Another IM nutrition question

Does anyone have any idea what types of energy / sports / recovery bars I can eat if I cannot tolerate eggs, wheat or milk products?

I am fine with gels etc., and I am mainly eating Mrs G’s flapjack and maltloaf, but (don’t tell her this!), there is only so much I can eat. I need some variation and something solid to see me through the day. I am perpetually hungry even when I am running, and I want to be training with exactly what I will be eating on the day.

I have written to SiS asking about their energy bars and whether I can eat them or not, but without reply so far (I don’t think so but would rather not try them and see because that will be a week out of my training and it is very uncomfortable!)…

I think the only energy bar I can eat is the High 5 one but I would appreciate the names of any others that people know about.

I cannot find any recovery bar that I can eat. Again, I can have rego, but I would rather have something solid. Any ideas? Anything I can prepare beforehand that I can fit into my running belt?

Also any alternatives? I know some of you use Slimfast etc., but again this is milk based and I can't eat it.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.


  • Are you able to eat the soreen go bars? 2 of them and half a gel an hour is about all you need I think and they come in 2 flavours.
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    grizz - try Torq bars (what I use) - - follow the shop links. 3 flavours - I like them all especially the new ginger one. they are moist as well so easy to eat when on the bike..........

    here's what's in them:


    Oats, Raisins, Maltodextrin, Fructose Syrup, Apricot (12%), Puffed Rice, Ribose (0.77%), Vitamin & Mineral Mix.

    Nutritional Information (per 100g):

    Energy 1346KJ / 322KCal
    Protein 3.8g
    Carbohydrate 71.7g
    (of which sugars) 33.6g
    Fat 2.1g
    (of which saturates) 0.7g
    Fibre 5.9g
    Sodium 49mg

    Niacin 6.5mg (36%)*, Vitamin E 4.0mg(50%), Pantothenic Acid 2.3mg (38%), Vitamin B6 1.0mg (50%), Riboflavin 0.9mg (56%), Thiamine 0.7mg (50%), Vitamin A 400mg (50%), Folacin 100mg (50%), Biotin 75mg (50%), Vitamin D 1.5mg (30%), Vitamin B12 0.8mg (80%), Zinc 7.5mg (50%), Iron 7mg (50%).
  • FB - top man!!! Exactly what I was after, and yep by the ingredients I can eat them.

    Ava - thanks for the reply, and although I love them the Soreen bars are mainly wheat, a sure way to DNF for me. They would be ideal having a bit of bulk, but I'll have to try something else.

    Thanks for the feedback guys - appreciated!
  • Grizz - I got some gels from decathlon which are basically flavoured honey. I can;t remember the ingredients and don't think I have any left to check - they were too tastey.

    I know they aren't the solids you were looking for but at least it is somethng different.
  • probably stingers Lindi.
  • Have you been diagnosed with coeliac disease or lactose intolerant (i.e. had a lactose tolerance test?) If not I would suggest you slowly reintroduce dairy and wheat products to build up your tolerance. If not it will be extremely difficult to be able to obtain the energy you require for IM.

    try asking on there - us vegans get quite used to knowing what's in everything. i did a 55m ultra (11 hrs) on malt loaf, jam sandwiches, & sweets - could've done with more salt though, probably salty peanuts or something. (know that's not helping with the wheat, sorry).
    would soya custard or semolina or something be OK with you? use them lots as alternative to mullerrice - good as semi-solid so digest easily. is good for vegan recipes, which you might be able to adapt.
  • Jason, I have it on good authority that a few pringles and some water are all you need to complete an IM.
  • Ahh, wasn't sure if wheat germ counted as wheat:)
  • Thanks for the feedback guys!

    Jason - no, I am not coeliac, so I can have things with gluten in (rye, barley etc. - hence Mrg G's maltloaf!), I just can't have wheat. Symptoms include sudden drop in BP, swelling in the throat and tongue, stomach cramps, diahorrea (sp) excessive bile - basically a mixture of food poisoning, that point just before you throw up when very drunk and the headrush that you get if you haven't slept or eaten for a while and get up really quickly. I ended up weighing just over six stone with stomach ulcers and unable to process any foodstuffs before we worked out what it was (I'm six foot two).

    Similar but no quite so severe for eggs.

    Milk just makes me throw up a bit - but I can tolerate a little bit every now and again (usually half a plain chocolate Bounty bar or something). I'd still rather not risk puking during IM though.

    I know I'm going to find IM difficult, and that was the one of the main reasons for pulling out of IMCH. Feeding myself is difficult enough, never mind about in a foreign country getting ready for an event like IM! I do like a challenge though....

    Basically as long as I stick to a "stoneage" diet I am ok - i.e. what stoneage man ate, meat, veg and friut. Unnatural foods such as milk, eggs or wheat are a problem (although surprisingly I can eat all the chemicals and e-mumbers you want as long as they aren't milk, egg or wheat based!)

    I can have the REGO as a recovery drink, because that is soya protein based (not that soya is particularly natural either but hey!), and gels and sports drinks seem to be fine (although I made the mistake of drinking a bottle of lucozade once and was violently ill - for those that don't know one of the main ingredients in lactic acid derived from milk!!).

    The issue is really getting something solid in me as I am finding I am permenantly hungry. Mrs G makes a mean malt loaf and great flapjack, but I need some variety and something a bit easier to eat on the move. I am also assuming that I won't be able to eat anything handed out on the course, so I want to make sure that I have enough to not be tempted!

    P.S. I love Pringles, but the b@st@rds changed the recipe and put wheat in them to stick the salt on..........

    Jason - have a think about it and let me know what you think! I'm not the only one running (sic) into these auto-immume problems and they are becoming more common as food becomes more refined and drug / hormone ridden and our environment becomes so clean when we are growing up that our immune systems don't develop properly. It seems that I am the first to be trying this madness on this forum (tell me I'm wrong somebody!), but I won't be the last believe me.

    Thanks all for the interest!
  • Welsh Poppy (on Cardiff Mara thread) also seems to have a lot of food allergies, as does Hula Hoop, & Stickless (often on Daily Training).
    Actually I'd reckon on malt loaf & flapjack being quite easy for on-the-move, I'm guessing that in an IM you'd be having walk breaks (or whatever swim/bike equivalent?) & so long as you practise, eating then isn't really a prob. i think. Schoolbars (sort of mushed up dried fruit) are quite good but only 100cal or so, maybe not enough. Really soggy sandwiches? also slices of honeycomb are good (or crunchy honey out the jar) - luckily friend is beekeeper so am well-supplied with the stuff!

    Pringles also use lactose as a flavour carrier.
    Lucozade's non-vegan? Poo! will have to check - lactic acid not always animal-derived.
  • DGTPA - (great name BTW!!)

    Thanks for this - don't take my word for it with Lucozade. I just know that it made me incredibly ill, and the only thing in it that I can see that I shouldn't have is the lactic acid. I naturally assumed that it must be milk derived, but I have no real evidence!!

    This is just the stuff that is the colour of urine BTW - the sports drinks all seem to be fine for me!

    I've still not had a reply from SiS about the Calcium Lactate and whether it is milk derived, or if the lecithin is milk based or soya or something. I've ended up with two in the fridge and I don't know if I can eat them or not (and I'm not about to lose a few days training to find out either!!). If I ever hear back I'll let you know......
  • Hi Grizzly

    Real allergies!!! Ill keep an eye out for some products (solids) for you and failing that Ill try to get a hold of some suitable recipes.

  • Grizzly

    Just found Clif Lunar Bar - dairy and wheat free. Try also http/

  • Animal Free Shopper (online version) may help? also the Coeliac Society does something similar.
    Lecthin's often eggs.
    Lucozade makes a fair no. of people ill with the trots - think it might be something to do with the sugars in it?
  • Hi,

    Jason - I describe them as allergies but I have never been successfully diagnosed. Despite numerous medical tests, I have never produced antibodies to the substances introduced to my system, so medically I do not have "allergies".

    That said I identified the foodstuffs causing the problem through an exclusion diet, and I have been fine ever since providing I avoid them. Previous to that I was being pumped full of steroids, anti-histamines, anti-nausea drugs, gaviscon and just about anything else you can think of to treat the symptoms rather than the cause.

    Ultimately I would love to know the specific chemical compounds that cause my problems, but I can survive really well with Mrs G's cooking. We have found substitutes for just about everything, including Gram flour which means I can have gravy and sauces etc.! I can also have spelt flour, although Mrs G finds this really difficult to stomach. I am also fine with goats and sheep cheese / milk.

    I think that it might be bleaches or dyes used in the production of flour that causes me problems with wheat, but until there is the granularity of ingredients necessary to drill down that far I'm just going to avoid it!!

    Duck Girl - SPSS is the devils spawn and must be destroyed!! I deleted it from the server here once but someone managed to restore it from the backup.

    Damn IT policies............
  • Oh - I did a 2K swim, 90K bike and 21K run (continuous) yesterday on a wheat and dairy free cheese sandwich (I'll explain if you really want me to!!), a bananna, a piece of flapjack, four slices of homemade maltloaf, a lucozade sport, 750ml of gatorade, and a SiS gel (as well as around 500 - 750ml of water per hour)

    The trouble is that I was bonking around 4K from the end so my nutritional strategy needs to change (although I was going harder than I would in an IM). I'll investigate the bars that have been suggested to suppliment this.......
  • Cheese sandwich sounds ambitious!
    I mostly end up with Cheezly (bit rubbish, but Mum gets it at Tesco's), but i thought that had wheat in?
    Just a thought, but maybe you'd be OK with something like Dove's Farm (organic non-bleached) flour if it is the bleaches / dyes? Best not try before IM though!
  • Grizzly

    An exclusion diet is extremely difficult to go through and many congrats for for doing it!!!! It sounds like you hit the nail on the head with bleaches, this is actually fairly common. I recall a young boy who was allergic to orange juice who subsequently went through an exclusion diet which incorporated drinking different varieties of OJ. The result? The boy was allergic to the plastic coating on the inside of carbboard OJ packs!!!!!

  • I'm probably repeating what has been said before but...Grizzly it's worth remembering that maltodextrin and modified maize starch are also wheat derivatives (I have a severe intolerance to wheat too). They often appear in a lot of low fat foods which are described as wheat free!

    apologies if it's already been said
  • Hi Debster,

    I am fine with both maltodextrin and modified maize starch, but I thought they were both maize (corn) derivatives not wheat?

    See this link for details of maltodextrin which includes the statement "Corn-based maltodextrins are safe for patients with celiac disease since they do not contain proteins from wheat, barley, oats or rye" (sorry, I don't know how to do the link thing!).

    Either way, I'm not sure if mine is wheat proteins (as this should have shown up in tests), but everyone is different and I have discovered that none of this is straightforward!!
  • Jason

    Thanks for the comments - and an exclusion diet is not that hard if everything (as it felt at the time) makes you ill!! The only time I felt OK was when I didn't eat - so I didn't!. That will be because my staple diet consisted of milk, eggs and wheat........

    Having isolated the problem foods I am reluctant to start isolating the exact compounds because I have a reluctance to return to a state where I quite simply could not function, so in that respect I don't think I could emulate your example and find out (for example) if I can have freerange eggs, wholemeal flour etc. etc.

    I can live with it and have a pretty normal life (allowing for training for an IM!), but I still think you are right, completing an IM is going to be difficult. Even if I am fit enough, the fuelling is going to be difficult!!
  • i think maltodextrin can be wheat too - maybe that was what triggered the lucozade thing?
  • Hi Grizzly et al,

    I was diagnosed with Coeliac's Disease just over a year ago and have been having similar issues trying to find foodstuffs suitable for long runs and also for overnights during moutain marathons.

    Regarding power bars - I haven't found any with the sort of carbs etc of the designer energy bars but I have found some very palatable bars made by orgran, which are wheat and dairy free (and gluten free). They're very tasty, easy to eat and can be ordered online from

    More difficult has been finding super lightweight dehydrated food which is gluten free (and also veggie) for the overnights - anyone any ideas on this?

  • Can you eat Beanfeast? I live on the stuff for camping.
  • Vegan friend who does mountain maras takes Wysoy powdered baby milk for tea & to make custard - seems to work fairly well.
  • DG

    I can eat beanfeasts but I seem to remember that they take a long time to cook and to keep the weight of the rucksack I only carry enough fuel to boil a few pans of water, a lot of people use super noodles or dehydrated food in foil bags which just need hot water adding then no cooking.

    Will have a look at the Wysoy stuff though, ta!
  • Beanfeast slow?
    they've always struck me as really fast, like about 3 mins of actually needing fuel? if you put 1/2 the water on it says they're faster.
    I did DofE with a coeliac friend, & we ate mostly beanfeast & quick-cook flavoured rice thingys - they take about 3 mins & in Tesco's they were near the Supernoodles & came in blue packets.
    Much cheaper than camping-shop specialist stuff too!
  • Well I hunted out the beanfeast and the instructions say bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes - maybe you like your food chewy DG?

    Will try out the rice meals next but any other ideas welcome (Coeliac and veggie)

  • skippy - in theory yes, in practice when you're up a montain & starving, just needs to get a bit wet!
    Suggest experimenting at home first?
    Otherwise nut/seed mix in with quick-cook rice is good too, & doesn't need cooking at all.
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