SPORT scientists from Southampton Solent University are providing nutritional advice and support to a Hampshire Scout expedition team, who are preparing to trek to the South Pole.

It will be the first time a Scout group has attempted a polar expedition of this kind.

The team will start from coast of Antarctica, before undertaking the 1,000km trek to the pole and kite-ski back in 80 days.

‘Man-hauling’ 100kg of food, fuel and equipment across the world’s highest, coldest and windiest continent will require massive energy requirements, and nutrition will be a challenge for the seven-man group.

The team have called on the expertise at the university to help support the trip, which is planned for 2018.

“Each person will need to consume up to 10,000 calories a day, four times the recommended daily amount,” says Dr Ali Hill, senior lecturer in nutrition at Southampton Solent University.

“Fitting that into as light a weight as possible is no easy job.”

The group – many of whom have taken part in previous Scout-led expeditions to Malawi, Peru and the summit of Everest – have already begun preparations for the trek and have been busy getting their body composition measured and diets analysed at the university’s sport science labs.

As well as helping the team to achieve their goal, Dr Hill is keen to gain a better understanding of the effects that such an extreme challenge can have on the body.

Dr Ali said: “It’s an area that we don’t understand fully. But with the increase in popularity of events like marathons and extreme expeditions, it’s an area we need to increase our knowledge of.”