Most athletes prefer eating a home-cooked meal over taking an energy gel or another form of prepacked sports nutrition any day. However, in order to train strenuous, you need calories, and when you’re pounding through a workout or speeding from the running track to workplace, typically the simplest way to take fuel is from within a wrapper.
“If you don’t wish to use your time planning your daily nutrition requirements in detail, bars and gels are simply a super easy way to get your nutrients on-the-go,” says Jurgen Swinckels, sports nutritionist, CEO and founder of Bollox Energy who works with endurance athletes round the world. “It’s simply a matter of selecting the prepacked foods with the right ingredients and the appropriate quantity of calories.” The key to purchasing prepacked sports nutrition products is knowing how to use them.
While exercising, after 90 minutes, your body begins to exhaust its glycogen storage. Glycogen is a kind of multi-branched form of glucose that is stored within the liver and skeletal muscles. Glycogen represents the main storage form of glucose in the body and serves as a form of energy storage in humans.
To avoid bonking, Swinckels says athletes ought to ingest roughly three hundred calories per hour from that point onward. In fact it’s better not to wait until 90 minutes before replenishing your energy levels but start to fuel ahead of time. For this purpose use a product that is wealthy in simple sugars that are easily absorbed for a swift energy boost. While you’re at it, it will be beneficial to take in sodium and potassium as well to replace electrolytes lost through sweating.
While each athlete’s body is different, Swinckels prefers sticking to products with a proven neutral impact on gut comfort such as 0.8 ratio fructose to maltodextrin solutions. One of his favorites is Bollox Energy Gel which is developed with exactly that fructose maltodextrin ratio. Whatever you choose, though, make sure you try it in training before bringing it to the starting line. “It doesn’t matter however laborious you train or what quite form you’re in,” says Swinckels. “If you ruin your nutrition it may very well be the end of the race for you.”
Another choice, particularly for athletes exercising in hot climates is to drink calories. Hydration mixes offer quick-burning carbs that may be sipped straight from your bike bottle. At 200 calories per 500 to 600 ml of liquid, some athletes may find this a bit too watery to be their main nutrition supply, but for others it’s an easy way to remain nourished while not having to chew on something during their exercise.
30 MINUTE WINDOW
Post-workout recovery fuel is designed to speed up the repairing of damaged muscle tissue, replace glycogen/energy stores and promote physical adaptation. After a race or training, athletes ought to utilize what’s called a 30 minute window. Immediately following a training session, muscle cells are ‘open’, insulin sensitivity is elevated and the body is primed to absorb simple sugar and protein. The faster you refill the tank, the faster the body will recover fat, Swinckels says. Athletes should make the most of that window by consuming a carbohydrate bar or some energy gels.
Post-workout recovery fuel is designed to speed up the repairing of damaged muscle tissue, to replace glycogen/energy stores and to promote physical adaptation. Immediately following a training session, muscle cells are open, insulin sensitivity is elevated and the body is primed to absorb simple sugars and protein. The faster you refill the tank, the faster the body gets the green light to lean up and burn your body fat.
Insulin sensitivity declines and muscles take longer to absorb glucose from the bloodstream as time goes by, making glycogen storage less than optimal. What’s worse, failure to replenish lost glycogen can mess up your hormones, which may create stress for your body. Your body in turn releases cortisol, a stress hormone that promotes fat storage, especially around your midsection. To maximize the rate of muscle glycogen synthesis it is important to consume a carbohydrate supplement immediately post exercise and to continue to supplement at frequent intervals.
So, by consuming a recovery snack within 30 minutes, you can extend your ability to effectively refill glycogen stores. And even though less optimal, you will maintain a refill ability for up to eight hours by snacking on carbs every couple of hours.
PACKED SPORTS NUTRITION CHOICES
Below are the 5 most popular prepacked sport nutrition choices that athletes rely on:
They’re usually easy to find, even in non-specialized retail outlets such as supermarkets because they are used by many people on a daily basis just to get quick energy boost. Foremost, they provide a “solid food” experience. However they’re usually quite large and typically have an excessive amount of protein, fat and/or fibers to eat throughout a very strenuous exercise.
Energy gels are designed to replenish carbohydrate stores that are depleted when exercising. That makes them an excellent choice for (mid)-race fueling or training nutrition. Most gels feature a particular combination of different carbohydrates to ensure maximum absorption. However, some carb combinations are better accepted by your gut than others. Experiment with various brands to find out what carbohydrate combination will not cause any gut discomfort.
Energy gummies may have a similar carbohydrate profile as energy gels. However, most gummies do not have a combination of carbohydrates but just one single sugar. The other difference between gels and gummies is the fact that gummies are solid and thus provide a more ‘real’ food experience. In addition gummies are easy to dosage. Whereas in case of gels, usually an entire sachet is gulped down in one instance, gummies can easily be taken one-by-one at random time intervals.
Stroopwaffles are traditional Dutch snacks from The Netherlands that have gained popularity in the sports community worldwide. Each cookie weighs between 30 and 40g and contains at least 10 grams of sugar, 10 grams of fat and roughly 150 calories. Consuming a waffle every 45 minutes during athletic activity delays fatigue by nourishing exhausted muscles. Not only endurance athletes have embraced the stroopwaffle. Also sport teams striving to optimize athlete wellness and performance, have begun adding more and more to their locker room collection of healthy and performance-based goodies.
POWDER DRINK MIXES
Drinking your calories allows you to hydrate and fuel up at any time, in any volume, albeit it’s a different experience than taking solid foods. Carefully follow label directions when mixing these powders with water: If you add an excessive amount of powder to the mix, you may find yourself dehydrating yourself as your body siphons off additional water to method it.
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