Hey guys, i'm looking for a food item that would serve as a great "pick me up" for my upcoming 100 mile run. Its very common/popular for runners to take a drink of coke/sprite/ginger ale to get them 'poppin' again. Now at my last 50 miler, i gave in a few times and tried drinking the ginger ale, and i felt great for about 5 minutes, and then my energy crashed so bad, i wanted to step aside on the trail and take a nap. I make my own paleo almond butter bars and few other paleo snack and eat those, as well as bananas and oranges, and only drink coconut water. Is there any food item that i could be using to give me the same effect coke/soda does other runners, without getting the sugar crash, due to my paleo diet?
Let's see: you're doing a 100 mile marathon, yet worried about a little sugar. That's like jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge and becoming worried that you forgot to take your asthma medicine. Which do you think is going to do damage to your body? I guarantee the former.
100-mile nutrition is always tricky to peg. For me, I am fine with some non-HFCS ginger ale in aid stations (only in racing, never in training), but it appears you aren't so lucky.
One paleo concoction I've had luck with for fuel is a mixture of sweet potato puree and apple sauce, stored in a gel flask or small water bottle. The consistency is easy to take down when the stomach is revolting (likely in a 100) and it gives a mix of slow and fast digesting carb. Although not totally paleo, you could also try adding in a little bit of protein powder to the mix. For fat, I can't imagine drinking coconut oil in a 100, especially in hot weather, but a bag of coconut flakes might make for a fun thing to snack on during the slower sections. Bacon is another good one for fat, protein and salt... and no matter how bad your stomach is feeling, bacon is always palatable.
If you're truly looking for a drink that seems like soda while remaining technically paleo, you could mix some fruit juice and/or coconut water in with some seltzer (for the bubbles). I haven't tried this, but it sounds like it may work.
Best of luck, and remember that ultrarunning isn't totally paleo, so some less-than-paleo concessions may need to be made to get to that finish line. Just keep that perpetual forward motion...
Probably not a good time to test it and therefore not good advice but as I recall Dr. Robert Lustig saying, Gatorade is actually good for athletes. Sugar is only bad because it tends to be in too high of a concentration and tends to not be followed up by adequate energy expenditure.
You could also consider a stevia sweetened soda (stevia is generally approved and since you seem to be particularly avoiding sugar, it might be a feasible option).
Check out nunn tablets. I have been using them while cycling and they sems to work really well. The nice part is that I just feel that I can keep going, instead of the burst/crash I woudl get with Gatorade or other sugary sports drinks. All the good stuff Gatorade has (electrolytes) without all the sugar. Tastes good too!
This summer, I've discovered the joy of eating cold slices of fresh pineapple after a run. I'm by no means an ultra-marathoner, not even close, but after 5K in 90 degree eat, the pineapple goes down so well. (You would need someone on support for you, though, to keep it cold, I assume.) I find that it gives me an energy boost for the next leg of my workout, which is body weight exercises.