Food for the Marathon des Sables (MdS)

The starting line of the famous Marathon des Sables (MdS) is fast approaching, meaning runners need to start planning their nutrition for the race. The six-day, 251 km ultramarathon that takes place in southern Morocco needs some serious nutrition planning - It’s known as the toughest foot race on Earth for a reason. Whilst we can’t tell you exactly how much food you’ll need, we can recommend some of the best meals and brands to sustain you on this incredible race, here are just a few to get you started. 


TentMeals (click here to view our range from TentMeals)

TentMeals have 18 different products in a variety of flavours. TentMeals offer runners a simple, stripped back source of food. Here are some of the reasons why TentMeals are suited for MdS nutrition:

  1. The calorie to weight ratio is amazing
  2. Insanely small amount of packaging (just 3-4g per pack) so less dead weight to carry than other brands. It does mean you need a bowl to make them in - you can get lightweight bowls that weigh very little. Most people on the MdS just repurpose an old water bottle anyway.
  3. Can all be made without a stove - just leave to soak. This means that you don't need to carry a stove and gas, again a huge weight consideration for ultras
  4. Extremely small size of meals so very easy to carry (they compress the ingredients in each meal before sealing it up, so it takes up about half the space it would otherwise)
  5. The food for some people can be similar to what you'd eat on a normal day to day diet at home, so is much easier to process and digest when you're then working at your limit (i.e. less diarrhoea, less nausea, less constipation, better overall energy levels because it's easier for your body)
  6. They taste great!

Here’s what Dan Fallows @500daystothemds had to say about TentMeals from his experience of the MdS:

“At the top of the list of items that truly can’t be compromised on, is nutrition. My food for the week needs to fuel me through 250km of sand dunes and jebel sand mountains. I have to be able to perform when the temperatures are topping 50 degrees, and the daily distances approach double marathon territory. I can’t compromise. That’s where TentMeals came in. They are lightweight, nutritious, packed with calories, and tasty. As soon as I tried my first order, I immediately stopped looking for alternatives - I knew I had found the meals that would fuel me through the Marathon Des Sables.”  

This image is from @jenscotney

This image is from @jenscotney

This image is from @iamhazelrobertson @lukejgrobertson

This image is from @iamhazelrobertson @lukejgrobertson


Real Turmat (click here to view the Real Turmat meals)

Real Turmat is one of the best and most popular brands within the freeze dried market. The manufacturer is very passionate, always careful in choosing quality ingredients from suppliers and local farmers, their chefs cook all the meals in batches and then slowly freeze dry the meals to retain all the nutrients and flavour. 

Here are some of our top reasons for choosing Real Turmat for the MdS.

  1. Real Turmat meals are some of the best tasting freeze dried meals that you can find, tasting like home cooked food. A real treat after a gruelling day!
  2. They are lightweight and vacuum packed meaning they retain their nutritional value and take up as little space as possible in your rucksack. 
  3. There is a wide variety of meals, breakfasts, soups and energy products to suit various dietary needs (Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Lactose Free etc). 
  4. All meals can be eaten straight from the pouch, saving on extra equipment being required.

 Real Turmat Meals available from


TORQ (click here to view our TORQ food range)

Enjoy one of Torq’s energy-enriched, soft, syrupy and deliciously tasty organic, vegan-friendly TORQ Explore Flapjack as a convenient natural snack at any time of day or why not take this scrumptious homely goodness with you as you make your way across the desert.

TORQ also offers all-natural, vegan-friendly Energy Gels that combine 30g of carbohydrate and 5 electrolytes with a silky smooth texture, in a range of flavours that need to be tasted to be believed!

With no requirement to consume them with water, TORQ gels are a key component of the TORQ Fuelling System. Each TORQ gel blends 30g (120kcal) of Maltodextrin and Fructose in a research-proven 2:1 formulation, allowing you to take up 90g of carbohydrates per hour in conjunction with TORQ Energy drink. This is 50% more carbohydrate than glucose-only formulations.

TORQ’s Energy Drinks are a vegan-friendly, naturally flavoured, light & refreshing isotonic energy drink formulated using fast-delivery, research-proven 2:1 (Maltodextrin : Fructose) and 5 key electrolytes.

Utilising their Performance Nutrition expertise, TORQ Explore instant supercharged Breakfasts have been designed to provide easily accessible, useful and effective nutritional fuel in a convenient, lightweight, low volume package.

Selection of TORQ flapjacks and camping meals available from

Of course nutrition for a race of this magnitude is deeply personal. It’s important to be used to the food you’ll be eating during the race to avoid any complications and to make sure the event goes as smoothly as possible.

Here at Base Camp Food we pride ourselves on having a wide range of light, calorie dense and nutritious meals for you to choose from. We hope this guide helps and wish you the best of luck for the Marathon des Sables! 

If you have any questions or would like some support or guidance with your nutritional plans please get in touch.

Useful links:


Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published