Episode 140 - Ironman changes to Mortal Hydration on the North American race course

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So much has happened in the sports nutrition space over the last few months and I’m so excited to be in my recording space to get you caught up!

Let's talk about the new hydration sponsor on course for the North American Ironman events: Mortal Hydration.

What is Mortal Hydration?

Ironman announced early this year that they're phasing out Gatorade Endurance and introducing Mortal Hydration for their North American events. This change is not global, so our friends in Australia and the UK can breathe a sigh of relief. But if you’re heading to a North American race, you need to be prepared.

Unlike Gatorade Endurance, which is a carbohydrate-rich sports drink, Mortal Hydration is more of a hydration formula with considerably less carbohydrate content.

Check out the quick comparison in the table below ⬇️




Nutritional Comparison of Gatorade Endurance and Mortal Hydration


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Episode Transcription

Episode 140: Ironman changes to Mortal Hydration on the North American race courses

Welcome to the Triathlon Nutrition Academy podcast. The show designed to serve you up evidence-based sports nutrition advice from the experts. Hi, I'm your host Taryn, Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Advanced Sports Dietitian and founder of Dietitian Approved. Listen as I break down the latest evidence to give you practical, easy-to-digest strategies to train hard, recover faster and perform at your best. You have so much potential, and I want to help you unlock that with the power of nutrition. Let's get into it.

[00:00:00] We are back! Did you like our new intro? I've been on a little break from the podcast for the last couple of months, but it was amazing to set up my podcasting studio, aka my cupboard, this morning to get in your ears some of the stuff that's been happening in the sports nutrition space over the last few months.

[00:00:38] I have had an awesome break. I'm in a very busy season of life at the moment. So having some time away from podcasting has been great just to do a whole heap of other things as well. I've been able to tick along at some of those big projects that I've been trying to do for more than 12 months, really. So, things like getting our apparel organised for the triathlon nutrition academy, that ball is rolling and things are looking awesome. And I can't wait to see athletes out on course wearing our stuff.

[00:01:08] I've also been able to have some time to develop some new resources and tools for our academy athletes as well. So things like a new masterclass on vitamin D as an example and some cool spreadsheets for things like carbohydrate loading that takes all of the thought and guesswork and effort out of planning carbohydrate loading for yourself.

[00:01:27] And you may have seen it, maybe you've missed it, but I threw some new videos into our recipe database on how to do certain things in the kitchen. I know that not everyone is particularly proficient and as an athlete, it's really important that we eat well, but not everyone has those skills to be able to do that.

[00:01:45] So there's some videos in there around how to scramble eggs and poach an egg. I've also got some things coming in the pipeline for how to make an omelette without it just turning into a scramble. up if that's you and a few other things just to help you with some tips in the kitchen that I know athletes do struggle with.

[00:02:04] So it's been really good to have the time to do that. And that's been really fun, but I have just been itching to come back. There is so much going on in the sports nutrition space at the moment, and I'm going to like hit you hard with all of those things. Right off the bat with our podcast episodes over the next few weeks, because I feel like I've had like a muzzle on not being able to communicate that stuff to you.

[00:02:29] So we're going to hit it pretty hard today and talk about the new hydration sponsor on course for the North American Ironman branded events, Mortal Hydration. You may or may not have heard of it, but there is so much more interesting things that are happening that I've got coming up for you as well.

[00:02:47] There is a new paper, in the protein space that was published in December, and I've just been like sitting on that for six months now, ready and keen to deep dive into that for you. It kind of blew up at the end of the year, last year in the nutrition space. And it does blow out of the water everything we knew previously about protein oxidation, which is pretty exciting.

[00:03:13] But I've got my, you know, practical sports dietitian hat on and I'm going to give you the lay of the land around what that kind of means. There's also a big trend that I'm seeing at the moment with IV hydration, IV vitamins, all that sort of stuff happening in the sports nutrition space as well. It's definitely getting quite large in the US, but it's coming here in Australia as well.

[00:03:38] And so again, um, You know, it's gaining popularity and I want to give you my rundown on that because, it's IV access, right? It's not without risk. So we're going to have a chat about that

[00:03:49] but today we're going to get stuck into mortal hydration. So thank you for wrapping me around your ears. I'm back. It's good to be back. I missed you. I hope you missed us too.

[00:04:00] So mortal hydration. Ironman announced at the beginning of this year that they were phasing out Gatorade Endurance as their hydration or sports drink partner on course for North American Ironman branded events.

[00:04:13] So it's not actually global, which may be a sigh of relief for the Australians and the UK people listening. It is only our North American friends, but for those of you that are, you know, traveling over there to race or have planned already races in that part of the world, then you need to know about it.

[00:04:32] And you should have, hopefully, because I'm a bit late to the party, having a podcast break, You should have already had a chance to have a look at it and make a decision about it, but if you haven't, that's what we are going to go through today. We chatted about it in detail inside the Triathlon Nutrition Academy a couple of months ago.

[00:04:50] Those guys have access to me every week through Power Hour. So as soon as that was announced, we dove into it. Everyone was freaking out. Uh, and perhaps you are still freaking out as well. So this episode is going to really help dampen that stress response and give you the low down on what it is and whether you want to use it and how you might go about doing that.

[00:05:10] So Gatorade Endurance is still available on course at the time of recording in June, but it is being phased out by the end of July is the word on the street. So the first 70. 3 event that. is not going to have Gatorade and it'll only be Mortal Hydration will be a 70. 3 on the 13th of July.

[00:05:31] Now I'm going to absolutely hash the name of this to me it looks like Muncie. It is probably not pronounced Muncie. have probably looked that up. before I hit record, but M U N C I E, if it's not pronounced that way, you can have a little bit of a giggle at me. That's totally fine. So if you're racing that race, that's 13th of July.

[00:05:52] And then any race after that will no longer have Gatorade Endurance on course. The first full distance race that won't have Gatorade Endurance on course is going to be Ironman Lake Placid on July 21st. Now we have a lot of Academy athletes racing that race and they wigged out a couple of months ago.

[00:06:12] Uh, but we've had the time to go through their plans and adjust and adapt whatever we needed to. because that is coming around really quickly. So anything beyond that, any full distance Ironman branded event in North America beyond July 21st, you will no longer have Gatorade Endurance on course as your sports drink option.

[00:06:31] So what I want you to do is drop into the Dietitian Approved Crew Facebook group and let me know your thoughts. Are you going to use it? Are you still freaking out? Or have you actually never heard of it? Or it doesn't affect you whatsoever? Come and let me know in the DA Crew Facebook group. Search groups on Facebook should be able to find it.

[00:06:50] Dietitian Approved Crew, pop your details in and we'll let you in. Come and have a chat, and hopefully we can all have, after this episode, an educated discussion around the lay of the land with mortal hydration. So when I looked at mortal, the first thing I look at is the ingredients and nutrition information panel, and I'm going to compare it to Gatorade Endurance for you. It is exclusively available at the feed.

[00:07:16] com, which is kind of smart, but it means if you are relying on it, then it's less readily available. So you can't just go to the supermarket or the gas station and pick it up like you could before. You can't just buy it on Amazon. You can't pick it up at Walmart when you're going there.

[00:07:32] You can only get it on thefeed. com. and you'll likely have to pay shipping costs as well, unless you spend a certain amount and then, , add to cart, which is what most people do, right? The psychological effect of I don't want to pay for shipping, so I'm going to then spend more to avoid shipping.

[00:07:48] It's smart from a marketing perspective, from a sales perspective, it's smart, but it's the only place that you can get it at this point. Now, Mortal Hydration, or Mortal for short, Not to be [00:08:00] confused with Morton, they are very similarly named, is very different to Gatorade. I wouldn't actually put them in the same camp.

[00:08:07] So Gatorade Endurance, I would classify as a sports drink, right? It is, you know, carbohydrate containing, it's got electrolytes in it, you would be using it for fuel. Whereas mortal is more of like a hydration formula. They're not interchangeable. It doesn't have a lot of carbohydrates. So we really are comparing apples to oranges.

[00:08:27] we can't put them side by side and go, these two are quite similar. So overall summary, like too long, didn't read is mortal has , much less carbohydrate compared to a normal sports drink and particularly Gatorade. So it's not a great source of fuel for the volume that you need to drink.

[00:08:46] It also has, potentially more sodium and electrolytes depending on which option you choose. There's a normal versus a salty.

[00:08:53] And it doesn't rely on different types of carbohydrates as well. So let's dive into the details. I will put this table on the website. If you want to go and grab it at dietitianapproved. com forward slash 140, which is what episode we're up to now, which is so excited to bring that back. We're on the road to 200.

[00:09:13] Okay. So per serve, I'm going to go per serve cause it's just easy rather than talking about. you know, what it is per gram of powder or whatever. So a serve of Gatorade Endurance is one scoop or half a single serve sachet. It's 25 grams of powder. And that's made to directions makes half a bottle. So for us in Australia, a bottle 750 mils, that's 375 mils is a half, or it's 12 fluid ounces if you run with the Imperial system.

[00:09:46] So it has. 310 milligrams of sodium citrate per serve. So if you make it to directions to a full bottle, that's 620 milligrams of sodium per bottle. That's going to provide [00:10:00] 23 grams of carbohydrate per serve. So if you're making, you know, two serves in a bottle, that's 46 grams of carbohydrate per bottle.

[00:10:08] And the carbohydrate source for Gatorade Endurance relies on our multiple transportables. So it's got sugar, maltodextrin, and fructose in the ingredients list in that ratio of 2 is to 1. Now if you have no idea what I'm talking about, Don't worry. That is something we dive into in the Triathlon Nutrition Academy program, how to make sense of all of that.

[00:10:27] So I'm going to just kind of keep moving so I can then compare that to Mortal with you. So Mortal comes in these little single serve packets. They're 13 grams of powder. And one of those, like the normal version has 460 milligrams of sodium chloride. They just put like good old table salt in there. The salty version has 920 milligrams, so it's heaps in one little packet.

[00:10:54] Now you put one of those packets into a full bottle. Okay, so compared to Gatorade, the normal version of Mortal has 460 milligrams, and the salty has 920. But if you put two of your serves of Gatorade per bottle, you're at 620. So it's somewhere in the middle of the Mortal range. Now what's different about mortal is that it doesn't contain a lot of carbohydrate.

[00:11:19] One of those sachets is 10 grams of carbs. Okay, compared to Gatorade which is 23 grams of carbs or 46 per bottle. So we're comparing 46 grams of carbohydrate for a bottle of Gatorade Endurance versus 10 grams of carbohydrate for a bottle of Mortal. Now on course, word on the street is they're going to provide those little single serve sachets that you can just grab and mix your own if you are the type of person that wants to get off your bike and do that.

[00:11:46] Or they're also going to provide ready made pre mixed bottles with one of those sachets per bottle. I actually don't know if they're going to provide the normal or the salty. I would assume to help with the masses, they would just do the normal, but I am making an assumption there. I don't actually know for sure.

[00:12:03] So, In theory, assuming that it's just the standard, one bottle of mortal on course is going to give you 460 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of carbs. Versus a bottle of Gatorade endurance on course would provide 620 milligrams of sodium and 46 grams of carbs. So can you see now why they are very much not interchangeable?

[00:12:24] So if you had planned to use Gatorade or the sports drink on course on the bike, on the run, and rely on that on course for your fueling, you are going to need to either completely rejig your plan or be self sufficient with your hydration. Annoying, right? Particularly if you were racing now, like in these first events, like July, August, September, that have completely switched over to Mortal and you've been preparing for an Ironman for 12 And you've suddenly got to rejig your whole fueling hydration strategy.

[00:13:05] The other thing that you need to know with mortal hydration is that the carbohydrate types are cane sugar, you know, table sugar and dextrose. And it's also sweetened with stevia. Okay, so it's not providing a lot of carbohydrate.

[00:13:21] So we can't call it a sports drink. It's not a fueling drink. It's more of an electrolyte hydration drink.

[00:13:27] So if you haven't thought that through yet, you can't drink more mortal to then try and replace what you lost with Gatorade because you're just going to crank up your sodium. That will probably be far too high for most athletes and doing that is probably going to risk having a terrible day in the office, unfortunately.

[00:13:46] So it's a tough one and it is something that we've chatted in detail about inside the Academy program with all of those athletes that are racing Ironman branded events over this year. particularly for, those athletes that have been planning an Ironman for a long time and have been for 12 months and have, you know, used the on course nutrition which they thought was going to be provided, which is the Gatorade Endurance, and now have to suddenly rethink their plan.

[00:14:11] I don't know about you, but I hate plans being changed. It's one thing that I'm not very good at. But if you change plans on me last minute Or I had in my mind that something was going to happen and I was looking forward to it and it, you know, it was just part of my strategy of like, probably control, and you changed it, I'm going to be pretty pissed.

[00:14:28] So, hopefully, you've already decided about that and this episode hasn't landed too late for you. I'm sorry, I've been on a break, but I'm back. I got you. But I do struggle to Find applications for use for this product. It's not a source of fuel. It is purely electrolytes. And so any fuel that you have on course is going to mean that you'll need to be self sufficient on the bike, whether that's, you know, carrying your own sports drink, carrying your own food.

[00:15:00] or grabbing the Morton gels on course and then having your own stuff on board as well. Like you will need to completely rejig and think that plan if that was what you were planning on doing. So I would love if you could drop into the Dietitian Approved Facebook group and let me know your thoughts. Are you going to use it?

[00:15:19] Are you happy with that change? Are you pissed? Come and share your thoughts to me.

[00:15:23] And hopefully we can help you come up with a bit of a plan in that group if you need it. Facebook. com forward slash groups slash dietitian approved crew you should be able to find us.

[00:15:34] Chuck your details in there so that we know that you are actually a triathlete And we will let you in.

[00:15:39] Okay, That is the Lowdown of Mortal. I've been, itching to get that out to you for so long, sitting on that information.

[00:15:47] But hopefully you're all across it anyway. Now, having a break from the podcast has meant I want to do things a little bit differently as we come back. And one of the things that I did was put a call out on our email list a few weeks ago for questions that I can answer from you on the podcast. If you're not on the email list, make sure you go and subscribe.

[00:16:09] dietitianapproved.com/subscribe will give you the little opt in form and then you get out every week Friday in Australia, Thursday night if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, email. And in there we have lots of other tips and tricks that, you know, don't share on the socials necessarily.

[00:16:24] Email list is very much for our crew. And so on there, I put a call out to see if anybody had any specific questions that I could help answer for them on the podcast. And I honestly got some crackers. So I will do that again and put a call out and show you where to put those questions. Cause what I thought I would do would be to answer one on the podcast each week. And you know, if it blows up, maybe we'll do a few episodes of just questions only. I do need to put a bit of a disclaimer in here and say that, you know, I don't know all the specifics about you, your medical history or anything like that.

[00:16:59] So it does have to be general advice. Please don't take it as individualised custom advice.

[00:17:05] Just from a legal perspective, got to cover my own arse. But the first question I wanted to cover was submitted by Laurie from Greenville, North Carolina. And she asked, is there a way to get proper nutrition to compete in a triathlon? If you have gastroparesis, I'm at a loss, man, that is a cracker of a question, Laurie, and definitely a tough one.

[00:17:26] I, a hundred percent empathise with you. If you were in Australia, there is a place that I would send you to do some testing on that. I'm not sure what's available in the U. S. I'm sorry, but I have worked successfully with an athlete who does full distance racing that does that. suffers from the same challenge and he competes in a nine man event at Cairns every single year.

[00:17:51] So my advice is to be kind of strategic and systematic with your approach to understand what is going on there and hopefully find some sort of solution for yourself. And firstly, for me, like I need to understand what's causing the gastroparesis. Like what can we do to alleviate those symptoms, fix it?

[00:18:11] Like what is the problem there? And so for that, you'd need to work with a qualified sports dietitian with experience in this space to do that. and the other thing I would suggest is definitely a medical review if you haven't done that yet. So you will need to see a sports physician, somebody that has experience in medicine, but also sports, because potentially there's something that they can do to help you.

[00:18:33] there's a few strategies. I'm not going to actually tell you on the podcast. I don't think it's quite useful because I don't want you to go and just do things without that support, but there are some things that doctor can do to help alleviate that, or at least, you know, increase the motility of things through your gut.

[00:18:51] You are going to need to do some serious gut training, right? and strategically do that, but know how to increase and ramp up to your limitations and what signs and symptoms you're looking for to know that it's working or not working. you're also going to need to understand like the source of your nutrition because that's important because you're probably not going to tolerate just off the shelf products, but it's easy to concoct your own things and it's understanding what it is that is the problem first to then dive into what sort of products are going to help and how to build that for your fueling strategy.

[00:19:30] And depending on the distance that you're racing, carbohydrate loading is going to be important, but you won't be able to do a traditional in inverted commas, carbohydrate load. Again, you're going to need to work with a sports dietitian closely to develop that plan so that that doesn't slow down the whole gut transit thing with gastroparesis.

[00:19:49] I probably should have said what gastroparesis is right at the beginning for those people that are going, what is this? But it's slow gut transit, slow gut motility. you know, things are not moving particularly [00:20:00] effectively or well through the stomach okay. So I know that is, not very specific for you, Laurie.

[00:20:09] I can't fix you on the podcast without knowing like all of those details about you, but hopefully those steps are a start to set you on the right path to some solutions. All right, legend. Thank you for wrapping me around your ears today. It's good to be back. Thank you for being here and I will see you soon. 

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