Champion Diet

Can a musher manipulate output versus calorie expenditure of the sled dogs?

Math, Science, Geography

Body fuel is crucial for both mental and physical capacity. Bodies are fueled by calories. The more calories a body consumes, the more fuel is available in the body to burn. How much food mushers choose to carry in their sled impacts the weight of the sled, and each musher tries to come up with a winning formula of calories to generate max energy output and plans carefully how much food is needed throughout the race. How will a musher figure out how much to send out to each check point? What are factors for mushers to determine what food to use — what is the Champion diet!?



1) Set up small teams of students. Each team must brainstorm questions that will need to be answered to figure out: How much dog food Joar must have planned in each food-drop along the Iditarod Trail to meet the Calorie expenditure of his dog team?

2) Have teams share the questions they develop with the class for feedback and support of each other.

3) Class will decide on the essential questions necessary to solve the question.

4) Use to find the Kcals/lb. provided by regular raw ground beef, raw lamb, and chicken fat.

5) Use the Dr. Tim Momentum Dog Food website ,and the guide to calculating Kcals in dog food, to calculate how many Kcals in each pound of Caribou Creek kibble.

6) Use nutrition data to calculate how many pounds of each food item are necessary to meet the Calorie expenditure of each dog and entire team per feeding (number of feedings will later be determined for each food drop).

7) Follow the Trail Schedule Guidelines to calculate Joar’s resting locations along the Iditarod Trail. Use estimation to mark the locations of rest stops between checkpoints.

8) Use rest locations and rest times to determine how many feedings need to be sent to each food drop. Highlight these numbers next to the name of each corresponding checkpoint.

9) Calculate total elapsed time to complete the Iditarod race.

10) Create a spread sheet of final nutrition plan, including food-drop
checkpoints, number of feedings at each food-drop, Food type and pounds needed for both individual dog/feeding and team/feeding, total pounds of each food type needed for entire race, and total elapsed time to complete the Iditarod race.

11) Teams select different dog food brands and repeat their calculations on how much food is needed–what does the amount of food correlate with? How does this need be a calculation in the success of the dog team? What is the correlation between type or brand of dog food and amount of food (weight and volume)? What are other considerations a musher need to have when selecting a dog food / what to feed the dogs?

Nutrient Facts

Feeding Guide Lines from Joar

The dogs prefer 1/3 kibble to 2/3 meat/fish diet

Joar sends food out to all checkpoints

The Iditarod Rules require a least 60 pounds of dog food per checkpoint — except not to Yetna, Finger Lake, Golovin and Safety.

The dogs need to be offered a full meal minimum every 6 hours.

Joar has an approximate plan of max / min running 60% , resting 40% getting to Nome in 10+1 days

There will be three Mandatory rests– 1×24 hours and 2×8 hours

6 days of feeding needs to be sent to Nome.

Dr. Tim Momentum Dog Food

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