< Back to case studies

Alex Wild's scorecard

Crusher in the Tushar

Saturday 8th July, 2023

Within recommended ranges

Just outside recommended ranges

Significantly outside recommended ranges

  • 109g

    Carb per hour
  • 1,271mg

    Sodium per hour
  • 729ml

    Fluid per hour
  • 1,743mg/L

    Relative sodium concentration
  • 25mg

    Total caffeine
  • How Alex hit those numbers

    1 x Serving of pancakes
    1 x Cup of Coffee
    750ml x Water
    500ml x Electrolyte drink (300mg sodium)
    1 x Energy gel (30g carb)
    3L x PF Carb & Electrolyte Drink Mix (8 x Servings)
    5 x Energy gel (30g carb)
    1 x Liquid Energy Caffeine Gel (28g Carb, 25mg Caffeine)
    1 x Electrolyte Shot (40mg Sodium)

    How Alex's hydration and fueling went...

      • After being ‘smashed’ by the brutal course in 2022, Alex took on the 2023 edition of Crusher in the Tushar with a more calculated pacing strategy to ensure he didn’t “go into the red” like the year prior
      • As determined by a Sweat Test, Alex is a very “salty” sweater (he loses 2,211 milligrams of sodium per litre of sweat) which means he has to focus on his electrolyte intake when designing his race strategy
      • Alex was pleased with how he executed his strategy and his overall result at Tushar, crossing the line in 10th. His time would have put him 2nd in 2022, and first in any other version of the event in years gone by


      • With breakfast, Alex drank ~750ml (24oz) of water and 500ml (16oz) of electrolyte drink with a relative sodium concentration of 600 mg/L (mg/32oz). Pre-race, we’d recommend something a bit stronger, such as the PH 1500 tablets, which would promote greater retention of water in the bloodstream and ensure he starts the race optimally hydrated
      • During this hot race (22-28ºC / 72-82ºF) which lasted over four hours, Alex knew he would sweat a large volume of fluid, so needed to replace a good proportion of his losses to avoid any dehydration related performance decline
      • To achieve this, he drank ~3L (96oz) of PF 60 Energy Drink Mix during the race, averaging ~729ml (24oz) of fluid per hour
      • Importantly, Alex increased the concentration of this energy drink mix to achieve a relative sodium concentration slightly closer to his large individual sodium losses. Overall, he achieved a relative sodium concentration of ~1,743mg/L (mg/32oz) across this four hour race
      • Alex did unfortunately experience some cramping in this race, which could well be related to electrolyte imbalance having not quite replaced enough of the sodium he was losing in his sweat, whilst the intense nature of the race means his cramps could have been caused by muscle fatigue. Either way, he thankfully, he managed to alleviate these cramps using a “sports shot” from The Feed and race hard to the finish (even ‘throwing’ his dropped chain back onto the cassette while in motion on the final descent)


    Quick Carb Calculator Recommendation


    carb 30 mins before


    carb per hour during
      • With a strong carb load for Tushar, finishing with several pancakes for breakfast, Alex arrived at the race venue with his stored carbohydrates well stocked. He then topped off his available blood glucose ~15 minutes before the race with a 30g carb gel
      • Typically, Alex adopts an “as much as you can handle” approach to his race fueling strategy, and it was the same story again at Tushar, averaging ~109g of carb per hour via multiple gels & PF 60 Energy Drink Mix
      • Alex did experience a slight energy fade during the race, but didn’t attribute it to his fueling strategy on the day. At 1,800m (5,900ft) elevation, the Tushar mountains are elevated enough from sea level for altitude to come into play physiologically
      • One theory here is that the reduced partial pressure of oxygen at altitude means the body relies more heavily on carbohydrate utilisation over fat than at sea level. This is because carb requires less total oxygen to be converted into a useable format for muscle contraction
      • Alex is a self proclaimed “numbers geek”, and brings this approach to his caffeine intake too. For Tushar, he brought his favourite brand instant coffee packets which provide 135mg of caffeine per serving
      • He had two of these the morning of the race, and a gel containing 25mg of caffeine from the neutral support on course, bringing his daily intake up to ~295mg
      • While there is a little bit of room to increase this intake during future races (by replacing the on course gel with a PF 30 Caffeine Gel for example), ~295mg does put someone of his size well within the scientific recommendation of 3-6 milligrams of caffeine per kilo of bodyweight for enhanced performance


      • Alex was largely pleased with this race, “finally getting a good result” in a Lifetime Grand Prix gravel race, which he sees as a step in the right direction
      • He says there’s some things to improve from a performance standpoint, but he can be confident that his fuel & hydration strategy is relatively dialled in, which is no mean feat for someone with such high sweat and sodium losses

    Key info

    Alex Wild

    Sweat sodium concentration
    Sweat sodium classification
    Very High
    * determined by a PH Advanced Sweat Test


    Overall Time

    Event information

    Mountain bike
    Crusher in the Tushar
    Colorado, USA
    8th July, 2023
    Total Distance
    112.5km / 69.9mi
    Total Elevation
    3,048m / 10,000ft

    Race conditions

    Weather Conditions
    No Rain
    Min Temp
    22°C / 72°F
    Max Temp
    28°C / 82°F
    Avg Temp
    25°C / 77°F

    Athlete feedback

    Race Satisfaction
    Hydration rating
    I didn't feel like I needed any more hydration
    Energy levels
    I faded a little bit during this race, but I don't think it was down to nutrition
    GI comfort
    Mild cramps that I could push through

    Alex's Thoughts

     Room for improvement but a good performance nonetheless

    Alex's full stats

     Carbohydrate (g)Sodium (mg)Fluid (ml)Caffeine (mg)Relative sodium concentration (mg/L)
    Total intake4555,3153,050251,743
    Per hour1091,2717296

    Data Confidence







    There is an adequate level of accuracy in the data collected and the numbers reported. The athlete manages to recall what they ate and drank including most specifics (brands flavours quantities plausible estimations of volumes). However there are estimations made within the data which affect the overall confidence level in the data reported.

    Alex's recent case studies

    see all

    Related case studies

    Nail your next event with a FREE Fuel & Hydration Plan
    Get started