Sulphite allergy

I'm allergic to all things sulphitey - a preservative found in many many processed foods.

It struck me today as I prepare for my first Olympic triathlon (Sunday) whether I am the only triathlete out there forced to bake my own energy bars, bring my own water (bottled water handed out at events has sulphites in, as does all bottled water), and sometimes desperately try to read the labels on energy drinks whilst running to see if it will help or hinder my last few kms.

Anyone? I've never met another sufferer, let alone one that runs/does triathlons. I'm feeling rather lonely today..


  • Nothing to do with sulphite but I'm wheat intolerant so pretty much have to self cater at events in case the gels/bars have anything in them that will upset me and also for post event as I don't eat meat either so all the usually available stuff is generally off limits. At least it means that you practise with what you'll use on the day and know that you have your nutrition sorted even if the organisers run out/lose some/change suppliers at the last minute.

    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • I'm not sure it's classed as an allergy, but more of a sensitivity.  but anyhoo, let's not split hairs!

    it must be a bugger to live with as sulphites also occur naturally in drinks like wine and beer - what are you like with them out of interest??  I don't think it's allowed to be used on fresh foods and veg these days, so it's processed foods that's the big issue as you say.

    can't help bar sympathise - I'm one of the lucky ones who can eat/drink anything without problems

  • I have a sensitivity to E223 sodium metabisulphite which came out on a patch test. Not sure about the others.

    But yeah, try and find out beforehand what stuff they will be using and check it out. Pre load your bike with your drinks of choice which should easy last you an Oly.

    I put half litre of drink in my T box for the run as I like to run with a drink in my hand. Job done.

    And watch out for sulfites in tablets, I found that E223 ccurs in some, but not all, paracetomol for example.

    And some crisps so be careful of being offered those as you do in some races.

    Good luck on Sunday, let us know how you got on.  

  • Little M.iss Happy - how do you carb load?

    I'm planning to pop along on Saturday to check out their supplies - will probably have to sneak a freebie from somewhere to read the label. I've tried asking before and am usually met with blank or you're crazy stares.

    It does make me feel better knowing there are others out there. Fat Buddha - I googled the difference, cause I'm a geek, I have the allergy version as it restricts breating etc. I can't touch wine, beer, cider etc. But it's ok - I still have vodka.

    Dustboy - carrying my own drink is a good idea in theory, unfortunately I have tiny tiny child like hands and struggle to hold waterbottles when running..

  • ACoops - gf pasta usually but also rice, potatoes and wheat free muesli. It gets easier the longer you have to do it.

    If you know which supplier the event is using (e.g High5, SIS, Cliff) you can usually find an ingredient list online but to be honest I just cater for myself. Even in an IM I'll be self sufficient other than taking water, bananas and flat coke from the aid stations. I hate carrying stuff when I run but found a Nathan speedbelt bearable.

    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • What an idea - Gatorade are the sponsers and their sports drink have:

    Water, sucrose, dextrose, citric acid, electrolytes (sodium chloride, sodium citrate, potassium phosphate, magnesium carbonate), flavourings, antioxidant (ascorbic acid), modified starch, emulsifiers (gum arabic, sucrose acetate isobutyrate), colour (beta-carotene)

    Should be ok.. I might also organise a well placed supporter to throw me a bottle of tap water mid run and then we're away! 

    I'm doing a marathon next year so may need to invest in a bottle belt for that. All bottled water and coke are out - not sure how I would cope in an IM. Ugh.  

  • Gatorade is relatively natural.

    Standalone mara, I will do with a camelbak 2 litre in an OMM 10L backpack with option to add extra litre in side pods. If it's the club IM mara, I simply reload from my stashed supplies at the central aid station (though I am fine with bottled water).

    IMO, most race organisers are really good about things and if you specify an issue, they will try and sort it. OSB (Outlaw) were very helpful on a couple of issues when questioned. Eg, this year, they allowed neoprene gloves for people who suffered with the cold in the water. This is not normally allowed in a tri.

    Allergies are shit and a pain in the arse. 

    FWIW I carbload on brown rice or Quinoa. 

  • Well, I survived! I cornered a woman handing out gatorade on the Saturday and she kindly showed my the ingredients list on the powder they were using to make up the gatorade station - all sulphite free.

    I'm considering Little Woody next so I might come back to you all next year for more advice..  

    Dustboy - another random thing to watch is Lemsip, leaves me coughing and spluttering and feeling worse than before. I think it is probably the paracetemol within the powder. Annoyingly you can't usually find out these things, the law is only that you need to declare sulphites if it is an added ingredient in itself - you can go crazy with other sulphite filled ingredients so long as they were there before you add them to your product and no-one will be the wiser. Annoying.  

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