As you hopefully know by this point your GORUCK Light event is going to last 5 – 7 hours and could possibly travel 10 miles. GORUCK does not provide food for you at these events so you will need to bring your own. The food that you bring should sustain you during the event as well as lift your spirits and *hopefully* bring a smile to your face.
Choose Food That Sustains & Refuels
A 7 hour event is not short and your body is going to want to be refueled during it. While we have completed GORUCK Light events without eating they were definitely tougher and much less enjoyable than the ones where we had food. When you look for food to bring make sure that you include items that will both sustain and refuel you.
We choose a combination of protein bars and energy gels/GUs/chewies to make up the majority of our food. Although it’s a little tougher for your body to digest and use protein the protein bars feel more substantial and ward off any minor hunger pains that might creep up. The energy lickies and chewies give us that burst of energy our bodies seem to crave halfway through the event when it’s running low on resources.
Food That Makes You Happy
It’s always nice to bring one extra special something to eat and share with the group. Whether it’s a bag of skittles or some homemade cookies (we’ve seen and eaten some) snacks like that are sure to make friends and put a smile on the faces of your team. Although by no means required bringing one thing to share can strengthen the team and assist teammates you didn’t know were suffering.
One of the most important things you can do before an event is test your food on your body. When you go for a longer ruck during training bring some food with you and eat it. Pay attention to your body and how it reacts to the food during exercises. You want to make sure that whatever you bring to the event does not make your stomach upset because there’s no good places to take a dump during an event.
If you find something that seems to work then try it out right before a real workout. There’s a chance that you’ll be at your GORUCK Light and eat your food then immediately afterwards someone will screw up and you will all be doing PT. While there’s no good solution for that if you know that the food will at least sit okay in your stomach then that should be good. The smoke sessions are pretty light at GORUCK Light events but they still do happen.
Guess what? There’s a good chance that you will end up in the later at your GORUCK Light event. The above picture was from a GORUCK Light… notice the backpacks in the water. Do you know what is disgusting? Food that has a river water/lake/salt water coating to it. To ward against this we pack all our food in dry bags so that we know it will stay dry. You might have brought the perfect food but if it gets contaminated with water you could still end up pooping your brains out within a few hours.
What Do We Bring?
GORUCK Light events last 5 to 7 hours and are usually under 10 miles. They aren’t as intense as the other GORUCK Challenges and don’t require as much food to sustain your body. At a GORUCK Light we usually bring the following:
- Protein Bars: 2
- GU: 2
- Chewies: 2
- Candy: 1
Senior GRTs will scoff at that list and say it’s excessive and the truth is that it probably is. Now we’ve completed GORUCK Light events without eating anything in the past so that amount of food is definitely not necessary. The thing with GORUCK Light events is that there are usually a few people who show up unprepared so it’s nice to have a little extra for them.
In addition, as we mentioned above a quick way to make friends is to break out some candy halfway through the event and share it with your team.
From the list of food above we’ll generally consume one protein bar during the event along with maybe one GU and one licky/chewy. After the event we’ll eat the second protein bar and wash it down with a protein shake followed by a beer.
GORUCK Light Food Conclusion & What’s Next
Hopefully this post helps you dial in your food selection for your upcoming GORUCK Light event. It always feels good to be able to check something off your packing list and know that it will work for you. Remember to always test your food in advance if possible so you know how your body will react to it. If you have something special that works well for you consider leaving a comment… we love hearing what people are bringing!