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Adventure Smart with Kit DesLauriers

Professional ski mountaineer and GU athlete Kit DesLauriers was recently nominated for National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year (and you can vote for her by clicking the link below). DesLauriers organized an expedition along with Dr. Matt Nolan in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in an effort to measure glacial retreat. A skier and adventurer by nature, DesLauriers was actually the grant recipient for the project and was solely responsible for carrying out the ground science. The expedition took place more than 300 miles from the nearest airport, which quenched DesLauriers’ thirst for true adventure during an outing rooted in science.

We sat down with Kit (ok, we emailed her, because it’s impossible to sit down with her…because she was out being awesome) to ask her how nutrition plays a role in her epic adventures.

GU: How important is nutrition in an adventure that has no apparent “clock” or “blueprint”?

KD: We train our bodies for strength, flexibility, durability and endurance, plus we train our mental stamina to push through the challenges, but all of that means nothing if we don’t supply fuel to our bodies and minds. On an adventure where we don’t know how long it’ll take to reach the summit or get back to camp, only that it will be at least a full day, nutrition becomes as important as all of the rest of the training we’ve logged for months. It’s one of the keys to success and definitely a key to survival.

GU: How do you utilize GU in your adventures?

KD: I treat GU like a headlamp. I never leave home without it even if it’s just a ‘three hour tour’! On a long adventure like a self-sufficient two-week Arctic ski expedition, I plan how many of those days will probably be ‘long’ (moving for 6-16 hours) and I pack enough GU Energy Gels to have one each hour along with my other food needs. When I’m climbing and skiing, I pay attention to how I’m moving, and how I feel mentally, and make sure to eat a GU as soon as I notice that something is off even just a little bit. I also plan for at least one liter of Roctane Drink each day along with my other liquid intakes of water and tea. A liter of Recovery Brew once back at camp makes the next day so much easier.

GU: We’ve got a bunch of new gel flavors, and you’ve used GU for quite some time. What’s your favorite flavor?

KD: Chocolate Outrage. There are plenty of others that I like but Chocolate has been my hands-down favorite forever.