The Dirty Reiver - The Best Gravel Race in Britain!

VOOM are super excited to be partnering as the official nutrition supplier for the UK's premier gravel riding event, the Dirty Reiver! 

By voomnutrition Admin


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Where? Kielder Forest, Northumberland

When? 17th-18th April 2020

Distance? 65km, 130km or 200km



VOOM are super excited to be partnering as the official nutrition supplier for the UK's premier gravel riding event, the Dirty Reiver! Set in the expansive Kielder Forest riders will traverse gravel forest access roads that service the vast areas of forest covering the border region of England and Scotland. The events will take riders through remote areas providing outstanding viewpoints across this spectacular part of the UK.


Obviously common sense and personal preference are important but we want riders to get the most out of their ride, so we’ve put together some handy tips and hints to help you get your fueling right and keep the pedals turning!




Nutrition is a key element in getting the most from your training and something that should be tried and tested. Use your long training rides to practice your fueling strategy for the big day including both food and hydration.


2-3 days before the Dirty Reiver, try to increase your carbohydrate intake and make sure you keep topping up your energy stores regularly – it’s very easy to forget to eat for a few hours when you're busy, such as during travel. Likewise, with hydration so try to sip away at an electrolyte drink the day before and make sure you start the event hydrated.


The BIG day!


Try sipping 500ml of electrolyte drink 1-2 hours before your event; this gives your body time to absorb what it needs and eliminate what it doesn’t. Once riding, aim to drink 300ml to 500ml per hour. Regular sips are better than big gulps! VOOM Hydrate Smart is developed to reflect what your body loses during exercise, so you can replace what comes out. A hypotonic glucose solution can increase the speed of water absorption by ~40% compared to water alone; this is due to the co-transport of glucose, sodium and water.


Sports bottles mixed




The 8am start is going to mean an early breakfast and whichever distance you are riding, it would be unwise to sacrifice a good breakfast for a few a few more z’s! High carb, low fat and low fibre is key, so opt for something like a big bowl of porridge with a banana.


Aim to snack on something every 15-30 minutes and if you’re likely to forget you can set an alarm. Eating little and often aims to prevent overload of your system, avoiding stomach trouble and also keeping energy delivery constant, so you avoid peaks and troughs and the dreaded bonk! We recommend consuming 60-90g of carbohydrates every hour which can be met with a combination of ‘real food’ and specific energy products like the VOOM Pocket Rockets.






VOOM Pocket Rockets™ deliver 40g of carbs, split into four 10g chunks, helping you keep on top of your energy intake. The problem a lot of us have with gels and such like, is that you have to consume it all in one go – the high concentration of glucose hitting the stomach in one go causes it to draw in water, which can cause gastric upset. This is why we really focussed on portion control.


  • The Electro Energy delivers 40g of fast acting carbohydrates (160kcal) in 4 pieces – we recommend one piece every 15-30 mins, to help keep your blood sugar and energy levels constant. The electrolytes also help replace mineral losses from sweat.


  • If you respond well to caffeine, the Caffeine Kick has 175mg caffeine and 100mg taurine as well as the 40g carbs. When fatigue is setting in later on in the ride, the Caffeine Kick comes into its own, or for an extra boost, eat two chunks before a particularly tough section of the course. Caffeine and taurine also combine well together to enhance mental focus.


  • The Beta Blast is packed with Beta Alanine as well as Caffeine and is a great (not-so) secret weapon for high intensity work, as beta alanine increases levels of muscle carnosine, which buffers against lactic acid. Whilst most of your riding at the Dirty Reiver will be aerobic, those who are going to be going all out to become King/Queen of the mountain on the infamous Bombtrack Hill Climb could really benefit from a Beta Blast 10-15 minutes before the start of the climb… VOOM IN POWER UP! 

Other snacks that the team at VOOM HQ often use include, bananas (half at a time), malt loaf, flapjack and homemade rice cakes. If you like savoury food, boiled potatoes with olive oil and sea salt also go down well and small bitesize sandwiches, like marmite and peanut butter. These type of snacks will deliver some more complex carbs that are needed in longer endurance events. Try to alternate between ‘real food’ and chunks of VOOM bars, so you optimise your energy stores for later on the race, but keep the delivery of simple sugars topped up. Inevitably, your body will be able to tolerate more real food in the first part of the race, so try to maximise this opportunity, without overloading your system.


Feed stations


There will be feed stations at 45km, 98km and 150km. VOOM will be manning the first feed station and will have a variety of sweet and savoury snacks to keep you pedaling strong. If you have any special requests or great ideas, get in touch on social media (@voomnutrition) or email




VOOM RecoverFudge delivers carbohydrates (refuel) and protein (rebuild muscles) in the optimum 3:1 ratio – a rewarding post-exercise snack. Aim to then eat a then a balanced meal within 2 hours, to start putting back in everything you’ve taken out. Consuming protein with carbohydrates promotes quicker recovery than protein alone. Don’t forget to keep sipping away at an electrolyte drink post-event too. Or better still our VOOM Rapid Recovery Shake in Belgian Chocolate and Vanilla flavour. 


Happy training!


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