As you hopefully know by this point your GORUCK Tough event is going to last 10 – 12 (or slighty more) hours and could travel over 20 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. This is more important at Tough events than Light events because it can be hard to stay motivated during the middle of the night when it has been dark for hours.
Choose Food That Sustains & Refuels
A 12 hour event is not short and your body is going to want to be refueled during it. Most people eat two or three meals during a normal 12 hour period so this will most likely be a shock to your body. 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. In addition, if we feel like it, we’ll also make and bring a PB&J sandwich or two. 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 sandwiches has protein, sugars, and carbs which always give our body a pick-me-up. The energy lickies and chewies give us that burst of energy our bodies seem to crave 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 trail mix, snacks like that are sure to make friends and put a smile on the faces of your team. Although by no means required bringing a shareable snack 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 Tough 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. Depending on the infraction the smoke sessions can be absolutely brutal. Don’t believe us? Ask a team who let their flag touch the ground how smoked they got.
Guess what? There’s a great chance that you will end up in the water at your GORUCK Tough event. We’ve seen events start in the water. Do you know what is disgusting? Food that has a nice lake/river 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 most delicious food but if it gets contaminated with water you could still end up pooping your brains out within a few hours.
Don’t take the chance and invest a few bucks in a dry bag… you will not regret it. The USMC Military SealLine Dry Bag is the one we choose because it lets air out (and not in) so it compacts well and takes up a bit less space.
What Do We Bring?
GORUCK Tough events last 10 to 12 hours and are usually around 20 miles. They are pretty intense and are the most popular of the GORUCK Challenges. At a GORUCK Tough we usually bring the following:
- Protein Bars: 4
- GU: 2
- PB&J: 1
- Chewies: 1
- Candy: 1
Although the list is quite long so are GORUCK Tough events. The food list above should be more than enough to sustain you through it and help out a teammate or two. In addition, as we mentioned above a quick way to make friends is to break out something sweet halfway through the event and share it with your team.
From the list of food above we’ll generally consume the PB&J, two protein bars, and maybe a GU or two. After the event we’ll eat the third protein bar and wash it down with a protein shake followed by a beer.
GORUCK Tough Food Conclusion & What’s Next
Hopefully this post helps you dial in your food selection for your upcoming GORUCK Tough 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 find something that works well for you consider leaving a comment… we love hearing about new ideas!