Katadyn Group

Field Report of Dr. Frank Hülsemann: The Use of Peronin for Expeditions through Deserts and High Mountains

May 09, 2012

For over ten years we have been using Peronin on our expeditions in the deserts and high mountains around the world. As the tours are mostly undertaken on foot or on mountain bike over rough terrain without any motorized support, the selection of equipment and food is critical with respect to its quality and weight. This is why, when crossing deserts for several weeks without a supply point in sight, we make use of Peronin again and again as a nutritional supplement. The high energy density and the nutrient composition mean that Peronin is superbly suited to providing fast and safe sustenance in extreme situations.

Peronin, for example, supplied around a quarter of the energy for the 600 km solo trek across the Atacama Desert, of which 500 km provided no access to food or drink. This expedition in particular posed logistical challenges to be overcome, as only limited quantities of food and drink could be carried in order to avoid exceeding the effective carrying weight of the backpack of 40 kg. As water supplies made up the largest part of the weight, it was important to have food with a high energy density. At the same time, it was crucial that the human body be supplied with all of the essential nutrients it needs despite taking in less food. While there are foods with higher energy densities, they present a risk of unbalanced nutrition which, over a longer period of time and following strenuous physical activity, may give rise to symptoms of nutritional deficiencies. An additional advantage of Peronin was the rapid preparation so that nutrition intake could be maintained even during times of high physical and mental stress. This approach to nutrition for the solo expedition across the Atacama was planned by a nutritional scientist from the German Sport University in Cologne and presented as part of a scientific article in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

We also make use of Peronin for expeditions that have motor vehicle support and also therefore greater transport capacity, for example when we broke the world record for the highest altitude on a mountain bike on the Ojos del Salado in Chile. The riders in this case used Peronin due to the body’s good tolerance of it and the rapid rate at which it provided energy. While food was cooked or heated up quite normally in base camp during the main mealtimes, a large part of the required sustenance was provided on the mountain by Peronin, which could be carried conveniently in the bike bottles.

Peronin is also used in normal preparation during training and during competitive events. Particularly in long-distance events such as the NORSEMAN and the 24-hour bike race at the Nürnburgring, it is important for athletes to have an extensive supply of nutrients that their body tolerates well as they spend more than 12–24 hours competing.

Dr. Frank Hülsemann
Scientist at the Institute of Biochemistry of the German Sport University in Cologne
Extreme endurance walking and mountain biking events
Website: www.exyle.de
Contact: info@exyle.de

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