Ras/UltraPedestrian.com
Complete Caloric Burn Versus Intake

by Ras Vaughan

I have been fueling based on both dietary fat and stored body fat for almost five years now, since I began training for the inaugural Pigtails Challenge 200 miler early in 2012. (Here's my nutrition and fueling report from Pigtails, May 2012.) I find that fat based fueling helps me achieve a more consistent and sustainable level of performance. In addition, having my body habituated to prioritizing fat metabolization means that I can rely on fueling in part from my body's fat stores, which in turn means that I can carry and eat less food than the math would, at face value, imply. 

I assiduously saved all the wrappers, baggies, and packaging from my various fuels throughout the Mount Adams Infinity Loop. I did this in keeping with my Unsupported ethic of carrying all my supplies and gear from beginning to end, which, to my mind, includes carrying all of my trash until the finish. This also made it easy for me to reconstruct the fuel I consumed during a project by counting up the wrappers and portions of the foods I ingested. 

Below is an accounting of my total calorie intake, as well an estimate of the total calories I burned during my adventure. If anything, the caloric needs estimate is conservative. It only takes into account mileage with an offset for elevation gain. It doesn't take other factors into account that burn more calories to cover the same ground; such as cold temperatures wherein your body burns calories heating itself, or moving against a strong headwind. In all actuality, it's likely I burned a few more calories than I estimate here.

An obvious aberration in my fueling regimen is the SweetTarts. I have only extremely rarely had trouble with queasiness or upset stomach or feeling nauseous during high mileage, multi-day endurance adventures. What DOES sometimes trouble me is simply a lack of appetite. I try to take a "wierd food" of some sort on each adventure, something that tastes completely different and has a distinct texture or unique mouthfeel. This is how I first started taking toasted seaweed on adventures, and it is now a regular part of my fuel kit. I figured tart, chalky, pseudo-fruit flavored lozenges would fit the bill nicely, and they did indeed. 

SweetTarts were one of my favorite treats as a kid, and I still really enjoy them. I had forgotten I had them with me, and was quite stoked when I found them in my pack during the descent from the first summit. I realize, and freely admit, that they have almost no actual food value (or food ingredients), but they are certainly calorie dense. I'm not proud of them being part of my fueling for this adventure, but Kathy and I strive to be as transparent as we can be in recounting our adventures, and sometime that means having to publicly admit to enjoying a box of artificially colored sugar disks. Mea culpa. 


Total calories consumed during Mount Adams Infinity Loop

Trail Butter Expedition Espresso 2.5 x 760 = 1,900 calories
Honey Stinger Waffles 6 x 150 = 900 calories
Picky Bars Smooth Caffeinator 2 x 200 = 400 calories
Peanut Butter Crackers packet 2 x 200 = 400 calories
Honey Stinger Cherry Cola Energy Chews 3 x 160 = 480 calories
Toasted Seaweed Snacks 3 x 30 = 90 calories
SweetTarts throwback box 2 x 780 = 1,560 calories
Instant Rice 1 cup x 390 = 390 calories
Instant Refried Beans 1 cup x 384 = 384 calories
6,504 total calories consumed

Caloric needs for Mount Adams Infinity Loop

6,600 calories = 66 miles x 100 calories per mile
2,000 calories = 20,000 feet (round estimate) elevation gain
                        x 100 calories per 1,000 feet of gain
5,000 calories = 2,000 daily baseline metabolic calories x 2.5 days
13,600 total calories burned

Overall Caloric Burn Versus Intake for Mount Adams Infinity Loop

13,600 total calories burned
6,504 total calories consumed
7,096 calories total caloric debt accrued

photo by Ras/UltraPedestrian.com

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