Dakar: Hydration, Nutrition & Recovery

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2012 Dakar Rally Prep

The stages are set for the 2012 Dakar Rally, which begins in less than a week. Two riders that will continue to prep until the Dakar begins on Jan. 1 are the MRW Red Bull AMV KTM Team of three-time Dakar winner Marc Coma and Joan Pedrero.

The 2012 edition features a 15-day schedule beginning Jan. 1 in Mal Del Plata, Argentina, and ending Jan. 15 in Lima, Peru, with only one day of rest and around 5,600 miles of competition.

And one of the biggest challenges of the Dakar for even the most skilled of motorcycle riders is the hydration and recovery factor. There will be moments when Coma and Pedrero will be piloting their perspective KTM 450 Rally motorcycles for over five or six hours.

And to remain concentrated in such hot, South American temperatures requires proper hydration, nutrition and recovery.

MRW KTM says: “Coma and Pedrero must be very careful with their hydration and nutrition, which will be key factors that make the difference between finishing the day exhausted or being able to resume competition the next day again at the highest level.

“There are many factors to take into account for the Dakar challenge to have a positive outcome: an extraordinary physical preparation, a good setup for the bike, the support of a strong and coordinated team, some luck and be able to foresee any needs.”

The hydration process begins with a good system that allows water consumption during the actual race; both KTM 450 Rally riders Coma and Pedrero will have hydration sacks on their backs while racing.

MRW KTM says: “Days in which they can be over 6 hours doing a continuous physical effort require an optimal physical form, especially in locations such as the Atacama desert -the driest in the world- in summer, because in the southern hemisphere spring has just finished and summer started. Thus, it is essential to hydrate regularly thanks to systems such as the camelbak, a backpack placed inside the jacket that allows to drink through a tube without stopping.”

Dakar participants are also forced to stop regularly for 15 minutes following every 155 miles. During these breaks, KTM’s Coma and Pedrero will consume energy bars or gels to keep proper nutrition in the body, and also allow for a bit of recovery time before riding the bike again.

MRW KTM says: “Those who have participated in the Dakar say that it is one of the most amazing experiences, although not everything is so beautiful as the idyllic landscapes and unique tracks. Sometimes they feel the KTM riders have reached their limits.

“They see how adversity, in the form of heat or fatigue, is about to beat them. That is why it is so important to keep the balance between hydration and nutrition so that everything goes well.”